In general I am fine with that since she lives outside and I have zero interest in playing the blanket game. What worried me was traveling down to Florida in April for a ride. If she didn't start shedding her coat out soon, she might be too warm down there. The thought of clipping her briefly flitted through my mind, but I don't own any clippers and have zero interest investing that much into something I would probably use once or twice ever.
After seeing how incredibly hot Gem got during the Sunday ride, when the temperatures didn't even reach peak for the day, I knew something had to be done. I couldn't possibly ask her to go 20 miles at any decent pace when the weather looked to only warm up over the next week. So, I formulated a plan to talk to the BO about using her clippers or having her clip Gem at some point soon.
Sometimes the Universe really does listen because as I led Gem into the barn to brush her out, there was the BO clipping her gelding in the wash rack. I asked her if there was any way she would be willing to clip Gem for me. I informed her that Gem had never been clipped in the 6 years I have owned her and that, knowing her prior situation, I doubted she had been clipped the 2 years preceding those. Her reaction to the clippers was completely up in the air, although in general, if it isn't bare wood staring her down, she is reasonable about things.
This was a great time to do it since a) she was tired from the ride and b) she was just about as clean as she was going to get.
The BO somewhat hesitantly agreed and we discussed what type of clip. The temperatures are still dropping into the 40s at night, so I didn't want her too bald. BO recommended an Irish clip, but after looking at what that all entailed I was concerned about stripping her girth area. Gem isn't the most sensitive horse out there, but she can rub if I don't lube her up and I would hate to cause a girth gall due to clipping her. In the end we just sort of made up our own plan to remove the hair from her jugular and chest, but then come up and include the shoulders as well for extra heat dissipation.
Dusty was at his clinic picking up supplies to pull for her Coggins, so I called and asked him to grab some Ace just in case. We were standing around waiting, when a student came for her lesson. I'm not sure what changed the BOs mind about waiting on the Ace, but she suggested we go ahead and try it out.
She ran the clippers on low and I gave Gem
The more hair that fell off, the more Gem relaxed and by the time she was finished Gem was looking like she really enjoyed the process. I was so proud of her that I forgot my annoyance at her riding behavior and gave her a million pats, rubs and kisses.
She looks a little odd with the clip job, but I know she will be way more comfortable riding. Some hair will grow back before the ride, but it shouldn't be enough to create a problem. I was also super pleased with how shiny she was under all that winter dust. She really is coming back into her own on this new feed. I can't wait until her summer coat is in!!!
|She was nearly falling asleep when she was being clipped.|
|The right side. A little unusual clip job, but it removes the hair from the areas she retains heat and still gives her protection from all her tack.|
|Look how shiny she is!!!!|
|I knew how shitty the nutrition at the old barn was, but I couldn't do anything about it. Seeing the change in her on the TC Senior makes me want to go back in time and move her sooner but what can you do? Live and learn.|