Monday, November 9, 2020

insta-sporty, just add racing stripes

This past weekend was lovely. For, ahem, a few reasons. One of which was the gorgeous sunny skies with temps in the low 70s.

behold! my broodmare!!
Charlie didn't really share my appreciation for the weather, tho. Homeboy has fluffed up in.... hm, a few different dimensions haha. Lately he's taken on the texture and consistency of a grizzly bear preparing for hibernation. 

squeaky slick clean <3 <3
The poor horse was basically cooking inside all that wool and lard, lol. Literally in a lather just standing out in his field. 

i swear he looked massively majestic right before i snapped this pic
Tho that pic of him sweating is actually pretty instructive -- as it shows quite clearly why I always choose an Irish (or bib) clip for Charlie. He sweats aggressively on his neck, chest and shoulders, but honestly not really much anywhere else.

gosh i <3 that dopey face
And so, obviously now seemed like a good time to get that done for him. Meaning -- time to outsource it haha.

large horse = lots of real estate to cover
Clipping seems like a task I'd probably enjoy and not be too terribly bad at.... But eh. It's so easy to just pay a friend $75 once a year lol, compared to dealing with maintaining my own clippers and worrying about sharpening blades etc etc. 

i swear he lives for this sort of attention
Maybe one year I'll decide to go for it.... But for now, this is much easier. Plus -- unlike in past years, I actually got to watch this time around!! 

And.... Damn, there is something so so satisfying about watching a horse get clipped LOL!


It helped that Charlie was freshly bathed, too, since we planned the occasion around the forecast. In years past I've ended up waiting maybe a bit too long, and then had to deal with trying to get Charlie into some semblance of "Clean" in frigid temps. (Recall, our wash stall is outdoors with no hot water...).

love that milk mustache that only shows up with his winter coat!!
I've been told again and again that the biggest difference maker in a successful clip is in the preparation: Clean horse, and Sharp blades. 

So. Charlie got two days in a row of bathing, to really ensure all his sweat and grease and grime was cleared out (since I honestly don't really bathe much otherwise).

charlie likes to be helpful
Then my friend, who did the clipping, liberally spritzed his whole body with Cowboy Magic shine spray -- and got to work!

The shine spray exists basically to act as an additional lubricant so that the clippers slide effortlessly through the coat. The faster and smoother this process, the better quality of each cut and less likely the clippers are to overheat.

mmm satisfying
I like to do an Irish clip for a few reasons. Specifically -- what I mentioned earlier about how it aligns with Charlie's sweat patterns. But also, it's honestly pretty fool proof -- plus, it looks sporty as hell in my humble opinion. 

such a goofy horse
I like to be fairly aggressive with taking hair off the neck and shoulders, then it's more or less a line down to the stifle. 

No fussy curved shapes or long straight lines to deal with. And you don't really have to worry overmuch about whether each side of the horse matches. Plus there's still plenty of hair left over to help keep the horse warm.

all done!! sadly we ran out of sunlight for beauty shots -- but soon enough!
And ya know. I happen to think it's a pretty good look for Chuck haha. Which... Well, let's be honest, he needs all the help he can get right now. Resident trainer P observed that he looks like a hammock at the moment... Ugh. Dad bod 3.0, I guess....

But ya know. He was kinda nqr for a while, and then I twisted my ankle..... plus all the requisite 2020 listlessness and ennui, and.... eh, Charlie's been out of work for like a solid month at this point. But. Idk. For some strange reason (can't for the life of me figure out why), I'm feeling a little bit better about things, all of a sudden. 

So, esp now that Charlie's got his season-appropriate hairdo -- it's time to leg each other back up again and see what's really what.

Anyone else doing anything to prepare for the changing seasons? Are you clipping your horse? What pattern do you like to do -- or any tried 'n true tips or tricks for making the clipping experience easy breezy beautiful? Or, maybe you're still feeling like just hunkering down for the rest of the year, come what may? 



29 comments:

  1. Charlie looks great. I've been trying to decide what type of clip to give Nay Nay. Like Charlie, he sweats. But, I don't know how he's really going to be this winter in full work. A frame trace was suggested, but that seems too advanced for my skills. An Irish could be good, but I worry about taking too much hair off. So maybe a low Irish/chaser? So less drastic but still takes hair off neck/chest but less elsewhere. I was also considering a strip clip, but I don't think that's enough. The canter just causes so much sweating right now. I worry about a sweaty horse in the winter.

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    1. yea, sounds like Nay might be a bit like Charlie with the emotional sweating too haha. like, charlie doesn't have to be working hard to be sweating. he's just... a sweaty sort of dude. so the clip works for him. i tend to be pretty aggressive on his neck and shoulder, but you could always try much more conservative lines -- the clip doesn't even have to go all the way to the stifle, i've seen it just get up to around the girth area. plus, you can always take off more hair later if your pattern choice ends up not being enough. at least you're lucky that your horses are out back so you can be pretty tailored with blanketing. that's the one downfall of having charlie live so far from me (at a farm that doesn't offer blanketing services...).

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    2. Definitely appreciate the ability to change blankets whenever I need to! He already goes out in the winter with a neck rug because he's a wimp (he has a medium and heavy w/ neck plus another medium and a liner and 2 50s plus a sheet). But, the SECOND he canters, he sweats. I rode on Saturday and we trotted forever, jumped around (trotting in), and he didn't sweat at all despite the 73 degrees and sun. I cantered at the end of my ride. 3 times each direction plus 3 fences. DRENCHED. The second we canter he sweats. So some of it is anxiety sweat. I'll definitely start conservatively and be more aggressive if needed. My trainer doesn't think I need to clip, but she's not dealing with my sweaty horse!

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    3. lol what even is "need" when it comes to horses???? i'm all about the "want" these days, if we're being perfectly honest ;)

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  2. Charlie is the cutest. He looks so nice all clipped up! I clip Copper in the spring when he starts shedding. Dude has A LOT of hair. lol I'm going to try your clipper's tricks of bathing and cowboy magic spray next time!

    I'm just hunkering down for the eventual cold weather. We've had unseasonably warm temps lately, so I just have all my blankets ready to go and the trough heater standing by!

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    1. isn't he just so freakin adorable?? i love how he looks in this clip haha -- here's hoping he doesn't poof out of it in like two weeks flat, like he did last year.... and yea, the bathing + cowboy magic (or show sheen) is definitely a great trick for keeping it fast and easy!! sounds like it's nice that you haven't been hit too bad by the cold yet, tho i'm sure it's coming... knowing this year, it'll probably be pretty miserable too, sigh!

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  3. Man, that gif was extremely satisfying. Moreso because that hair isn't all over me :-)

    My three are in the process of getting their second - yes, SECOND - clips yesterday and today. Joys of mountain life!

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    1. yeesh, that's a lot of clipping haha.... the idea of just clipping one horse maybe once or twice a year is attractive enough that i think i could do it, but maybe not quite economical enough to pull me away from outsourcing. tho, on the other hand, if i had a set up like yours, who knows, maybe i'd be clipping all the time??? charlie certainly would have preferred i got around to this round sooner LOL...

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  4. I usually did an Irish clip with Bobby. I tried it the first year I had Opie and we blanketed him up for his naked half during a polar vortex and his hairy half got hot and sweaty and he came up with horrendous rain rot from it. So now he goes fully naked. Or fully hairy this year if he decides to never be sound again.

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    1. to be perfectly honest with you, if i had a gray horse i'd do a full body clip too. bc.... fuck that LOL.

      also tho, ugh, dopie :( plz be sound, buddy!! these horses.... charlie's all aboard the "rehab" train too, i'm hoping i can just sorta will him into soundness by the sheer force of my own stubbornness (and possibly bank account.... ugh)

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  5. There is nothing more glorious than a clean, freshly clipped horse! I used to do all my own clipping since my elderly pony needed to be done at least 2-3 times a year. For once a year, it's totally worth the money to not spend 3 days picking short, sharp hairs out of literally everywhere.

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    1. lol honestly that's kinda where i'm at haha... also, like it doesn't seem like a very complicated task but i also have about zero experience with it. this was the first year i got to really watch the whole thing tho and i asked a lot of questions etc so maybe eventually i'll switch to doing it myself. maybe. lol....

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    2. I'm not very good at it, but I just pretend and make it up as I go. Hayley was the first horse I ever clipped and I clipped her because she had a crappy coat one winter and skin crud and she just was so much more comfortable with a clip. Most tolerant mare ever. With Batt, he just sort of dealt with me guessing as I took off random amounts of hair. He didn't tie so I ground tied so my lines were sometimes REALLY bad, but whatever. Best part of backyard horses? clip lines don't matter. Jiminy has been interesting. Thickest coat ever and has killed some of my clippers and required the most heavy duty clippers ever, but they're so big for a tiny pony. But, I'm gotten a lot of practice with him. And Subi... Clipped him for the first time this summer and he's perfect once he gets over the fight. Stands the best (ground tied) of any of them. We'll see about Nay. The more you do, the easier it gets. I'll be honest, full clips are easier than everything else. I hate anything that I have to worry about straight lines. But chalk is your friend (I was usually way too lazy to use with Batt). The difference between and good clip and and bad clip is about a week so if you really screw up, it'll look better pretty quickly.

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    3. lol katie said the same thing about the difference between a good clip and a bad clip, tho she said 2 weeks, not 1. tho... i reminded her that i legitimately cut my horse's mane with scissors so..... it's ALL RELATIVE around these parts! lol...

      and yea, the chalk bit is useful too -- i'm pretty sure katie used chalk for her lines on charlie. it was helpful having two of us tho so we could more easily mark out relative landmarks on each of charlie's sides to get closer to a mirror image from side to side.

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  6. I do a trace clip on Gav and that covers most of his sweaty spots. I also have to clip his face (I just do the cheeks) because weirdly that's where get gets rain rot. It isn't particularly flattering. :)

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    1. ewww Gav haha, face fungus is the actual pits... we clipped charlie's cheeks, jaw and chin this go-round too, tho it's hard to tell in the pics above. you can see it in the video tho. it's so nice to get all that beard and goat hair out of there!

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  7. I looove clipping horses, theres nothing better than a freshly clipped horse, and its so fun to see the clipped color vs their normal coats. We usually clip L for the winter, he channels his inner canadian to the max and you can literally bury a hand in the fluff. My trainer does it herself, he can be a jerk about his legs, and we do a trace clip+ his legs and neck, but this year we're trying to go all natural as long as we can. Part of me hopes we do clip him because he turns this pretty mouse grey where he's clipped.

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    1. i kinda love watching the whole process unfold too, and was so excited i got to watch this time (even tho it meant sorta kinda breaking the rules about being at the barn during covid closure hours... oops). and good luck with the going natural, it's been so unseasonably warm! fwiw i always skip charlie's legs, other than some scissor snipping around the fluffiest parts of his fetlocks, and it works out pretty well...

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    2. Oh my gosh I know, its supposed to be 78 this afternoon in Ma! I've had to go light on days it's super warm, he sweats buckets on those days and it takes me a while to cool out. L's legs turn into stove pipes if we don't clip them. He has feathers, and while they aren't horrid in the summer, his boots don't fit in the winter because of how much hair he gets.

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    3. ooooh feathers..... in theory i love feathers and think they're so pretty. in reality tho??? yea hahaha i'd clip them all off too LOL

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  8. I love grizzly bears! He also looks handsome all clipped up, too.
    I give Mo a full body clip 3-4 times a year. Especially with how hot it stays here and how early he grows his coat (Labor Day is clip #1) it's easier to just get it all. I started clipping him wet this year which has been nice in that I don't have to wait 2 hours for him to dry and that the hair doesn't fly into my face nearly as much.

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    1. i was trying to remember who had written about clipping wet recently -- thanks for jogging my memory! my friend katie (who did this clip) seemed to agree that it was totally fine to get in on the clip while the horse was still damp from the bath. she said her biggest issues were if they were damp from sweat or some other grime. also i guess she has some sort of magical clippers that don't shoot hair into her face LOL

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  9. I am amazed at the cheapiness of clipping, $75!! Most grooms charge $150 here which if you clip twice is the cost of 1 pair of good clippers and you are good to go, or you can have a friend like Carey and borrow hers and buy her burritos for sharpening her blades ;)

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    1. dude, prices around here are so much different than other areas. i think it's bc we have so so so SO MANY professionals in such a small dense region that prices are fairly well suppressed -- there's always someone willing to do it cheaper! that said, this cost is just for a partial clip. full body clips are more like $100+. i also tend to always try to hire out my buddies to do it, tho i've also used professionals in the past too.

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  10. I've gotten super allergic to um... well... horses. So I too outsource clipping these days. Mine aren't clipped yet. Shiny is probably going to be the first to have to get done. Ponies. So fluffy.
    Charles looks great with his new 'do! Dad bod and all.

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    1. ha aw, thanks. poor guy is just a tad robust right now, to say the least... ugh i can't imagine being allergic to the horses, tho apparently it's super super common. who knew!!

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  11. Clipping makes sense and I bet he feels better. I don't typically do it because our winter work is pretty haphazard. I may have regrets this year, we'll see.

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  12. I'm also impressed by $75. My barn charges $150 which I personally think is a fair price given how big my horse is and how long it takes, plus they include a bath before clipping so really that should be added into the time they spend. They also have a ton of different blades and do a beautiful job of blending it all in.. so while I shave Prince myself I don't mind paying $150 for a much better clip than I could do, especially with the time involved!

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  13. Bird lives a blanket-free life so he needs his floof. This is a bit of a challenge for maintaining fitness, but last year we did OK with buffness-through-lateral-work and I am hopeful that this year we can do the same. (Last winter-to-spring, he moved up a tree size in his saddle and also got compliments from dressage clinician on the beefiness of his neck and his overall musculature.) We'll see how the snow and ice cover goes...

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