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The Clipping Conundrum

Scottie all clipped and looking well on Low Calorie Feed Balancer

Recently I have been struggling with clipping. I am unsure whether to clip Scottie or not. Due to his mystery lameness he has been out of work. Now we have been given the all clear to progress slowly and see how he goes I am unsure when to clip him.

My 2 thought points are:

  1. What if he doesn’t stay sound and needs more time off while we investigate?
  2. Is it okay to clip just to keep him clean and comfortable?

Even though our vet friend has suggested we start introducing work again slowly (week 1 walk, week 2 start trotting, week 4 canter etc) and see how he goes, until we are further down the line I won’t know how he will cope coming back into work. The increased workload may well cause the mystery lameness to reappear. I have decided that if this does happen, then it will be time to get my own vet out to investigate further. After all, I now feel I have done everything I can do to improve whatever the problem is without a diagnosis.

If the increased workload does cause him to go lame again, he will likely have an extended period of time off. If I clip too early into this process, I may end up with a clipped horse out of work all winter.

However, Scottie is also a very hot horse who sweats very easily with the finest of coats. He also grows quite a fluffy winter coat and is already resembling a teddy bear. I know that as the work load steps up, he will be getting sweaty and would be more comfortable with a clip.

This brings me onto my second point. Scottie is disgusting over winter! He gets thick mud stuck in all his hairy bits which he finds uncomfortable to have groomed out. The past few winters I have almost full clipped, just leaving a wide stripe of hair all down the back to give him a bit of protection. He has stayed nice and warm with the right rugs and he hasn’t come in with half the field matted into his coat.

So I am also wondering should I just clip him anyway, knowing that even if he end up having most of the winter off, he will be plenty warm enough and be more comfortable? Plus, clipping him at this time of year tends to last him until spring. So even if he has a lot of time off this winter, he should hopefully be in work either way when we are coming into spring. So he would still have the clip to keep him cool and comfortable working in these warmer months with his still fairly fluffy coat.

I am tempted to leave him for a few weeks and see how he copes with trot and canter and then make a decision. But if any of you have any input I would love to hear it as I’m a bit stumped what to do for the best.


Last Updated on 14/01/2022

2 thoughts on “The Clipping Conundrum”

  1. I can see why you are back and forth. I don’t have any advice one way or another. We don’t clip our horses, but they are out 24/7 year round. However this year the weather has been so back and forth that the horses ended up getting wooly, then the weather got really warm… but then it was really cold again a week later… so what to do….

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