As astronomically autumn as it may be in the northern hemisphere, here in Texas the weather can’t let go of summer. And yesterday it got up to NINETY THREE DEGREES. In late October. It happens. Knowing this had been forecast, I bathed Eli on Thursday evening, in the hopes of carving out a few hours on the weekend to body clip him. He had the triple-whammy of warm temperatures, a fur coat, and the side effects of a flu/rhino booster on Friday so I mainly babied him that day and took him on a long walk so he wouldn’t end up too stiff from the jab. (I had the foresight to take Friday off work not solely to baby Eli, but I knew that I may have needed a day to recover myself from watching Villeneuve’s Dune the night before.)
Saturday morning rolled around so I headed out to the barn to clip, hoping to finish up around 2pm. I let Eli out into one of the condos so he could move around for a little while, while I got organized. He took it as an opportunity to roll, which mostly wasn’t too problematic except in a few random spots that wound up jamming my blades a bit, but they are easy enough to un-jam.
So Eli, being the non-showing type of horse currently, got a hunter clip. I also left his face fuzzy, but I am not sure that’s going to stay that way. I used the Wahl KM10s with two Wahl 10 blades and an Andis T-84 blade (not my favorite but it works well for Eli’s belly). Because I did not have to clip his legs and left his face for later, I finished earlier than I expected to, and got him clipped in about an hour and a half total. He did get about a 20 minute lunch break, but it gave me a chance to really clean all three sets of blades and oil up the clippers again. I rinsed him off after the clip and he dried quickly. He seemed altogether more comfortable, too. I was able to leave the barn around 1pm instead of 2pm, although now I do not even remember what I did with the rest of my Saturday. I think I watched The Omen in keeping with the holiday spirit?
The to-clip-or-not-to-clip debate may rage on in some areas but in Texas I CANNOT imagine NOT body clipping at this point in my life. Even in the dead of winter, we could have a randomly hot day here and there, and for a horse with a job (even an easy one), the clip makes it much easier to cool down the horse and has hygienic benefits, too (less sweaty, icky, matt-y hair = fewer skin funks). I do like the hunter clip for Eli because he tends to bang his legs up a bit in turn out, and the shaggy hair offers some degree of protection against at least the minor scrapes and bruises.
I keep hoping it will get cool enough that he can have a break from wearing his fly boots, but maybe that is magical thinking in central Texas? We haven’t even put the sheets on the stalls yet where I board Eli.