Hunting for first time and clipping

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Hi all, I have a new Irish draught that I plan on to taking drag hunting. she isn't clipped and I don't plan on clipping her as I dry with the hairdryer and then shove her out when dry either rugless or with a rain sheet.

I don't want the hassle of a clip but wonder if everyone will frown upon me for taking a horse hunting that hasn't had some kind of clip?

Of course if hunting becomes a regular activity then Ill probably clip but don't want to for our first time in case its a disaster!
 
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No you won’t be judged for having an unclipped horse. Just make sure she is clean, plaited and tidy (trim tail, beard etc).

However she is likely to get very sweaty whilst out and as it’s winter it is likely to be a cold day. Walk her off properly, I’m not sure how drag hunting works but I was always taught to walk the last 1-2 miles home hunting. To travel her home, make sure you rug her up so she doesn’t catch a chill. Then when home hose her down and dry off thoroughly.

As she might sweat more than a clipped horse perhaps add some electrolytes into her feed and ensure she is offered water little and often after hunting to rehydrate.
 
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How fit is your mare? Is she coping with full work without sweating much? ( I mean working 5 to 6 days a week for 2+ hrs a day)
I'd be surprised at any equine not dripping when working hard when in full coat.
Could you not compromise by giving at least a bib and belly clip which would still be fine to turn out after work.
Enjoy your hunting :)
 

Goldenstar

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She will get very very hot and this can make horses very unsettled .
You will have to care for her very carefully on return and you do risk skin infections .
If the horses is the type who breaks out sweating after hunting you will have a job on your hands afterwards so until you know what she does be prepared by having plenty of time afterwards .
I do have horses that hunt from the field but they are fully clipped out apart for half their heads and a patch at the saddle .
To drag hunt she will have to be quite fit is she sweating a lot during day to day work ?
Personally I ca;imagine nothing worse than hunting on a horse dripping in sweat .
Be sure to give her electrolytes .
 

Shay

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If you haven't done it it is diffficult to appreciate how much a horse sweats hunting. And Drag hunting is particualrly fast and furious becuase you get fewer breaks for hounds to cast and find the scent. You certainly won't be frowned at from a protocol point of view. But you will stand out somewhat because your aftercare is going to be quite different. But sometimes the best way to find out is to give it a try!
 

Tiddlypom

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It's not so much that the hunt followers will frown at you but horses can get very hot, itchy, distressed and cross if they do sustained fast work with a full coat. I imagine, being an ID, that she has a thick coat?
So no, on welfare issues, I don't think that it is a good idea to hunt an unclipped horse. However, you don't need to go mad and take off lots of coat, an Irish clip would do the job nicely and she can still live out with one :). I gave my own IDx mare this clip yesterday, she's in light work and lives out.

image.jpeg

ETA But I agree with posters above, your horse needs to be very fit indeed to drag hunt.
 
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ester

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I agree, you won't be frowned upon but it might be more comfortable for her, I've certainly seen unclipped horses getting cold standing about once they are dripping wet.
My own always had a blanket clip so he kept his arse warm during said standing about but not too bad otherwise. He would still require a full warm water bath on return and careful rugging due to his propensity to skin infections.
 
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I am usually the only person who hasn't full clipped their horse, but I have a partial clip. Just be careful to clean the armpit bits properly afterwards as my hairy pony got a bad skin rash in her armpits/in between front legs from the sweat which I was brushing off when dried, but clearly not getting right underneath the fur. I only noticed how bad it was when I'd clipped the hair.
 
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It's not so much that the hunt followers will frown at you but horses can get very hot, itchy, distressed and cross if they do sustained fast work with a full coat. I imagine, being an ID, that she has a thick coat?
So no, on welfare issues, I don't think that it is a good idea to hunt an unclipped horse. However, you don't need to go mad and take off lots of coat, an Irish clip would do the job nicely and she can still live out with one :). I gave my own IDx mare this clip yesterday, she's in light work and lives out.

View attachment 27454

ETA But I agree with posters above, your horse needs to be very fit indeed to drag hunt.
Thank you for your reply. This is a good idea. She is an ID and has a thickish coat. Ive not had her all that long and she is not hunting fit yet. Im thinking of taking her out to a meet in January. I have her in a Mac Cool Heat rug (which allows thermoregulation and therefore requires a coat) and she lives out 24/7 so I was very reluctant to clip her if I can avoid it, at least until she is fit and I know what she is like. The cool heat rug means I can rug and put her out even if she is sweaty. Of course, her welfare comes before anything else so I will work on her fitness and then consider this clip.
 
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I am usually the only person who hasn't full clipped their horse, but I have a partial clip. Just be careful to clean the armpit bits properly afterwards as my hairy pony got a bad skin rash in her armpits/in between front legs from the sweat which I was brushing off when dried, but clearly not getting right underneath the fur. I only noticed how bad it was when I'd clipped the hair.
Thank you I will look out for this. My last horse was a youngster and was so fit (he had hunted a LOT) that he rarely sweated, even after a good gallop so these are things Ive not thought of really.
 
Joined
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She will get very very hot and this can make horses very unsettled .
You will have to care for her very carefully on return and you do risk skin infections .
If the horses is the type who breaks out sweating after hunting you will have a job on your hands afterwards so until you know what she does be prepared by having plenty of time afterwards .
I do have horses that hunt from the field but they are fully clipped out apart for half their heads and a patch at the saddle .
To drag hunt she will have to be quite fit is she sweating a lot during day to day work ?
Personally I ca;imagine nothing worse than hunting on a horse dripping in sweat .
Be sure to give her electrolytes .
Thank you, I will definitely get electrolytes for her. She is not fit at present and does get sweaty but she is not hunting fit (yet). I won't take her out until January and following the replies on here think I will likely go for an Irish clip and see how she goes.
 

spacefaer

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How are you going to get her fit enough to go drag hunting if she is unclipped? She'll need to do a decent amount of fast work between now and January, so she will be hot and sweaty, and needing to be washed off before you turn her out, otherwise you'll run the very high risk of skin infections and saddle sores.

In my experience, most horses would lose condition as well, working hard and sweating as well. The unclipped horses I have seen out hunting tend to run up light pretty quickly during the season, faster than the clipped ones.

I think your plan is a little unrealistic, but I stand to be corrected should I be wrong.
 
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How are you going to get her fit enough to go drag hunting if she is unclipped? She'll need to do a decent amount of fast work between now and January, so she will be hot and sweaty, and needing to be washed off before you turn her out, otherwise you'll run the very high risk of skin infections and saddle sores.

In my experience, most horses would lose condition as well, working hard and sweating as well. The unclipped horses I have seen out hunting tend to run up light pretty quickly during the season, faster than the clipped ones.

I think your plan is a little unrealistic, but I stand to be corrected should I be wrong.
This is a good point - I had hoped that by building fitness the sweating would reduce (I used to have hairy unclipped natives that could go for hours without breaking a sweat, and another TB type that would gallop around without sweating much) hence I thought I could get away with it. Im not sure what she will be like hunting so of course if it became a regular thing I would clip her out, its more that i didn't want to do a big clip for our first (and possibly only) time out hunting. I did an irish clip yesterday and she was much less sweaty so Im going to build fitness and see how we get on.
 
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Did you go hunting, how did you get on? Did you clip her?
Yes I clipped her - a low Irish clip. BUT she went lame and vet diagnosed laminitis. I had upped her hay a bit as we were doing more work and then Bam! laminitis. Its a mild case but I doubt ill be hunting this season now sadly. Will definitely be hunting next year - following the Cambridge drag hunt facebook page and it looks tremendous fun! Thank you for asking.
 
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