I asked the question about a week ago, "To clip or not to clip?" I spent a good hour and a half brushing the boys that day. Hair and dirt and dander flying in the air. They were a mess. It had me pondering if I should go ahead and clip them.
I will say they cleaned up pretty well:
I wasn't able to get the deep ground in dirt along their spines. The tricky part is, it was well hidden under thick hair. It seemed there wasn't much hair along there, but when I clipped them, it was pretty mind blowing just how long and thick that hair was! The clippers had a hard time cutting through all that hair and dirt and dander. And, the ponies were super sensitive along there, which tells me the dirt was making them sore. (sometimes I really feel for the wild horses who can't reach along their spines well. they must be so itchy and miserable at certain times of the year!)
I waited about a week, until our weather felt like it had shifted. If you live in the northern states, you will know what I'm talking about. There is a different feeling in the air in the spring and fall. This tells you if you are on the upswing into warmer weather, or on the down swing into wintery weather. I felt this shift on Friday. So clipped on Sunday. It was 80 degrees out, very little wind. The perfect day for clipping and bathing.
(I am very allergic to horses, ponies, dirt, dander, dogs, cats, hay, grass, strong smells like perfume and some sprays that make ponies shiny, some food... you get the picture. My Handsome Hubby says I'm allergic to the air and he is not wrong! So clipping is very difficult for me. I wore a long sleeved sweat shirt to protect my arms but still had tons of hives. My legs were covered in hives, but I couldn't wear pants in that heat. LOL! I was sweating as it was!)
I used an old pair of Oster clippers my mom had when she raised Shetland ponies. That was about 40 years ago... They still run! They are loud, but boy do they get the hair off, fast. I think they are an older version of these, Clipmasters. Then, I did clean up with the little Osters I have, for trimming bridle paths and clipping my two dogs.
I have never fully body clipped Zorro. He has been trace clipped since he was a yearling but never a full body clip. Oliver has been body clipped twice, I believe. Both times before he came to live with me. I trace clipped him last year. I was super proud of how they both handled the clipping. Zorro cocked a hind foot and took that time to nap. Oliver had his say about a few things but settled when I just ignored the behavior I didn't want, and treated him when he was quiet.
The boys look rough, clipper marks all over, but feel so much better! And my allergies are thanking me, when I groom and drive Zorro, and when we go for walks. All that hair and dander was slowly killing me.
Yes, I am blanketing them at night and when it's rainy AND windy. Yes, they both have access to shelters and wind breaks. Yes, they are happy and feel so much better. They have even kept themselves clean!
P.S. I left their legs hairy because I don't like clipping legs. lol. No other reason besides that!