Tuesday, 14 October 2014

To Clip Or Not To Clip

Welsh Cobs aren't neccessarily known for their sleek look, particularly in winter.


Fear the Beard. Ginger in a prairie winter, 2012. Sadly, hair growth for a west coast 'winter' is about the same.
I'm not one to be overly concerned about looks, though. What I am concerned about is excessively sweaty ponies that won't dry out in our cool, damp, winter climate. So far, I've been lucky with Ginger - she's not an overly sweaty kind of girl. Midge....well, she's like me and gets sweaty and gross even thinking about work. It's been progressively getting worse as the weeks go by and her coat gets longer, and after this last lesson I admittedly could not get her completely dried off even though we did a minimal amount of work in the lesson itself.

G of course has never heard of such a thing and thinks clipping even a little of Bridget's hair off is more than slightly ridiculous. He's of the opinion the weather is going to cool off a bit more and she'll feel better. Maybe? I'm not sure. So here's my pros/cons list:

PRO: Comfortable, easy to cool out pony.
CON: Signing myself up for winter blanketing.
PRO: Looks tidier, easier to groom.
CON: If I'm doing the clipping - it could easily end up looking terrible. There is no one local to hire.
PRO: Internet has lots of handy resources, how hard can it be?
CON: It's the internet, not real life.

Also:
CON: I'd need to purchase clippers: and
CON: I just spent money on construction materials for jumps which:
CON: I built in the garage which:
CON: Led to G parking his truck in the driveway, which;
CON: I then backed my truck into this morning;
CON: Leading G to declare 'Those are now the most expensive jumps EVER'. and
CON: Making him quite uncharitable about the thought of me spending more $ on horses

Seriously, though, who out there clips? Since my horsey budget will now be going towards autobody repair, can I do a bib clip or a trace clip without spending a ton of $ on clippers? Those that don't clip, any tips for speeding up the drying out process in a damp climate? (Like can I use a hair dryer or something?) I obviously don't want Bridget to be uncomfortable.

13 comments:

  1. I don't ride enough in the winter to make clipping a good idea. For drying them... if my horse is sweaty I normally ride until he/she is dry, but I trail ride so I just keep the pace at a walk on the way home so they are dry by the time we get there. Then I just curry the coat until it's all fluffy again. If he's wet from rain I take him inside and rub him with towels, then let him stand inside eating hay until he's are dry. Currying can speed up the process. I only do that if it's cold, raining, windy and he's shivering. The rest of the time it's up to him to stay in the run in shed if he wants to be dry lol. Sorry I'm not much help!

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    1. Thanks for the reply! I have about a half hour walk home along the road and that used to be enough to get her fairly dry, but it's not working anymore and I worry I'm being a bad owner putting her back out in her field somewhat damp, even though she's well cooled out. Life would be easier if she was at home, then I could throw a sheet on or keep her in for an hour or two. At least currently my tack is getting cleaned while I wait? :)

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  2. I have clipped miss A the last two winters. I find that she overheats when working if she is kept hairy. I never really minded putting her away damp until she started getting girth galls due to fungal infection in her sweaty pits :) last year I did a bib and gullet, this years a blanket clip. The blanket looked cuter but the bib and gullet clip was really enough. I will buy clippers next year though as I had to pay what I would earn in 4 hours to get a 90 minute clip job done. That price is just silly. D and Aba

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    1. Yes, they get so ridiculously hairy I'm worried about fungus as well, especially with how humid it gets here. You're right, cheaper to just buy clippers if this is going to be a regular thing. Blanket clips are super cute! Thanks for the input :)

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  3. I've clipped my own horses and others for years. Yes you can find cheap enough clippers to work. Look for some used Andis AGC Super 2 speeds... I got mine for $60. They aren't great with super super dense coats or if you're doing the whole horse but it would work for a partial clip early in the season. Or if you've got $100-150 look for a pair of used Lister Stars, they're more heavy duty.

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    1. Thank you so much for the recommendations...off I go to do some research :)

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  4. I haven't clipped either of mine, ever. They've always lived out, so having protection from the elements has been a priority. I also tend to ride them less hard and less often in the winter, so it's never been a big deal.

    That said, this year I have access to an indoor arena and the horses are now stalled at night. I ordered a pair of Andis clippers for about $150 from Bit of Britain and plan to do a partial clip on both ponies so I can work them regularly over the winter and have them fit for spring.

    I think it really just depends on what you want to do with your horse over the winter and their living situation!

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    1. Mine have a stall with a run at night, then out to pasture during the day (with a shelter as well). I've never clipped, this is the first year I'm considering it as well. I'll check out Bit of Britain, thanks!

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  5. Clip clip cilp! But I'm biased, because I hate hair.

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    1. Not a fan of the hair either - I truly shouldn't own such a hairy breed :)

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  6. I have had Kika clipped every winter since I bought her as she grows too much fuzz for her to work comfortably & dry out afterwards. Previously she was not the kind of horse you could leave for days on end without some form of work as she'd just basically give you the finger and we'd have to go almost back to square one with ridden work.
    Nancy was clipped for the first time last winter (her first full winter with me). While she gets considerably less woolly than Kika, it still took her too long to dry out after work and as i always ride in the evenings after work it just became too hard to help her dry out in the limited time i have in the evenings before lights out at the yard.

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    1. I hear you - I'd really like to keep both girls in full work all winter and if it's going to take multiple hours for Bridget to dry out every time it's not so practical!

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  7. I have a post going up about this tomorrow, but to me you sound like a candidate for a trace clip. You can always start out by taking off as little as possible (apron clip maybe?) and then if you see her getting sweaty still take more off. Honestly, for working 4 days a week and turned out during the day, the trace clip was pretty much perfect for Connor. I will never go back to working them through the winter and not clipping even after I said I didn't ever want to clip at first.

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