Do I need to do anything differently while grooming my clipped horse?
Many horse owners elect to clip their horses in winter. This is wonderfully convenient for grooming, but you should take care and keep your eyes peeled for rubs and stuff. Some things to consider for grooming the clipped horse:
- Brush density, stiffness - perhaps a softer brush? Or who know, perhaps your guy loves a deep scratching. For grooming gloves or a curry comb, adjust the pressure as you move over your horse.
- Watch out for rubs that could turn into sores. You will start to see broken/squished hairs as blankets rub, these can just turn plain ugly if the skin is allowed to be rubbed off. Address with slicking agents, a different blanket fit, goops, pads, or anything else that takes the friction away. More on rubs here!
- Be more aware of your horse’s body temperature. Ultimately, the best way to check your horse’s body temp is with a thermometer…but you do that anyway, right? Use properly fitting blankets wisely and perhaps do some layering if the temps vary greatly throughout a day.
- Watch out for sunburn. It might be chilly or cold, but clipped horses are still susceptible to sunburn in the winter. Fly boots and/or a fly mask can help greatly for those chrome parts of your horse that have pink skin. You can always clip with a blade that leaves more hair, too. Each blade will be marked with a length in mm that indicates how much hair remains when used.
- If your horse needs a touch up clipping mid winter, go for it. You can also do a full body clip the first go round, then as things get colder and the hair gets longer, do a trace clip so legs have a little more coverage. There are not hard and fast rules about this.
- For stain removal, I like to curry the stain, then use a damp and steamy towel. But, on a clipped horse, there’s not so much hair protection from the heat. Consider a dry shampoo or a warm cloth, not a steaming hot cloth. More on stain removal here (video, too!)
You can always (and easily) change the pressure you use over clipped areas!
- Also use a cooler to transition your horse from being in a blanket to being naked. On cold days, could you imagine getting out of bed and running outside naked? You can easily groom around a cooler, and even let you horse warm up at a walk with a cooler half sheet. Also great for using after exercise to remove any moisture or sweat.
So this seems like a lot to keep in mind, but it’s still much easier that grooming and cooling off a horse that’s fuzzy and sweaty!