Overheard a in-depth conversation this last weekend at a dressage show and thought I'd ask a wider audience. What is the general consensus on Friesian manes? Are they really all that important, or is a Friesian still a Friesian if he/she were in button braids like all the rest? To what extent should breed character be attached to hair? No bias here, just wanting to get bigger read.
Also, on another forum awhile ago someone posted pictures from the Goodwood Annual Show in South Africa of Friesians in harness with roached manes. Does anyone have these pictures? I thought they would be food for thought. As well, if anyone has pictures of Friesians with english manes braided or not, please share Thanks
Too many folks hung up on the hair aspect of a breed. Those long manes hold heat in on hot days, add to stress on a horse. When I went for the "flowing mane" look, it was me grabbing mane with the reins and pulling it by the handfull! Makes a horse crabby, slows your reflexes, when grabbing hair in tense or transitional situations.
Then there is the combing out and upkeep. Can add up to LOTS of time, in a hurried daily life.
I have always thought roached manes look nice on a good necked horse. Sure are easy care, clipped off again every couple weeks when I am doing bridle paths anyway. Roaching is a time honored method of horsekeeping, not many old-timers, Calvary, kept any length of mane on a working horse.
Americans seem to have way more time to play with the hair on their horses. Experiment with expensive products to keep manes looking nice.
Andulusians are roached in their native countries. Tails shorn off as well! Keeps the lice and other bugs down, makes them easier to identify for age and gender working in herds or a barn. Shorn has to save a lot of grooming time, and horses are not hot out in the sun working. Roached Andy's in the USA would be a SIN!
I have one broodmare that we usually keep roached in summer. The others have short manes, which are easier to deal with for showing or working. Short is 4-6 inches. I also shorten any forelock that reaches the eyes, because the hair going over the eyeballs causes weeping and dirt problems. No weeping on the same horses, with short forelocks.
Go ahead and roach your horse, see how you like it. Personally, I like a tight-to-the-neck clip, shows the excellent line of muscle on the good neck. You can see horse is holding himself correctly in self-carriage I want. You can modify it with time, so the hair sticks up some like the photo you showed.
If people can't recognize a breed by his basic body, they just are not good at IDing a breed or horse is a poor breed specimen. Every breed has secondary trademarks, but the horse in a breed should be recognizable as a member of that breed without the extra hair.
I am not a fan of heavy, long manes-on any breed, cutters, etc included. If I owned a fresian she would sport button braids and no feathers. Thats just me. I don't think I would be crucified by fresian breeders, but I do think the hair and feathers are part of what entices alot of people to the breed. I own a clyde X who would not be allowed in public feathered, we do button braids, but have to braid both sides of the neck due to thickness.
Don't toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!
Actually last year at GH was the first time I tried it and the part was pretty uneven. Kinda looked like a monkey did it from the front/top. It looked ok from the sides though, let me see if I have something. I think rather than parting it down the center next time, I going to try alternating, like 1st braid on the left, 2nd on the right, etc.
I've seen several Friesians with roached manes and the look is good on them! Really brings out the arch to their necks.
The breed also looks good with a pulled mane, in my opinion. I have seen Friesians competing at large shows with pulled manes braided into button braids and the look is quite clean. No doubt it makes day-to-day maintenance quite a bit easier!