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Friday, 23 November 2018

How to Keep a Clipped Horse Warm While Being Ridden

Riding horses in winter mean worrying about your horse getting cold especially if he is clipped.  A horse is clipped in the winter because he sweats too much with a winter coat.  This means when he is not being ridden he will need rugs to stay warm.  This means when the horse is warming up and cooling down he needs extra warmth.

A clipped horse can get cold quickly!  

1.  Before Riding

Once I have tacked my horse up I will put his heavyweight stable rug on over the tack.  This is how I lead him up to the school and back down after I have ridden.  Even if you are going into a warm indoor school the weather on the way to the school will be way too cold for a clipped horse.

I also like to walk my horse around the indoor school for 5 minutes to walk him up before I take the heavyweight rug off.

Dapple Grey horse tied up outside a barn after being clipped

2.  Exercise Sheet

The next step is to take the heavyweight rug off and replace it with a fleece exercise sheet.  Once you have done this you need to get your horse moving.  So go straight to warming up.  This exercise sheet can be kept on for the whole ride if it is very cold but usually, you will take it off as your horse gets warm.

Bay horse's face being ridden with another bay horse being ridden in the background

3.  Cooling down

As you start to cool your horse down you need to keep checking how warm your horse is.  He will start to get colder quickly so as you cool down, put the exercise sheet back on.  Remember, it is still important to fully cool your horse down to keep him healthy but rugs will be needed.

Grey horse being ridden in a field surrounded by trees

4.  After Riding

After your horse is cooled down you will have to put the heavyweight stable rug back on.   Even if you don't think he needs it on, he is going to get cold very quickly.  If he is sweating, when you get him back to the stable, untack him and put a fleece on followed by the heavyweight rug until he has dried.

Bay horse being ridden by a rider wearing a red top


I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  


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