Well folks, it's that time again. With T-minus eight days until we ship back to Painesville it's time to bid farewell to Johnny's fluffy winter coat and say hello to body clipping!
The always wonderous wolly mammoth already got a chaser clip when his coat first exploded into roughly three feet of hair way back in October, but I was reluctant to clip him further when I knew he was just going to be coming home and sitting in a field for a month over winter break. Why cause more work for myself changing blankets and worrying if he's warm enough when I'm not even riding him right? With his full winter coat, I can sleep better knowing that he's not shivering to death in his stall or out in the field. It was a good decision on my part, because the last few days here have been miserably cold. I believe the temperature was dwindling somewhere around 4 degrees the night before last.
The good news is that yesterday and today the temps went back up into the low-mid thirties (yay heat wave!) and therefore both Emmy (who wasnt blanketed at all this year until it got down into the teens) and Johnny went naked today to enjoy the warmer temperatures. Johnny's hair has all grown back in where he was orignally clipped and let me just say that his hair sure does grow in the wierdest patterns. Only his winter coat for that matter. For example, "normal" horses hair grows downward on the neck, so that when you brush from the head down to the shoulder, you are brushing the hair flat, correct? And so does Johnnys, in the summer time. In the winter though, his hair grows backwards up his neck so that in order to brush it flat, you have to brush from the shoulder up the neck to the head. His hair also does this along the top of his back, where is suddenly changes directions and also grows up, from haunches to withers, instead of down.
This horse is so weird.
Needless to say, it makes body clipping him very interesting, especially since he has roughly the attention span of a three year old child, which means that total body clipping is a lengthy process that takes 3 or 4 days to accomplish, all the while with Johnny looking like he got in a fight with a blender.
Emmy on the other hand, will continue to stay fuzzy and naked even though she is going to stay up a college for a couple months. I made that mistake last year, leaving a blanket on her while I was away and it never really got taken off...poor horse had indents in her hair from the edges of the blanket.
What is everyone's views on blanketing and/or clipping? How do you deal with your horses winter hair?