roaching - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-22-2014, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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i was wondering wether or not to roach my horses mane. i think he would look good, but I'm not totally sure. I've cut his mane short now, and it sticks up in the wind, and i like how it looks, but I'm not positive if i want it to stay like that. he has a normally thin mane, but when its shorter, it feels thicker and i love that!
How do you roach a mane? i know that once you cut it, it will stay up, but is there any chance it will just flop over? and i would prefer to use scissors. any help would be great!
it won't let me upload a picture of him on here, but there is a picture of him now with a shorter mane on my page!

Last edited by simplyhorse; 06-22-2014 at 10:23 PM. Reason: adding line
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-23-2014, 09:17 AM
Green Broke
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A true roached mane is one that is completely removed to me.

I would never completely remove any animals mane if I could possibly avoid it.
It is there by evolution to protect the horse...that has not changed.

If you want it to stand up, maybe just making it shorter...but removing!
You remove it, it may never grow back if it is thin it may be thinner.
Once cut it takes a VERY LONG TIME to grow back...

No guarantees on it standing up or flopping over either. Much depends upon the neck muscling and structures, the composition of the mane...
Many horse honestly look scrawny with their mane removed.

Polo ponies have roached manes for a reason...many of them although fit and heavily body muscled from conditioning to me look scrawny and unbalanced because their is no neck hair/mane helping to balance the picture overall. So do certain other very select "working" horses...

Be very careful what you do.

As far as using a scissor...DON'T!!
If you're going to do it, do it right and shave the thing or pull the mane really short...scissoring IMO just ruined it, leaves a great chance of poking or injuring the horse if the jump at the wrong second.

Here is a article about manes in general, the different ways a mane is kept and why and what constitutes a roached mane...
Mane (horse) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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post #3 of 9 Old 06-23-2014, 09:49 AM
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I roached my geldings mane last September. I actually really liked how it looked on him.

I'm not really sure how a mane adds much protection, except maybe against flies.

Anyway, I roached his mane because he lost almost all of his hair last summer.

This was before the roach

After the roach

^ I left his forelock. I wouldn't roach that unless it was non exsistant to begin with.

And this is now.

It came in a lot thicker this year, and black (which was his baby mane color anyway.) But it's taken several months just to get this length.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-23-2014, 01:51 PM
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drifting....Did you scissor that off or shave it off with a clipper?

It has come back nicely...about 8 months now since you removed it or longer?

Manes usually grow slowly...
I've seen some remove a rubbed out section by evening it out and removing the whole thing only to have what was a beautiful mane come back like junk and then you have a fantastic result with your horse...go figure!!

You're right...biggest part of a mane is for fly control, sunburn protection and believe it or not...rain protection.

It is also kind of nice to grab a handful when mounting or dismounting whether by choice or in a "Oh **ap" moment in time!
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-23-2014, 01:56 PM
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It is nice to be able to grab mane if you need it when riding (or mounting!) That's why I was so hoping his would come back thicker, he's only 2 and lost his tail and most of his mane the spring of his yearling year. His mane and tail are taking forever to come back, but at least their coming back.

I used clippers. One sweep and then cleaned it up to get any parts I missed

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post #6 of 9 Old 06-23-2014, 02:00 PM
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I love a roached look. I would have roached all mine in college if I could.

It's saves and enormous amount of time and also looks very good on the right horse.
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-23-2014, 02:32 PM
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Technically taking it alllll down is hogging, and roaching is shaping it to have an arch, like fjord's manes are often done. I love roached and hogged manes, my whole life I had horses with awful manes and longed for a nice, lovely long mane. Finally got 2 with nice manes and I constantly want to cut them off but am torn between long mane or no mane, ha! Anyway, it's perfectly fine to do it with scissors, however it might come out a bit uneven and messier and it sure takes a longer time to do it. (depending on how thick the horse's mane is) The growth usually doesn't take that long, honestly.

Here's some pictures of the palomino mare I used to have and her roached/hogged mane adventures.

Before: (She was a rescue sort of deal so excuse her initial condition, that was a work in progress.)

A week or so after the roach:

When I first did it I left about an inch of hair. And of course the wither patch and forelock.

About a month, maybe 2 after the initial hogging:

I don't have pictures of the full growth process but a shortly after the entire back half of her mane started flopping over, while the front stayed up. It drove me insane so I ended up cutting it all back down and on and off cutting it and letting it grow over the next year.

The flopping, about 2-3 months after the roach.

6ish months.

And this was about a full year later, though keep in mind at some point in there I did completely cut it down again (don't remember exactly at what point) but didn't cut it at all over winter november-march and it looked like this in march.

I did mine with scissors. I loved it, no up keep really - other than the occasional trim -, no hair all up in your hands and reins. I like the look, though a horse with a better neck would have pulled it off better than my mare. I got hooked though and now have to live with the constant battle of 'ugggggh I want a roached maaaaaane but they have such nice manes' There was no such 'nice mane dilemma' in the palomino mare's case. -sigh- I sometimes hope they might rub out a chunk of their manes in the night to give me an excuse, ha. Also I will add that the mare didn't seem to have any more or less problem with flies etc with no mane than the horses that did have manes.

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post #8 of 9 Old 06-23-2014, 02:38 PM
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I think it looks fantastic on the right horse, I love a good hogged mane, and the up keep is so easy. However I do like my mane to grab hold of for mounting as well. It is a matter of personal preference though and some horses can carry it off but some can't.
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-23-2014, 03:09 PM
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Some horses grow manes really fast, it depends on the horse (and probably nutrition, too). I roached my paint last October and by January it was laying down again, and now 8 months later it is halfway down his neck. Didn't have to train it over, either, all lays on one side. That is the ideal, but sometimes it can grow in uneven, or not want to lay nicely. Again, depends on the horse I think.

ETA: I would not hog or roach if you deal with lots of flies, though!
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roached , roaching

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