Spring is officially here (thought it still may not feel like it in some parts of the country!), and it’s time to start thinking about when the winter blankets can finally be put away. Spring and the impending summer also signals the end of fuzzy winter coats and, for many, the end of body clipping season. The decision to do a body clip is quite dependent on the horse and the environment in which he lives, but we compiled a quick list of questions to run through when determining your clipping schedule.
What’s the weather like?
It goes without saying that horses living in more temperate areas may need to be clipped earlier in the season and remain clipped to ward off too-thick hair. Bear in mind the nightly lows and your horse’s work schedule when deciding on whether or not to clip again.
“I try to do a clip at the beginning of March, because that’s when the weather fluctuates a lot here in Aiken,” says pro groom Courtney Carson. “But it really depends on what that fluctuation looks like where you live.”
Will he shed out well on his own?
Some horses, such as those with Cushing’s disease, may require more attention to their coats because they do not shed properly – which can be dangerous. If your horse does shed on his own, it may be best to let nature take its course as the weather warms up.
What is your horse’s job?
If your horse is in the show ring more weekends than not, it might be beneficial to keep him clipped year round. For eventing groom Courtney Carson, she finds that keeping some of the show horses clipped year round makes for an easier time keeping them sleek and clean.
The start of spring doesn’t necessarily mean you can pack away the clippers for good. Take a look at the big picture as you’re planning for the warmer weather, and don’t worry if you feel like one more clip would do your horse well. It’s an individual, horse-dependent decision, so do your due diligence to make yours an educated one.