I’ve gone through a lot of different philosophies through my many years of owning horses. While I would ideally love to let the horse live as naturally as possible, the truth of the matter is that my current horse does not live at all like a natural horse and I’ve got to keep that in mind when dealing with his living arrangements. And that includes clipping and blanketing.
I grew up in Minnesota and winters were very cold. My first horse, Sheena, grew the perfect amount of winter coat and never had much of a problem. The first winter I owned her, she lived in a heated barn at night and went out with a blanket on during the day. The second winter she lived out all the time (with lots of trees for wind break and shelter) and didn’t wear a blanket at all. But I also didn’t ride as hard as I ride Dandy now and she didn’t need to be clipped. In fact, none of the horses at my barn were clipped.
When I got Dandy, he was not in work and had been living outside in the Minnesota winter. It was a particularly cold winter if not overly snowy and Dandy grew a very very thick coat. Much thicker than he needed in Nevada.
I didn’t plan to blanket him that year and in fact, when the BO tried to put a lightweight sheet on him the morning before a particularly cold night, I came out to find him drenched in sweat underneath it. But later in the year, we had some bad storms and he had already lost a lot of that fuzz so I caved and bought him a light weight blanket:
The next year, I clipped Dandy for the first time as he was in part time training for most of the winter. He just got a trace clip so he mostly wore the same light weight blanket I had bought him in the spring but there were some nights that were too cold for that and in came the medium weight blanket:
Those two blankets should have been all I needed. If we had stayed in Nevada. But, as you all know, we moved up north to the Emerald City where it rains all the time. Our winters don’t get that cold up here, at least compared to what both Dandy and I are used to that is (Minnesota) but they are super wet. So I had to buy a rain jacket for Dandy:
You see, this year I decided to do a full clip on my furry monster. Just in time for a cold snap to come in. Ugh. Had I been prepared, I would have done my due diligence and found a good deal on a heavy weight blanket for Dandy during the summer. Instead I was forced to hunt one down over the weekend. I do have to admit he looks pretty dashing though!