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To Clip or Not To Clip...

That is the question, when spring finally arrives. Every year, I go back and forth on clipping. Usually, I do a trace clip and clean the hair off the underside of their neck, between their front legs and the belly. Allowing them to cool off after working but not get too cold at night.

Their trace clip last spring!

This year has been crazy weather wise. One day it will be 60 degrees and sunny then the next it's 14 degrees and a day long blizzard laying down 8 inches of snow. This has happened over and over this spring. So I haven't really even wanted to brush them much. It seemed to me they needed all the hair they had!

Then two days ago we had another nice sunny day. One day after having snow for two days straight, and I was looking at the boys. They were filthy, hair was coming off in clouds, they were itchy and they smelled very bad. So I decided to brush them. And when I say brush them I mean I spent about 45 minutes on EACH pony with the Furminator. I was NOT messing around.

The amount of hair I removed was pretty impressive. And they were both so grateful.

The left is after all the brushing. The right is waiting to be brushed. The amount of hair this pony has is staggering!!
Left is after the brushing and the right is what I need to brush!
This photo better shows just how long his hair was. LOL! That little patch was all I had left to brush off that side.

Zorro all done! His tummy hair would not come off. So he still has several inches of hair there. If the weather will start to be more consistent I will clip him. Crossing my fingers!

Zorro has some very defined and pretty dapples coming out in his coat. There really is something to this no grain, forage only feeding program!

Is he fat?

People keep asking me this. The answer is NO. He is not fat. I can feel his front ribs just fine.

What he does have is poor posture from not working. We haven't been able to consistently do any type of exercise for months and months. Our weather has been truly, truly miserable. (It looks like we may have to get good at just being miserable so we can get out there and exercise. I am not looking forward to that in any way. It turns out I am a fair weather driver, walker, hiker.) So he has been languishing in the track.

He also had that bout of colic that put us back a bit. He was stall bound for 5 days at the vet and then I kept him in the small pen for a week or so here before I started turning him out with Oliver on the main track for a few hours a day. He just recently started spending all day back out on the main track with Oliver as I have felt more comfortable allowing him access to hay

He isn't using his core muscles at all lately so is rather soft. But we will start, slowly, to work on that! I also find myself very soft, having gained some pounds back. I am working hard to get back on my Bright Lines and get my extra weight back off. We both have some work to do.

Now onto Oliver!

The left is brushed and the right is waiting to be brushed!

It is a little more difficult to see just how long his hair is because he isn't shedding as easily as Zorro is. Due to his age, he is now 2, his hair coat still doesn't shed quite like an adult pony's coat does. He will really benefit from being clipped!

The white hair seems to come loose a bit better than the brown. And he is so, so dirty...

You can easily see his hip bones. I can definitely feel his ribs!

Babies tend to have a little faster metabolism than grown ponies. I can basically feed Oliver all the time. He goes out and grazes on the fresh spring grass in the afternoons. I know I can do this while he is growing, but there will come a day, when he will not be able to graze as he does now. Because, doing so, will cause him to get fat and or founder. It's a fine balancing act, caring for these ponies!

Oliver after!

You can tell he still has a lot of hair. The white thinned out but not much. His transformation when I clip him will be really really good! lol.

Side Note: I do think if I shared the above photo on Facebook many people would think Oliver is fat. And yet you can feel every single rib without pushing at all on his side. His hip bones stick out and he is about 8" wide in his chest. Clearly a growing baby and on the thin side. This is proof that a photo can't tell you the actual weight of a pony. So please don't listen to the keyboard warriors when they go on about your pony's weight. Unless the pony is obviously obese that is!

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