By Amber Croyle
It’s getting warmer and warmer everyday, and we all know that means, hair everywhere! One way I decided to try and help my horse this year was by roaching his mane. He’s quite hairy, his mane is probably four times the amount of my other horse. Some say it’s a blessing, but it can be a curse. I’ve tried for years to tame it but it never works, and this year I gave up, and just wanted to cut it all off!
So what we will need to roach our horses manes are: clippers, a comb or brush, crossties, and a bucket or stool to stand on (keep in mind you want to see the mane from the top; the one I roached is technically a pony, and I still stood on a bucket!). It would also be nice to have patience if your horses mane is thick, and it would be good to take before and after pictures! Here is Coco’s before.
You also need to decide if you want to keep the forelock. Cocos forelock is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen and i couldn’t bear to chop it off. Also, we are trying to fit in some shows this year with him and some might find it odd! Next we set him up in some crossties in direct light, brushed him mane, and decided how short I wanted it to be. I wanted it clean, defining, and still short enough that i wouldn’t have to touch it up in a week.
Next, I grabbed a chunk near his withers, and started cutting it off! My friend Heidi didn’t want it to be *too* short, sp just to make her happy I left it touch longer than I would have preferred, but he still looks handsome as ever. I made sure not clip too much of the fur growing near his mane, since he hasn’t been clipped yet, but will be in a few weeks. I also already had a bridle path and knew where to stop. At some places I had to cut half on one side, move my bucket, half on the other side.
I also clipped his feathers a bit, just to look nice, and then brushed him off. In the end it was a little rough, since it was my first time roaching, but now that he has grown into it he looks great! below are some pictures, from right after to today. I hope this has helped you learn a bit more about roaching and how I did it!
Above is right after I finished, and you can see where I started really short near the withers.
After I finished, I took him for a bareback ride, and look how handsome!
And I am hacking him around with his fresh cut.
This is from above where you can see how thick his mane really is.
Lastly, we have a picture from yesterday where his mane is starting to look less choppy, and like a little mohawk.