Sweet itch and clipping.

Mrs Jingle

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17 September 2009
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I used to have my now retired mare clipped every winter when she was ridden. Last year my son clipped her fully for me at around this time (sorry I cant remember exactly which month). This was purely to avoid the shedding as my emphysema was quite bad at that time and the usual spring shedding would not have been a good idea from my health point of view.

This year her coat is much thicker and he will be clipping her right out for me any day now. However, as she is a SI horse, I did wonder if now she is older and showing signs of age including the denser coat I it might be helpful to her to keep her fully clipped all year round?

She usually goes straight from her winter rugs into sweet itch rugs anyway, and I think I would find it much easier to treat the sweet itch if she remains clipped through the summer, and I am pondering would it also make her feel more comfortable throughout the summer. Have any sweet itch owners done the same, clipped fully all year round, and did it help keep the horse less itchy etc.
 

IrishMilo

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24 April 2020
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I would, definitely. Milo never had sweet itch but he was usually clipped out all year round. He got very itchy during the warmer months, so I would take everything off and he was much more comfortable.
 

Chianti

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20 February 2008
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429
I used to have my now retired mare clipped every winter when she was ridden. Last year my son clipped her fully for me at around this time (sorry I cant remember exactly which month). This was purely to avoid the shedding as my emphysema was quite bad at that time and the usual spring shedding would not have been a good idea from my health point of view.

This year her coat is much thicker and he will be clipping her right out for me any day now. However, as she is a SI horse, I did wonder if now she is older and showing signs of age including the denser coat I it might be helpful to her to keep her fully clipped all year round?

She usually goes straight from her winter rugs into sweet itch rugs anyway, and I think I would find it much easier to treat the sweet itch if she remains clipped through the summer, and I am pondering would it also make her feel more comfortable throughout the summer. Have any sweet itch owners done the same, clipped fully all year round, and did it help keep the horse less itchy etc.

I haven't clipped in the spring/summer but have often thought about it. My only concern is will it make fly bites worse as it's easier for them to get to the skin? My gelding got attacked by flies around his sheath and inner thighs a couple of years ago. Never seen such bad fly bites. I now don't clip his stomach from half way back in the winter so that he keeps a covering of hair in this area for a bit longer in the summer.
 

Mrs Jingle

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17 September 2009
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1,588
Thanks for the reply Chianti. Yes that is my worry - will it just make it easier for them to start sucking her blood without any hair between her SI rug and her skin.

Last year I did find she was getting super sweaty with just a light SI rug on so that is why I wondered about clipping right through summer too. I think perhaps we will do the first clip next week and see how she is when the hair starts to grown in again.
 

Chianti

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20 February 2008
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429
Thanks for the reply Chianti. Yes that is my worry - will it just make it easier for them to start sucking her blood without any hair between her SI rug and her skin.

Last year I did find she was getting super sweaty with just a light SI rug on so that is why I wondered about clipping right through summer too. I think perhaps we will do the first clip next week and see how she is when the hair starts to grown in again.

I hope it helps her. They do get hot in their SI rugs in the summer. I'm really hoping this year isn't as hot as the last few.
 

Meredith

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21 February 2013
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My SI mare didn’t get hot in her summer sheets as her coat wasn’t very thick. However I would not have hesitated to clip if necessary as she was completely wrapped up.
She wore an SI sheet with belly. I attached an udder cover to the belly band. I altered a head and neck cover making the front strap which previously attached to the girth strap wider. I added flaps which hung between the front legs and fixed this by velcro to the front of the belly band, dispensing with the girth strap. She wore this as soon as the turnout rug was no longer needed and never itched.
 

Mrs Jingle

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17 September 2009
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Thanks Meredith - yes she has at one point or another worn every make and type of SI rug available. And she has never become too hot under any of them until the last couple of summers. and believe me here in Ireland our summers are hardly tropical lol!

But a lot of things about her have changed since she had Lymes disease a couple of years back and unfortunately she is no longer ridden because of long lasting issues since then, I am guessing this is probably just yet another of the long term affects. She doesn't have cushings by the way so the thicker coat and getting too hot etc. is not caused by that.
 
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