Sunday, November 22, 2015


So, clipping a horse during the winter was not even on my radar as a kid. I rode a lot during the winter, usually until my fingers and toes were white and tears would leak from my eyes as I held them under the hot water at the sink. Neither of my little fingers will straighten all of the way out now, due to excessive abuse during the winter. Forty years ago there also wasn't the plethora of technical fabrics and layering options there is today. I usually went out in jeans with long johns underneath, my winter coat and gloves. Sometimes in boots, sometimes in tennis shoes. I would ride until I couldn't feel fingers or toes and then head home. The coming home part was always tricky, since I had to make sure I didn't travel so fast that Queenie would be hot or wet when we got home. I don't think I even knew horse blankets existed and I made sure every ride that we ended up at home cool and dry.

Last year, we had a few issues and by March I was seeing signs of him overheating. And there were several earlier rides when he was a lot sweatier and wet than I wanted him to be. I did my first trace clip in March and that seemed to be exactly what we needed and worked really well for the beginning of spring. Since K and J and I are riding this winter, farther and faster than last winter, AND since Ashke will be in a barn that does blanketing, I decided to do the trace clip now.

Hence the need for the clippers.

 I did the trace clip the other night, but needed to even up the lines with my Wahl face clippers.

 I think I did okay with a brand new pair of clippers and a horse that didn't want to stand still.
At night.

 I did a trace clip rather than a bib clip, since I expect we will be doing some pretty long rides. 
I also wanted to be able to blanket him at times when he probably would be too warm with a winter blanket but not warm enough with a sheet. This seems to be a nice compromise.

 Last spring, I trimmed his face, but this winter I did not. He has fairly long guard hairs on his jawline and it won't be covered by a blanket. I did the underside of his neck to help with neck sweat.

 I had a couple of really bad misses on the lines near his flank, due to him jumping and flinching when I was using the bigger clippers.

 Maybe next time, I will do a wave line along his barrel.

His flank. I really like how the clippers cut. The coat length is even and not nearly as short as it was with the Wahl clippers I used in the spring. I like how it looks a lot.

 From the back. With the lightning bolt I added to his rump.

I was going to do five spots on the left, for Tasunke Wit'ko, but there really is no good way to make a spot with a pair of clippers free handed. I turned it into an arrow.

We rode on Saturday (look for the post late tonight) and did 10 miles in just over two hours of ride time. Eddy was pretty wet and sweaty and tired. Ashke was dry but warm,  covered with drippy mud from the shoulder down, and not sweaty at all. It was a pretty clear example of how a trace or bib clip works. K and I talked a bit about Eddy doing better on trail with one, but it really isn't realistic for her, since he is housed in a paddock with another horse in a lean-to and managing his blanketing would be beyond her. 

And I finally found the cabochan I was talking about.
My seahorse.


  1. His clip looks AWESOME, Karen!! Like you've been doing this for a long time! Absolutely love the arrow on his hindquarter.

  2. Nice! I was considering clipping my Cushings mare for the winter... I may still if I can get ahold of some better blankets for her.