For many of us we have already done it, and for some of us are holding out for as long as we can.
Yes I'm talking about that joyous job of clipping!
It a messy itching affair let's be honest, but they do look so smart after!
And of course not only that, but it can be the healthiest option for your horse too, providing he's well looked after.
Now folk say that they should first be clipped in either September or October, but let's be honest, you can clip whenever you want, some are clipped throughout the summer!
And you should never clip after February.
Again, to be fair, it's just tradition!!! If people clip throughout the year then that really doesn't make sense.
So long as you keep them warm for the time of year, happy days!
For horses in full time work it is of course essential, the last thing you want is your horse being soaking wet after exercise and taking all day to dry, catching a chill in the process, so we clip!
So which clip?
Personally, when I've a horse who is fab to clip and competing, I fetch the lot off, legs and all, with a full body clip.
But if I had a horse who was mainly hunting, but in the terrain that I used to hunt in, which was being stood on the top of hills and mountains for what seemed hours bored stiff, one minute being dry cold and windy to having an absolute horizontal blizzard 5 minutes later...that would bring me to within an each of expiring due to hypothermia, then I'd advise leaving the backs of full hair on the poor steeds, opting for the perhaps the Blanket clip.
Down country hunting as I call it, where your moving almost continuously and leaping of hedges, just the best fun ever , I'd opt for the full body or hunter clip.
- And if you’re just hacking on weekends quietly, then a trace, Irish or strip clip might be just ticket!
Of course if you clip, you have to rug, and most people usually have their horses stabled.
Although some people successfully opt for leaving their horses out, especially if they've only had a small clip.
As long as your horse has good pasture, plenty in their tummies and is well rugged, they should be fine.
The trick to keeping horses warm is the same as humans - layers.
Lots of layers of blankets can keep them warmer and as the temperature drops or rises, so you can add or subtract a layer.
Some of our hairy little friends do not like clippers!!
And clipping can be quite a stressful procedure for all involved if they don't like it.
Ears can be an especially topical subject, there are all sorts of tricks to help, such as doping to twitching, but sometimes they don’t like that either, so you've got to weigh up the idea of is it worth it!?
If the horse is especially bad and can get away with just having the sweaty areas taken out then I'd stick to that.
Tricks of the trade.
- Don't wear wool!
I'd opt for your scruffiest attire. In fact I wear that and overalls.
- And breathing in the fine partials of hair can't be good for you, I've actually had older people swear that its really bad for you, especially if your clipping a large amount so I'd wear a mask.
- Keep oiling the clippers folks!!! This is very important.
- Give a bit of time!
I always let the horse sniff the clippers while they are off first, and then switch them on stood back a little, slowly moving forwards to let them sniff them again, and before I actually start clipping, I run them down their neck a few times without actually removing the hair so they have a little more chance to get used to it.
• And I talk to them for reassurance!
Cordless are the way forward?!
Well For me they are!
The best clippers I've ever had are my current ones, the Heiniger Xplorer cordless, and for me personally I'd never go back to clippers that plug into the mains electric when being used.
But there are hundreds of different types and brand of clippers out there, and at the end of the day it's all down to personal preference, just like which clip you choose to use.