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Weighing Your Decision

There are a few factors you should consider when deciding how to manage your horse's winter coat.

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First, determine what kind of riding you plan to do this winter. If you don’t have access to an indoor ring, does winter footing and weather limit you to walks down frozen roads for the next few months? If so, why clip at all? Those winter strolls won’t work your horse into a sweat, so you won’t have to worry about drying him off.

On the other hand, will you be moving to an indoor ring and riding actively all season? Then a full-body clip or hunter clip is probably in order. You’ll need to purchase several blankets to protect a fully clipped horse properly: a sheet and various stable rugs, which can be layered for changing conditions; a quarter-sheet to keep his back warm while riding on really cold days; and a turnout rug for outdoor protection.

But if you’re like most of us, your riding schedule probably fits somewhere in between these two extremes. And if your level of riding activity varies mightily according to the weather, a partial clip may be the perfect solution.

For more on partial clips, click here >>

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Reader Comments

Katie    Clarington, OH

9/28/2009 6:00:20 PM

good info

Ann    Redondo Beach, CA

10/15/2008 9:00:13 AM

As a first time horse owner living in southern CA in a very windy area, i was having a hard time figuring out what whether i should clip or not. This article was wonderful in helping me decide not to clip!

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