Trace Clipping Your Horse During the Winter

by Katie F on January 9, 2013

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Trace ClippingDoes your horse sweat a lot when he is ridden during the winter? Although it is normal for a horse to sweat when he is exercising, it can take a long time for a horse to dry off when he has a thick winter coat. A good way to fix this problem is to trace clip your horse. My horse grew a very thick coat this fall, and he would sweat a lot during normal exercise. To help keep him cooler during exercise while still allowing my horse to have some hair cover for the winter temperatures, I decided to do a trace clip on him. There are a few different types of partial clips one can do, but they all involve leaving some winter hair on the horse so that he can still be protected in freezing temperatures.

This was the first year I chose to give my horse a partial clip, and I decided to give him a low trace clip. A low trace clip is where the bottom part of a horse’s neck, barrel, and hindquarters are clipped, leaving the rest of the horse’s body covered in winter hair. I’m glad I clipped my horse because he sweats a lot less now, so it does not take as long for him to dry off after exercise.

A high trace clip is similar to a low trace clip, except that the shaven part of the horse continues further up on the horse’s barrel, hindquarters, and neck; and the horse’s head is either partially or fully clipped. Another partial clip one can do is the blanket clip where only the horse’s legs and the upper half of his back and hindquarters are left un-clipped. The hunter clip is a partial clip in which the only parts of the horse left un-clipped are the legs and a patch of hair under the saddle area. I’ve also seen where a horse has just the bottom part of his neck and the underside of his belly clipped, which works well for horses in light work during the winter.

What kinds of clipping patterns have you done that have worked well to reduce the amount your horse sweats during the winter?

Close up of low trace clipping

Close up of low trace clipping

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Katie, the daughter of Dr. Race Foster, has been riding horses since she was six. She participates in the sport of dressage, and is currently attending college, focusing on equine studies. In 2011, along with her horse - George - she placed third at Nationals, and finished the year as the number one ranked Young Rider at the Prix St. George level for the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) year end awards.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chris December 9, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Link to YouTube videos that demonstrate (a) Hunter (b) Blanket (c) Trace clips

http://horse-clips.co.uk/2011/10/how-to-clip-your-horse-video/

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