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Roaching a Mane...tell me it will be OK.

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  • #21
    Part of the reason I roached my gelding in the first place was the "high-neck" winter blanket I used. It did rub his mane thin at and below the blanket neckline, leaving a sad remnant of mane to try to braid.

    A full neck rug would probably not do this sort of damage, though YMMV, depending on the horse and the rug.

    Thanks, RedHorses, for your tips on Mohawk maintenance. I have always wondered how the owners of Norwegian Fjord horses kept their horses' Mohawks looking so good!

    Comment


    • #22
      For mohawk maintenance, I usually do initial hacking with scissors to get it back to roughly the length I want, since it's faster for me & I don't need electricity or batteries.

      Then if needed I do touch-ups with the clippers -- if I want it neatened for a competition, for example. I don't use a comb, I just eyeball it. I only took it all the way down to crest once, then all the years since I have left an inch or two of mohawk. So there is always a little wiggle room if I need to even something up. I put my hand on the far side of the made & run the clippers straight across perpendicular to the neck into the palm of my hand to get an even cut across the top. I do this from both sides since there always seems to be stray hairs on one side or the other.

      In blanket season, I do cut the section on the withers all the way off since it's constantly smashed down anyway.

      It does grow back fast. When competing I was trimming it at least once a month, I maybe do every 2 months now. Although my horses are always on a hoof supplement since I have a knack for picking creatures with high maintenance feet, so that grows hair a little faster.

      I can't think of any reason I'd go back to mane-having. Youngster does have his mane right now because I want all possible grabby parts available, but I still keep it trimmed short with scissors.
      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
      We Are Flying Solo

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      • #23
        RedHorses Thank you so much for the maintenance info!

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        • #24
          ThreeFigs and mbdsea - You're welcome. The end result can be seen in my profile pic.

          I like the method because I get a little bit of curve side to side over the top of the mane. His mane is very thick and the flat cut didn't suit him. I was trying to get the grown back from fully clipped shape without having to wait 4-6 weeks after a full clip every time.

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          • #25
            Here's another option:

            Click image for larger version

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            Can't wait to (try to) show my old man rocking this 'do. Thank god it's just schooling shows, else I might get booted...

            Comment


            • #26
              I routinely used to roach in fall (Oct/Nov), and it always grew back in time for a late spring show (March/April) unless I intervened with scissors. One of my late TBs had such an awfully thick mane. He hated mane thinning/pulling, and was very polite about everything else, so... I compromised We roached and showed competitively with no problems or negative comments. I used to braid up his forelock at shows.

              I like braiding too, though.

              I roached my guy's this fall because he rubbed a big portion of it off on the hay-hut (he is too tall!!!) and it was growing out unevenly. I figured it'd be back in time for our season debut, and I'm not stressing it! I completely shaved it off in November, and it is already about 2 inches.
              AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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              • #27
                Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post
                Here's another option:

                Click image for larger version

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                Can't wait to (try to) show my old man rocking this 'do. Thank god it's just schooling shows, else I might get booted...
                In 2 Words:
                Awe Some!

                I might have to try this on my Walker, come Spring.
                Of course, lack of a steady clipper hand may leave his staircase looking more MC Escher

                Villa Louis ADS show a couple years ago had a team of Fjords roached so the black middle stood up a couple inches from the rest & then that was trimmed to leave 4" wide mohawk chunks with space between each.
                I'll try to post a pic.....
                *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                Comment


                • #28
                  Our thick maned gelding is super sensitive to any kind of pulling or thinning so he gets roached for competition season. He's buzzed right down early in the spring in time for it to grow a couple of inches and have something to work with when the first event rolls around. Much like RedHorses we use a tall stool and shape and tidy with the clippers a day or two before while we do the other tiddling up.

                  Same routine for each event, in fact it isn't taken down to the wood again until the following spring. I actually enjoy doing it now that I've gotten better at it and I think it makes our boy look so handsome.

                  We let his mane grow back over the winter as our small herd isn't blanketed and it gives just that little bit of extra protection from the elements.
                  One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
                  William Shakespeare

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post

                    In 2 Words:
                    Awe Some!

                    I might have to try this on my Walker, come Spring.
                    Of course, lack of a steady clipper hand may leave his staircase looking more MC Escher

                    Villa Louis ADS show a couple years ago had a team of Fjords roached so the black middle stood up a couple inches from the rest & then that was trimmed to leave 4" wide mohawk chunks with space between each.
                    I'll try to post a pic.....
                    I do it with scissors, not clippers! Get something that will set the width of each up-down, and then switch sides back and forth so the scissors are always in your dominant hand, snipping towards the horse. That way, the only thing you have to worry about is the angle of the snip.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post
                      Here's another option:

                      Click image for larger version

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Size:	18.8 KB
ID:	10552111


                      Can't wait to (try to) show my old man rocking this 'do. Thank god it's just schooling shows, else I might get booted...
                      I do that to my pony too! I call it his Javasaurus Rex look, and his therapy riders LOVE it!!! It's relatively subtle with his thick black mane, and we have had judges give us compliments for it as well.

                      I keep his mane roached all the time, either in a flat top ponyhawk or in the Javasaurus spikes. His name is too heavy if left to grow out, making it impossible to braid neatly, his crest gets awful dandruff and then he itches like mad, and he sweats profusely under it for 9 months of the year. So roaching it works best, and it actually elongates his short/upright neck quite nicely.

                      I usually shave it right down when I clip in the fall, to give his crest a chance to breathe and start the ponyhawk fresh. Especially since he wears a hood with his blanket, which squishes a ponyhawk down. So if I hog it at the start of hood season, it doesn't get crushed as much, and when the rain lightens up it is nice and upright and easy to snip into Javasaurus spikes.
                      Curious about Trans* issues? Feel free to ask!
                      Saving Pennies To Get My Own Canoe
                      FAQs

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                      • #31
                        Oh wow.... love the spikes! Ceylon Star what an adorable pony!

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Another Mohawk fan here. Looks awesome on my guy and I have never had any negative feedback in competition, I clip on a jump strap for xc but never remember to use it. I will NEVER go back to pulling and braiding if I can help it. So easy!!!!
                          The big man -- my lost prince

                          The little brother, now my main man

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post

                            I do it with scissors, not clippers! Get something that will set the width of each up-down, and then switch sides back and forth so the scissors are always in your dominant hand, snipping towards the horse. That way, the only thing you have to worry about is the angle of the snip.
                            You'd think ex-Fine Art Major Me could do that
                            I do my roaching with scissors too, unless I can borrow decent clippers (mine died a death long ago).
                            Kitchen shears work best. Even with clippers, I take down most of the growth - to about 2" - with the shears.
                            I might give it a try this Spring, WTH, he's not going anywhere it might matter .

                            Ceylon Star Love the JavaSaurus look!
                            *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                            Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                            Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              I think I’m going to be forced to take it all the way down since the blanket has done the job for me on about half his neck. He’s a Dutch harness horse, so has a long giraffe neck. But I’m hopeful that he can rock a cute Mohawk in the spring/summer.
                              When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by fizzyfuzzybuzzy View Post
                                I think I’m going to be forced to take it all the way down since the blanket has done the job for me on about half his neck. He’s a Dutch harness horse, so has a long giraffe neck. But I’m hopeful that he can rock a cute Mohawk in the spring/summer.
                                It grows back faster than you think!!

                                Here's a photo from today of my gelding. Forgive the mud.. it's NE for you.. I roached his mane mid-November. It's already 2 inches and ready to fall over.
                                AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post
                                  Here's another option:

                                  Click image for larger version

Name:	FB_IMG_1578511078947.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	18.8 KB
ID:	10552111


                                  Can't wait to (try to) show my old man rocking this 'do. Thank god it's just schooling shows, else I might get booted...
                                  No way! There's a person in my area who shows her Fjord with a similar haircut but leaves the dorsal black mane and cuts the more axial blond parts like you do. She shows at an upper level in recognized USDF shows. Her pony has a fan base!

                                  All the power to you!!!!!!!!!!
                                  Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    I roached my events horse's mane, and he looked good with a roached mane, got complimented on it, but I did get heavily penalized at an event for it. The dressage judge did not approve, after my halt/salute at the end of my test, she stood up and ask me "whats with your horses mane", I tried to explain quickly why I had roached it, but half way through she waved me off and sat back down. After a crappy score, I reviewed all the scores from the 200+ competitors, and I got the worst score of all out of all the divisions, from starter to prelim.

                                    My guy would never win a dressage test, but he was a steady eddy that did all the movements. He scored worse than horses that refused movements, bucked, wouldn't canter and so on.

                                    The dressage judge made her point that day!

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      I actually managed to get some video today, so I got a picture of my guy’s mane. I tried to shape it - we’ll see (it was pouring rain so I got to do the shaping wet, which I think may have helped). He is small and downhill and tends to bulge up high in the neck with the poll low (it’s hard for him ... and I make a ton of mistakes) so I tried to make the bottom taller. Don’t think it worked too well - will have to keep at it! Advocatecat - I’m sorry that happened! I’m going to show with it roached this year, and I hope it doesn’t make a difference!

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Advocatecat View Post
                                        I roached my events horse's mane, and he looked good with a roached mane, got complimented on it, but I did get heavily penalized at an event for it. The dressage judge did not approve, after my halt/salute at the end of my test, she stood up and ask me "whats with your horses mane", I tried to explain quickly why I had roached it, but half way through she waved me off and sat back down. After a crappy score, I reviewed all the scores from the 200+ competitors, and I got the worst score of all out of all the divisions, from starter to prelim.

                                        My guy would never win a dressage test, but he was a steady eddy that did all the movements. He scored worse than horses that refused movements, bucked, wouldn't canter and so on.

                                        The dressage judge made her point that day!
                                        If the horse's mane really affected the score, that conduct by a dressage judge is out of line. It would be reportable to the TD (if you thought so before the event ended), the organizer and to the USEA. Or if it was unrecognized, to whatever association sanctioned the show.

                                        But it is possible that it was just a question and that you read too much into it. Although I understand your score comparison would definitely make you wonder!

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          ^^ No, It was the judge. This judge had a bit of a reputation, didn't like anything out of the ordinary for dressage. I never had any problems under any of the other judges.

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