It’s December, and your fall clip job is already growing back in. Crazy, right?
Have you wondered how often you should clip your horse during the cooler months? Heels Down Mag asked a professional groom all the hard questions, and we’ve got answers to share.
Morgan Osbaldeston, of CLIPclop Body Clipping in North Georgia, shared her tried-and-true methods.
How far in advance should you clip before a show?
“Some horses feel a little ‘fresh’ after a haircut. Don’t we all act a little more lively when we know we look good? As a result, most of my clients prefer an appointment two weeks prior to competing, to get used to the shorter hair and feeling the breeze. I have other clients who are confident in my abilities to produce a clip with ‘show-ring shine’ and they will have me clip the night before the ship to a show.
For people clipping their own horses, I would recommend sticking with two weeks out – especially if you are unsure of your abilities or how your horse will react. In the event that your horse will need medication to complete the clip, you will need to allow the proper amount of time for the drugs to leave their system (for USEF testing purposes). Most are a seven-day withdrawal, so if on your initial attempt two weeks out you run into problems, you have a week to sort out medication and complete the clip without having any concerns. Of course, you should check with USEF and your vet directly.”
How often should you re-clip a horse that is in work?
“There’s no one answer to this question. Some people like to keep their horse freshly clipped before each show. Others are fine with their horse’s natural regrowth pattern and might clip once in the fall and once in winter. You will need to find what works best for you and your horse in terms of their hair growth pattern, any medical conditions (such as anhidrosis or cushings), weather and lifestyle.
Because I’m usually busy with client horses, my own horse usually gets clipped on the last day of the year and that lasts me through spring. Otherwise, I’d be in the camp of clipping twice a year, likely in late October and again in April.”