Monday, November 14, 2016

charlie pattern baldness

It's that time of year, folks! Maybe even a little late - seems like basically everyone who was gonna clip their horse has already gone on and done it.

Personally, I've never clipped my own horse before. Bc HAHA trick question, I've never had my own horse before lol. But now I do and he's allllll mine to play with his hair as much as I want. So there. Muahaha. (Yup, still feelin like a 12 yr old over here).

i think it suits him!
All the same tho, I wasn't convinced that we'd be clipping this year anyway. But it turns out that Charlie pretty consistently soaks his neck in sweat, even when we're not working particularly hard. Sometimes it's clearly from tension (the white foamy flecky stuff) tho thankfully that's only happened very occasionally and not in a few weeks as we've gotten to better know each other.

Mostly tho, he just, ya know. Sweats.

clip doesn't make him look all that much skinnier either!
His chest and girth groove get pretty sweaty too. Even with only mild to moderate work. Not so much in the hind quarters, and the sweat marks from his saddle brush out easily...

And since the season is upon us of overnight temperatures dipping into sheet or blanket territory, I've been dealing with that all-too-familiar situation of trying to dry my horse off before blanketing him for turnout.

new (to him) medium weight blanket! a little long but fits better around than expected! charlie obviously equates blanketing with nap time haha
So I conceded finally that maybe a conservative clip would be for the best. Nothing crazy bc the last thing I want is Charlie shivering off any weight... And we honestly have not gotten into anything I would consider 'serious work' for the horse.

It's basically all mental at this point, with the physical stuff being purposeful enough to help him build the right muscles, but still light enough for him to let go of the undesired racing muscles.

charlie always draws a crowd bc he's so stinkin cuddly lol. the barn managers tell me that sometimes they just pop into his stall for snuggle and hug breaks lol
Conservative was therefore the name of this game (esp since we can always go back later and take more off if he needs it). And actually, my impression on this subject was influenced by my earliest learning experiences with horses.

The farm where I learned to ride was fairly aggressively utilitarian (see, I got it from somewhere!) and would strictly clip what amounted to a square on the chest, and a rectangle where the flank met the hind limb - just the most minimal area to clip while still achieving the purpose of helping quick-dry sweaty spots.

These were obviously not clips meant to be beautiful, lol. But it got the job done!

call me biased but i also think he's a nice color clipped too - not too ashy or gray looking
And so Charlie would be clipped too. Except let's be real, I did actually want him to look handsome too :)

Which..... may explain why I opted to consign the task to one of the barn mgrs haha. And she did a LOVELY job, plus had nothing but nice things to say about Charlie afterward. The staff already liked the guy, but they maybe haven't spent a lot of one-on-one time with him.

dapper derp is dapper
I think she had a newfound appreciation for Charlie tho after this. I had given her full leeway to do whatever it took to keep it a safe and positive experience for everyone (up to and including administering cocktails as needed) but she said he was a doll - didn't care about his ears or belly or anything. And even lowered his head for her.

This horse, guys. He's by nature just a good spirit. But you can also really tell that so much of his behavior is a testament to his race training program. Charlie's manners are close to flawless, and he trusts without reservation. He has clearly been both loved, and taught civility.

goober face
Anyway. I think the mgr had a lot of fun hanging out and clipping him. As he ended up with a little more clipped than I expected - his entire face got done too! I had kinda figured she would just start at the poll and go down, but nope. She got his whole face, whiskers and ears and all.

Personally I would have preferred the ears be left fuzzy. But whatever, I had basically just gestured and made noises and pointed when I tried to describe the clip pattern I wanted (bc I don't know what any of the patterns are called lol), and she turned it into a very exact reality. The ear hair will grow back soon enough!

For now I'm just gonna enjoy the perma-dry neck hair and his handsomely clean-cut face ;)

What about you? How do you decide what and when to clip? Is it mostly a matter of aesthetic preferences to you? Or do you have specific reasons for choosing particular patterns? Does it vary from horse to horse? And do you clip yourself or hire out the task?

41 comments:

  1. Go Charlie!! It's so nice to have an easy horse to clip.

    I do a blanket clip on Stinker. Which I think is fugly but it reduces the heavy sweating while leaving the hair that doesn't get sweaty. It basically removes all the neck, the belly, and a strip on the hind legs.

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    1. I don't think those clips are ugly! That's probably what we would have ended up with had Charlie shown to sweat a lot on his hindquarters

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  2. My friend owns the clippers and so I pay her to clip & we guess patterns based of where the girls sweat most. I like to leave their legs, backs & half their faces because turnout & hacking in the woods so I don't want them getting cold and looking for fun ways to warm themselves up 😉

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    1. Ha yea seriously!! Next time I think I will specify to keep more hair on the face. It's not too cold here yet tho so it should be fine

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  3. I don't clip my horses because I'm fundamentally lazy and I don't work my horses terribly hard over the winter (nor are mine heavy sweaters). But oh my gosh Charlie looks so dapper with his new clip! What a perfect descriptor for him 😁 and yay for solid track training giving him such a good basis (reinforced by you) making a very solid citizen!

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    1. I'm definitely impressed with his track manners! And agree on the lazy part - had clipping not been a service offered by my barn I'm not sure I would have done it lol

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  4. Aw Charlie looks great with his new haircut, and what a joy that he's easy to clip! Dino has a similar style right now, but I may have to change it to a trace clip if it doesn't get consistently chillier here soon; he's been sweating a lot in his flank area and taking foreverrrr to dry. But. I'm also lazy and don't want to clip him again yet!

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    1. for your sake i *almost* want the weather to cool down... except i'm really enjoying temperatures right now!! tho even tho i'm not a member of the chestnut club any more i think it's cute that our horses still match in some ways ;)

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    2. I know it's really PERFECT riding weather! At least waiting for pony to dry gives me time to feed him dinner and clean tack?? We need a picture of Charlie and Dino in their matching sparkle hats! :D

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    3. or just a picture of them together at all!!! (sparkle hats a definite bonus tho!)

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  5. Chuckles and Henry have almost the same haircut.

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    1. now that i have a clipped horse i'm actually noticing the types of clips other ppl are choosing too - and it's reassuring to see similar styles and rationales on horses doing the type of work that i hope charlie will continue to grow towards!

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  6. Non-clipper over here. Bird is a redneck horse and he lives a redneck life with 24-7 turnout (bank barn available to be out of the wind) and no blanketing. Fortunately, he doesn't work very hard in the winter (ground frozen, rider frozen) and so we get by without clipping. I am aiming him at a fairly leisurely 30 in late April 2017, though, so he may be under-the-neck-clipped at the end of February this year. However, for Dec/Jan/Feb he definitely needs all of his fur.

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    1. yea isabel never needed clipping either and that was just fine with me (even tho we did in fact work through the winter). i'm thinking tho that with how care is organized at charlie's barn, and the fact that we have an indoor, this conservative clip will be just fine

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    2. I'm looking forward to following your indoor progress! So excited, and obvs, for more work there needs to be clipping.

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  7. We typically clip around this time at our barn because we only want to clip once and not mulitple times a season! Glad he was good for the clipping!

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    1. gotcha - that makes sense! i'm hoping he just needs one clip for the season too!

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  8. He looks totally adorable and what a good boy letting his whole face get clipped! One of my trainers clips for me and I let her do what she wants. She leaves ears fuzzy for winter (but mercilessly clips them in summer). Otherwise she kind of wings it. She told me she meant to leave some of Odin's back furry but got distracted and did the whole thing.

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    1. ha i can totally see how that might happen too! just keep clipping and clipping and suddenly all the hair is gone!

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  9. I never clipped before we got Meyla-the-walking-fur-ball. I to buzz her down regularly in the milder seasons or she gets pretty hot doing nothing! Let me say, hats off to people who can do a nice clip job because it is way harder to make it pretty than I ever imagined!

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    1. yea i only tried to body clip a horse once. ONCE. and am totally fine with consigning the task to someone else for now lol

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  10. Charlie is such a gem!!

    For the last 3 winters, Gina's gotten clipped as soon as her winter coat has started to grow in. She's a heavy sweater, and in this mild weather, she is miserable with her full coat of winter hair! Three winters ago I did a high trace clip, but last year and this year she's got a hunter clip (for obvious reasons). She's surprisingly good about it and never bats an eye even when I'm clipping her belly, or ears, or face.

    Moe's also a heavy sweater, but he hasn't gotten clipped in the last couple of years because I don't do much with him over the winter. His lesson kids know to throw a cooler on him if he gets sweaty, but half the time his rides are easy enough that he doesn't need it!

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    1. ha lucky Moe! seems like the lesson kids take good care of your big guy ;) i feel for Gina too tho. i'd be miserable in a full coat in those warm temperatures too!

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  11. I love Charlie so much and I've never even met him. Loved and taught civility -- that is wonderful.

    It has been so hot here in California that even clipped horses are standing in their stalls sweating. It's crazy! And since I clipped Murray so early and he has grown QUITE a bit of coat in the interim, he's in even worse shape. Our second clipping will come sooner than I anticipated, I think. Probably the week after Thanksgiving.

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    1. oy what a bummer to hear it has been so warm! we've been having such the perfect autumn that i can't imagine still dealing with that kind of heat!

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  12. I'm more of a clip the whole horse person, but mostly because if Val is getting clipped, it's for shows and in hunter/jumper land you really don't see much else at shows. Not around here anyway. He's a healthy sweater, but he's also really fit and just doesn't sweat much in the winter when it's actually cold so I don't usually bother otherwise. Especially because he lives out. Of course, I may have to do something if our temperatures insist on not dropping, because he's turning into a yak, which is rough when it's still in the 70s. I also just think that a fully clipped horse looks so nice, and trace clips and such can grow in funny.

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    1. lol yea i've definitely seen some funny looking coats when things grow in different colors or whatever! that makes sense for only really clipping for showing. i'm honestly less worried about charlie's appearances at present just bc it feels like it's going to be a LONG time before we do anything requiring a very beautiful presentation lol, so for now the utilitarian approach will suit.

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    2. Oh I forgot to add that Val is also a total a-hole about body clipping so a full clip is the easiest way to make sure I don't have to go back and do more. I just knock him out once and get it done. Lol. I definitely can see where in Charlie's case it isn't necessary.

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    3. ha poor persnickety Val! pretty sure i have a few friends whose horses fall into that same category of 'get in there, get it done, and get out' too!!

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  13. I tried to get away with a really simple bib clip with Bobby since he's barely doing anything, but no. Apparently even walking drenches him in sweat. Now I'm very impatiently waiting for all my blades to get back from sharpening so I can take it ALL off. LOVE NAKED HORSES.

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    1. there's something so satisfying about a fully clipped horse tho!!!

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  14. I just gave Duke a bib clip and it'll spread into a blanket clip or an Irish clip for most of the winter. He's out 24/7 so I want his legs and face left, and with his age and issues I like to keep his back and hindquarters covered. I think I'll do the Irish (like Charlie!) and can always change it to a blanket if needed. Although straight lines are my nemesis with clipping! Charlie looks adorable and what a good boy for the clippers!!!

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    1. that makes sense for Duke too! i definitely like leaving fuzz on where possible (like legs and face) and will likely specify next time to leave the face fuzzy

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  15. I don't clip often because my horses live out but I like a nice blanket clip. (& I do it myself because $$)

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    1. yea i hear ya. probably eventually i'll get my own clippers and learn to do it too... just bc i am ultimately the kind of person who appreciates saving money like that. but for right now this worked out just fine!

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  16. Nilla gets a full clip because I hate grooming and it's so much easier when she doesn't have a woolly mammoth coat. I would shave more of Eugene, but he tries to kill us. I shaved some of Levi, but I haven't bought him a blanket so I can't do a full clip yet.

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  17. I clip myself because there isn't any other choice! Q won't get clipped. Stan probably won't get clipped, and Griffin might get clipped depending on how the winter goes. I will do a clip similar to Charlie's if I do clip. It'll be slightly more conservative. I always start with neck and the juglar area and then move out as needed.

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  18. Chimi is about to get a similar clip to Charlie's :) The Irish clip seems to be all the rage this year! Hahaha

    I was always taught to wait till around thanksgiving to clip so you had a better chance of only clipping once during the winter. But if you had something going on earlier that they needed to be clipped for then you better clip early :)

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  19. Bravo Charlie! Looking good!
    I just clipped Cosmo for the second time. He got a full body clip in Sept as he was already sporting a heavy down jacket and Hi, we live in San Diego. A couple weeks ago it was time for round 2, but the weather is being weird (read: 85+ during the day, and as low as 50 at night) so I didn't want to do another full body clip and have to deal with blankets yet (there is someone at the barn to take on and off, but with the high heat, I didn't want him to have to wear it while it was still warm out when they left the barn). He is super sweaty on his neck and shoulder, so I went with the ever-stylish front clip. I may have made it up, but I clipped from the girth forward, minus his face. He looks like a weirdo in high-wasted pants and no shirt when he's not in his flysheet or tacked up. But that just kinda goes with his gig. I'll probably do a front clip and trace in Dec or may just do his whole body as we SHOULD be in blanket season by then. And he'll probably need one more clip in the early spring.

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  20. I think his clip job looks snazzy! Glad he's so good to clip!

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