View Full Version : Roached Manes

Brown Horse
Nov. 3, 2009, 02:04 PM
I have a couple of questions about roached manes.
What is the growing back process like? Does it grow back funny or thicker?
Do you use roaching scissors or clippers? Do you also roach the forelock? I have heard that it is hard for the forelock to grow back - is this true?

As far as running XC goes, I like having something to grab onto if i need it, but I've never had to so far. Plus, I have a breastplate that I could grab if needed. And I'm only doing BN so I can't see myself getting into too much trouble out there...what are your thoughts? Also, I will be showing...this may be a dumb question, but a roached mane is acceptable in dressage shows and HT's right?

Nov. 3, 2009, 02:43 PM
I love a good roached mane. My kids play polox so they like it clean down to the neck...I love it when it grows out and is a little mohawk. :)

We leave forelocks b/c we like them. The mane does not grow back thicker but we have only been roaching for about 2 years.

Nov. 3, 2009, 04:59 PM
My eventer is roached. I have never grabbed mane, so that in not a problem for me although a breastplate would probably work just fine. Whether or not you use clippers or scissors depends on the horse and the shape of its neck. I always use scissors though, as it is is easier to control what hair comes off. Wet the mane thoroughly before you cut it and use a pulling come to cut it upwards. Pay attention to the shape of the neck and cut the mane in a way that flatters it. My horse is a TB (thinner neck) so he gets a rounded look to his roach. I leave a little chunk at the end of the neck to protect his withers and leave his forelock so I can braid it up for shows. When it grows back out, it is kind of funky because the top side is shorter than the bottom side, but if you let it grow out a little longer, you can just pull it to get the right length. It takes about a winter to get it back long. My trainer and I have both eventing Prelim with roached manes. No one (or judge) has ever said anything negative about it.

You can kind of see my boy's mane here:

Scott Free
Nov. 3, 2009, 06:25 PM
why? why? why? Unless he rolled in a tar pit, why would you do this?! It looks awful and is just plain lazy, IMHO.

really. don't.

Nov. 3, 2009, 06:33 PM
I have a bay Appaloosa (no spots) and he used to have a really pitiful mane. It was just stringy and thin and never really look good. It was roached for several years and when I let it grow back last year, it was beautiful. He now has a nice full mane that looks great. I recommend roaching if your horse has a problem mane. It will probably grow back nicely.

Nov. 3, 2009, 06:43 PM
My horse's mane is thick and has a curly/frizzy texture. It does not pull out well at all,and he doesn't like to stand to have it pulled or braided. Why would I make him stand/sedate him when he clearly feels uncomfortable? I have to roach it about every 3-4 weeks to keep it looking great and it takes about 15-20 to do (about the same time to pull a normal TB mane) so I'm not doing it to be lazy either. And I'm pretty sure my horse looks "awful" even though I turn him out impeccably every time I ride him :rolleyes:.

Nov. 3, 2009, 07:26 PM
We roach one of our horse`s mane and love it. His mane is just way to thick, does not even look good pulled and he hates to have it pulled. I use scissors first and then the big body clippers. He has a huge cresty neck and it looks great!! I leave a chunk near the withers and his forelock. Here is a pic, he is the blood bay in the middle:


Nov. 3, 2009, 08:29 PM
I'm also in the camp of loving a good roached mane!!!

Flecks was roached for many years... and I thought he looked pretty good! He was always spotlessly (well.. okay, so ...spotted!!) turned out otherwise and for him.. it just looked better. He also has a thin sparse mane and at the time... a horrible dip in his neck. So.. I did the mohawk thing and cut it short and it stuck straight up and was even. I also left it a bit longer in the dipped part of his neck and it just made him look nicer overall. I showed schooling dressage shows and recognized horse trials and never once had anyone say anything to me about it.

Now.. I'm braiding it now cause his neck has filled out more properly and he can pull it off, but man.. it's so tempting to go back to the roaching. well...Mohawking!! Personally I like the little mohawk look better than the roached to the base look.

With him... I use scissors and wet his mane, hold it straight up between my fingers like hairdressers do and trim away. He's so thin haired though it works. With a thicker mane, you may need to use clippers and may have to go to the base the first time. But once you get the mohawk, it's easy to keep the mohawk.

Here's a pic of him!

Jessi P
Nov. 3, 2009, 09:05 PM
The kids Haffie pony has a very very thick mane that we roach in the summer. I think a nicely roached mane is very flattering to many horses, and there is certainly nothing lazy about it, as it does take time to maintain, just like a pulled mane.

Brown Horse
Nov. 3, 2009, 09:05 PM
Thanks guys! I think this will really help with an issue we've been having :) I'm excited. And I think I'll keep the forelock and braid it.

Nov. 3, 2009, 09:13 PM
As an ASB person who routinely roaches manes and shaves off forelocks, I can assure you they grow back just fine! You end up with a mohawk for a while, but once the hair starts growing back you can "train" it to lie whichever way you like with regular brushing.

Lori T
Nov. 3, 2009, 09:15 PM
I love my eventer's roached mane! He is a big draftx and it makes him look...well, so COOL and so TOUGH! I would never have done it (and certainly would never do it to my daughter's TB's!!) but he has allergies and rubs his mane out, so roaching it was the best solution. I use clippers. I keep the forelock and just a small bit at the end for possible grabbing, though I haven't had to yet. Pictures at www.calypsofarmeventers.com

Nov. 3, 2009, 10:34 PM
We roach our combined driving pony's mane. :) I originally did it early last spring because it was impossible to pull and had a bit of a schizo personality. Let it grow back in over the summer so I could braid it for a CDE in September; however, I decided to roach it again afterwards for the couple of small shows we were doing later in the fall.

Our pony got so many complements on his roached look! He really does look quite handsome...and it is more attractive than braids on him. :yes: And I love the ease of maintenance...he always looks put together and I don't have to worry about keeping it pulled. I'm seriously debating showing him at CDEs next year this way. Kind of nice to not get up extra early to braid...

I use body clippers and find it looks best if I clip it 1 to 2 weeks before the show just to let a little growth come back in.

Nov. 4, 2009, 12:00 AM
I am seriously thinking about roaching my new horses mane after reading this. She has serious mane "issues". The majority of her mane sticks straight up like a Roman Chariot horse on a really bad hair day. Seriously. Are they thinking of re-making Ben Hur? She'd be a star in it. And the bottom 1/4 of her mane lays over the left side. The top is thin and wispy. She doesn't have a bad neck so I would think a nice roach with a curve to it might look much better than it's current state. Besides, I am a pretty marginal braider and thinking about trying to wrestle that mane into braids is daunting. She is only 3, so I was thinking about waiting through the winter to decide what to do with it. But it's like 5-6 inches long and still sticks straight up! It's crazy. Love the pics everyone posted.

I don't have body clippers though. Do you think I could manage it with scissors? I just have some really crappy old trimming clippers (my Tb doesn't "do" clippers so I have never bothered to invest in any).

Nov. 4, 2009, 12:14 AM
Use a REALLY sharp pair of scissors. The mane looks really crisp this way!

Meredith Clark
Nov. 4, 2009, 12:30 AM
Now I want to roach Jay's mane!

He's retired and I HATE pulling manes. His mane (and the rest of his body) is black but his mane is pretty thick for a TB and super straight! It's about a foot long right now and there's not even a slight wave to it. It just hangs there all heavy and awkward!

He also has to wear a cribbing collar so it's annoying when the mane gets caught under it.

I might just do it when I body clip my other horse!

Nov. 4, 2009, 07:49 AM
Our polocrosse horses' manes are also roached - I just use the clippers for a neat clean look. We leave the forelocks, but the polo ponies we have picked up have everything taken off. Son's new mare currently has a mohawk between her ears as the forelock grows back.

My new driving pony needs to have his mane roached - he's been standing in a field for over two years with little to no grooming care. I took the scissors to him last night to hack out all the rats, but I am not sure how he will tolerate pulling.

It goes not seem to grow back thicker. . .