Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Perfect Pony and More On Clipping

It was another beautiful day in central North Carolina. Soggy arena or not, I was riding!

Today was "let's pretend we're western pleasure" day even though I don't own a western saddle anymore. Actually, I don't own a proper western bit either, but who cares? We totally pulled it off in our hunt seat bridle, complete with d-ring snaffle, hunt seat saddle, and half chaps. The trot-stop-back-trot exercises are fantastic for getting her really light and we accomplished many pitter-patter jogs in between the stops.

Overall, Lilly was excellent, although she was on high alert for emergency stop requests, so we had a few accidental stops (or ten). The "stop" part of the exercises is a great time to practice, though, and she will stop on a dime without any contact at all. A slight wiggle of my hips will send her backwards, and a light tap-tap of my leg will send her back into a jog.

I've really been working on finessing her cues and she is doing great. Now that she isn't anticipating my every request, I actually have time to ask her and have her respond properly and without any anxiety. She's even been picking up the correct lead 99% of the time, which is something we struggled with for a long time.

I'm telling you, the turn around since those shoes came off has been amazing.

Speaking of gorgeous weather, it was about 70 degrees today, so Lilly worked up quite a sweat. I'm still contemplating a clip of some sort, but I'm trying to decide what to do. I was originally thinking of doing a bib clip, but after seeing her sweat pattern today, I don't think that would be quite enough.

So I'm thinking about either a neck and belly clip:

Neck and belly...
Or maybe an apron clip:

Or if I get brave enough, a low trace clip:

Low trace...
I think I'm more worried about screwing up the clip and making her look like a ragamuffin than I am about anything else. We have a variety of blankets to choose from, along with a cooler, she has shelter in her pasture, and she has a stall in the barn if things get really cold, so temperature wise, the clip shouldn't make her uncomfortable. If we're going to be working this winter like I hope we are, (pretty please!!) she'll need a clip of some sort or I'll be cooling her out and drying her off for hours.

I borrowed those clip images from Peasridge. I had no idea there were so many styles!


  1. We played western pleasure today, too, but without a saddle or bridle at all (she did have a halter on lol). Who needs a western saddle to go western?

    I'm a terror with clippers. I can never stop once I get going and next thing you know a little bit of a trim turns into a naked horse with serious clipper tracks. Keep the clippers away from me!

  2. I'm having the same dilemma about clipping... I *think* I want to do a trace clip, but then we get into blanketing and all that... tough choice. Of course, Saga is starting to look like a woolly mammoth and it's going to be 80 for the next few days, and if I *don't* clip he's just going to stand there and sweat. Argh!

    I've seen a neat way to do a nice clip, by using masking tape to make a "line" to follow. I think I might try if I do decide to do a clip.

  3. If you clip, we want pictures!

  4. I haven't blanketed a horse in years and I am thinking that I will probably start this year and may even have to do a clip job when I go to AZ in January, so will be curious to see what you end up doing.

  5. The first year I had Milo he had your #2 clip. I wasnt sure how much I would be working him, but knew that was the number one spot where he sweat. The next time I clipped was last year, which was a bit more taken than the low trace, and now this year I obviously have a full body with him. But each year I moved up was only from knowing how we stood with the sweating the year before, and honestly assessing how much I would be riding. This year he is getting worked a regular 4 or 5 days weekly, and the full body clip is working well. For you, (and being green to clips) I would suggest #2 or #3. I think you might find with #1 that you arent getting enough from it.

  6. OH I wanted to add, I would advise against taking any belly hair off. At least for all of my blankets (no bellybands) Milo needs the warmth of the hair underneath where the blanket doesnt cover. Not to mention they dont really sweat on their belly anyways. I second that I want pictures if/when you clip!