Clipping in the spring – should you clip the shedding horse?


There are a few reasons why you might clip the shedding horse this spring.  But ultimately, it boils down to your horse’s comfort and health.  Take the weather and his show schedule into account and how much mud your farm has.  


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Even out the haircoat


  • Many horses don’t shed evenly, and you will have some super long areas and some summer coat looking areas.  This blotchy look is not consistent or attractive for the show ring. You will also reduce the volume of long hairs that tend to float everywhere and stick to you, your saddle, and your horse’s freshly painted hooves.


  • Even though the days start to get longer after the winter solstice in December, some horses take their time getting started with the shedding process.  A horse’s brain will start the shedding process about six weeks after the solstice. A trip to the show ring might prompt you to clean up the yak factor by clipping all of that hair.


km10 gliding through winter coat

Clipping is a hot knife through butter when your horse is clean and your clipper blades are sharp and oiled.


Does your horse’s coat match the weather?


  • You may also want to clip the shedding horse because the days have become too warm.


  • He’s fine in the cooler evenings with his coat, but he’s sweating under that coat during the day. The sweat is worse when you ride, he takes forever to dry, and there seems to be some sort of gross skin crud forming where he sweats.


horse hair on the ground in the spring after clipping

The aftermath of a spring clipping.


Mud management


  • You may also want to clip a shedding horse because the weather is super muddy from spring rains, and it’s just horrible to deal with shedding hair and mud.


  • Maybe it’s too warm for a blanket during turnout in the mud, and waiting for your long-haired horse to dry after a hose takes all day. Clipping the hair allows for a much faster grooming process, and if you do need to hit the wash stall, dry time is turbo-fast.


  • Mud is also a contributing factor towards equine pastern dermatitis (EPD).  This umbrella term for all sorts of skin conditions includes those brought on by mud-like scratches and mud fever.


colorful horse clippers

Pick your fave.


Spring clipping tips:


  • You will still need to monitor the weather. This included blanketing at night, during the rain, and maybe even some sun protection.


  • Your horse will still shed. It’s just the hair will be much, much shorter. You may, or may not, be digging this.


  • You may get requests from barn mates to clip their horse, too, because yours looks so spiffy!


two parts of the detachable clipper blade

The best-clipped horses have super slick hair and fresh, sharp blades. For clipping tips, you can read this gem about preparing your horse for clipping.


Read Horse Clipping for Beginners

Read the Complete Guide to Clipping Your Horse 







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