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Clipping the neck on an endurance horse for cooling

bo neckclip Clipping the neck on an endurance horse for coolingI was asked why I clipped the top part of my horses necks rather than the bottoms.  I’ll post a photo so it’s easy to see where I’ve clipped.

You know, I don’t know that I learned to clip this way from anybody — I just started doing it this way and it seemed to work rather well so I’ve kept doing it.

In the first photo you can see where Bo was clipped – it’s the same on both sides of his neck.  You can already see from this photo taken during the ride of Bo that the clip isn’t really all that noticeable though it does certainly show up more on a bay horse than on a fleabitten grey.  Bo got his partial neck clip just before the 20 Mule Team 100 and Chief got a full neck clip just before Cuyama.

When bay horses are clipped they always look like the color of a mouse to me!

chief sheds 300x225 Clipping the neck on an endurance horse for coolingThe reason Chief got more of a clip is because until this past weekend he had not been shedding at all and had a much thicker coat than Bo.  Bo started shedding before 20 Mule Team and I was able to brush quite a bit of hair out of him in the week before the ride.

I’ll post a photo of Chief that I took during his lunch vet check on Sunday at the NASTR Nevada Derby ride.  Look at the fur that came off of him – finally, yeah!

When my horses are going to rides where it is really warm and competing the partial neck clip helps them cool faster then when we come back home they don’t need to be blanketed for as long if at all.  I usually will braid the mane to allow more exposure to the clipped area and then after the ride undo the braids and the mane can help keep the neck warm when we are back home.

Doing a partial or full clip can really make a big difference in how they recover and handle competing in a warmer climate than they live in or during the different seasons.  Anyway, here is my response to the question about why I clip the top of their necks rather than the bottom with Dr. G’s below reply it:

>they dissipate a lot of heat through the tops of their necks and
>heads. When you sponge to cool them off it speeds up their recovery
>when you sponge over the clipped part. If you sponge over a thick
>coat it just heats up the wet hair, but if it’s clipped they cool
>down pretty fast. At least, that’s my theory and I’m sticking to
>it.

That’s actually pretty accurate physiologically.  I could have explained the
same thing, except it would have taken me three weeks, Power Point slides,
hand puppets and a Pictionary kit to do it.  But at least you would have
gotten college credit for it! <g>

sug

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