Monday, February 23, 2009

To Body Clip.........Or Not?

The clock is ticking on our countdown for people flying in to see horses. While I still don't know exactly what day is D-Day, I believe the party is arriving in Seattle sometime this weekend.

With all of the issues Richard and I have dealt with this winter, the training of the horses has been bumped time and again. I think we've decided that the most any of the three geldings has is about 63 days including groundwork and under saddle work. Considering the off again on again schedule, these horses are doing remarkably well. Of course, we're still trying to get "that last bit" done before our people arrive.

I thought I had my time all scheduled out when Angie brought up the subject of body clipping. Just the sound of those two words makes me itch not to mention my concern about the horses with this odd winter we are experiencing. The severely fluctuating temperatures are bad enough with horses having a winter coat. I hate to think what it'll do to them if they're naked.

That leaves me in a quandary. I make decisions for my horses based on what is best for them. I have to be honest the thought of body clipping horses followed by plummeting temperatures does not sound "best" for any equine. Then seeing how sweaty these horses get during some of their workouts doesn't seem "best" either. There are definitely two sides to this coin.

Sooooooooo, I've been digging out extra blankets, hoods and sleazies checking to see what I've got and that it's in good working order. If all the parts are in place and the weather co-operates with mild enough temperatures to bathe and get the job done and life doesn't interfere with some wierd diversion, I'll probably be foregoing my dread of the great body clip itches and taking on this project.

I'd really hoped to just do show clips on their faces. I didn't even want to clip their ears because of the prospect of freezing temperatures. However, since many people can not see through winter hair, I guess I will have to grit my teeth and dive in. I doubt that Uncle Sam will respect my decision to do what is "best" for the horse in place of what is "best" for my business. Sometimes I sure wish I didn't have to deal with that tax man, that's for sure.

If it turns out that the hair comes off, I'll be taking pictures and doing a series of posts on the process of body clipping for the Arabian horse show circuit. I know I promised to do that quite a while back but the pictures did not turn out so I've been waiting for more "victims."

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  1. ooh...hard decision. It's such a strange time of year in between fuzzy and sleek for their coats. I don't have the skills to body clip anything (I can barely shave my own legs for god's sake) so I'd have no choice but to leave mostly fuzzy except for some simple clean-up around the edges. But you, you've got clipper talents! Hope the weather cooperates with you; and take those pictures while you go, if you clip. :)

  2. That is a tough one. I keep hoping we're done with the cold, but you never know.

    I'll be waiting for the posts about clipping. I got a really nice clipper at a deep discount when Seargent's went out of business. I was thinking of clipping my Boyz for the Texas summer. But I don't know how to do it. Then again, it sure seems like a whole lotta work, and I don't show my mutts. Part of me just wants to see what color Poco would be if I clipped him.

  3. I've simply been putting off doing an initial bridle path because I'm a sissy about the schooling part. If you can body clip youngsters, surely I can figure out how this training should go. I look forward to your pictures.

  4. Well I hate to be a party pooper but I so think you need to "show clip" the ones that you are showing. I think you are right in the fact that most people can't see past a fuzzy winter coat. Plus, as a buyer, if I were to come to your barn to see horses that are fuzzy and go to someone else's horses were not, I would assume that they other person puts more time into their horses. Wether that is true or not (and often it is not), it is just one of those things that you assume as a buyer. Like if someone puts in the little details like matching saddle pads and polos for each horse it makes me think that they must put more attention to detail into the horses training as well. Again, I know it is not always true, but it is just one of those mind games that we all play. And you know that you could really use a sale right now so why not just play into the fact that looks are important? That's just my 2 cents thrown in. I don't think the end of the world will come if you don't clip the sale horses, but I do think there is a chance it could give you the edge (I wouldn't worry about clipping the rest of the horses in work yet).

  5. You know MiKael, every time I read a post like this, I think....gee I'm glad I don't have any horses for sale.

    The riding/sweating is a problem, but I counter that with a fleece cooler covered by a blanket cinched around them. The cooler wicks the moisture right out of the hair and they are dry/warm in 15 to 20 minutes. I also use the same idea for when they come in from outside and are wet before I tack up.

    However, I also think you are correct when you say some people can't see through the hair.....and THAT is where I'm glad I am not selling anything.

  6. I agree with On the bit. You need to consider that another big show barn would do the same. You have to out class everyone to get the sale right now.

  7. just did a horse show here in mt saturday (woot woot... twas a good challenge) and we did clipping , braiding, tho not a super short all over body clip ... Alle's blanketed though. I dont think Winter's done with us tho... maybe may ? ")


  8. When I used to work and show Arabs we were based in MI and clipped their faces and legs only in the winter. It gave a 'longer' look to them but kept them warm still. However, we kept them blanketed too so their winter coats weren't too long to start.

    If your winter coats aren't too long you should consider this.

  9. I've never clipped mine, but I don't show, so it really doesn't matter. Hope it doesn't get too cold for them once they're trimmed! Good luck with this one!

  10. Hmmm.. too bad the people are scheduled in the winter, and not a little later in the year, when they have shed out and have that really short summer coat. That would save... having to shave! and the concern of shaving while it's still cold. I think where my horse is, it must be warming up, because he has already started to shed. The hair is coming out, just by me stroking his coat. I've taken clippers, with the attached piece, and shaved some goats, but a goat is between 100-200 lbs.. not a 1000 lb animal! lol. The pictures of the partially shaved faces.. definitely looks like very detailed shaving.. Good luck on deciding though. When are the people due? I think if you do shave, you'll probably do it a week before people are due to arrive! lol. Anyways, good luck Mikael!

  11. We never clipped past Valentines Day, because after that date the spring coat could be coming in. If you clip as the new hair is growing in you could potentially "fuzz" the ends of the new spring hair and not get a sleek show coat. I don't know if it actually happens this way but that is what Blair always said.