Body clipping a horse certainly makes cooling out and grooming easier in the winter, but this convenience comes at a cost when you remove some of a horse’s hair, you reduce his protection against the cold.
That’s why if your horse is on full turnout and rarely works up a sweat, it’s probably best not to clip his coat at all. And if he’s more active, you’ll want to choose the most conservative clip that will get the job done.
For a horse turned out during the day and ridden to a sweat about twice a week, a trace clip may be the best option. This style of clip has many variations, but all involve clipping hair on the neck, chest and other sweat-prone areas. But because the rest of the horse’s coat will be left alone, he?can still be turned out without a blanket.
If you keep your horse on pasture but work him heavily more than three days a week, consider a hunter or blanket clip. With these styles, the entire body is trimmed except the face, legs and back. The unclipped hair on his back provides extra protection between his skin and the saddle. The long hair on the face and legs shields the horse against prickly bushes and undergrowth. Horses with this type of clip will most likely need to be blanketed when turned out.
Horses kept in a barn and ridden almost every day may benefit the most from a full-body clip, in which the neck, trunk and hind-quarters are trimmed. Sometimes the face is clipped as well. They will typically, how-ever, need to be fitted with a cooler after exercise to prevent a chill and blanketed around the clock.