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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow horse lovers and equestrians!
I help out at a small barn and there is a horse there, his name is Arizona and he’s a Morgan horse i believe. He always had this short, brittle mane and I’m over it not being a healthy mane. I’ve wanted him to have a nice long mane but I figured that would be a lot of work, time, and money lol. So I looked into roached manes and I actually like them a lot but I’m not sure the best way to do it and if it would look good on him. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Here are some photos of him:
 

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To roach, which we do on all polo ponies, I wash and dry the mane and use #10 blades on clippers.

Is his feed pretty balanced? I'm not big on supplements, but I do consider a horse's nutrition when something is not what I expect. How are his hooves?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
he gets fed a scoop of sentinel performance feed twice a day. His hooves are okay though, they should be getting trimmed soon. I don’t have control over his diet and stuff though as he’s not my horse but I can recommend things to the owner of him and see what she thinks 🙂
 

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That's fine.

I roach many of our ranch horses manes. I've got one now that I'm growing out. And my last personal horse had the most perfect mane I just couldn't roach it.

But otherwise, several of ours are
 

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Yup, what boots said. The polo ponies I worked with all did it that way. Roached my eventers mane that way a few times when I was younger, too.
I would suggest cutting off all the excess before using the clippers to clean it up, or else your clippers will get bogged down and stop cutting.

Also please make sure that the owners are okay with you doing this prior to you just chopping the horse's mane off....
 

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I wouldn't roach it...
Manes are natures protection of flies and a thermostat on the neck in summer swelter.
Unless you are going to be present all day every day for fly spray application...no go.
Polo ponies are a different animal and roached for very different reasons than a raggy looking mane.

What I see in that mane is split ends, bleaching and rubbing of the neck.
Does this horse by any chance eat out of a round bale feeder or reach under a fence or something often because it is prime location for rubbed mane I see.
Figure out what he is rubbing against and the issue will be a non-issue soon.
Instead of roaching trim it back to even it out and there is healthy hair there I see.
If you don't know how to trim with scissors, I don't mean cut but trim properly or use a razor comb find someone who does and ask for help.

Wash and condition the hair with human products of really good quality...then stop bathing the horse with shampoo and using any silicon based things like Show Sheen as they dry and create what you have..a mess.
If the horse is sweaty after a ride, hose him off and if generous add 2 caps of Vetrolin liniment to a bucket of water for the body, only ever clear water for the face and eye area will give the horse a tingly good feeling yet cut dirt and grime...but no soaps, period.
That mane does not warrant roaching and if you roached his mane without permission, I as a owner would be furious and it would be the last time you ever do anything with that horse. :evil:

You don't own so don't take upon yourself to do anything without express permission given for exactly what you propose doing.
I agree it needs some TLC but not roached, heck no!!
:runninghorse2:...
 

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The mane needs TLC. I would cut it evenly, wash it with some sood quality soap, possibly braid it and add some mane grower of some sort (such as MTG). IMO, roaching should be a last resort. Like @boots said, roaching is used in Polo ponies/horses for different reasons. JMO, during fly season, I wouldn't roach a mane, as it is fly protection.
 

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I'm in Florida and have roached my paint's for the past couple summers. He didn't really have a mane to begin with and it did nothing but look ugly. He is prone to sunburn, but his wispy mane helped absolutely zero in protecting his neck. He wears a fly sheet or stays inside in the summer because of this. I cut his mane. I just used scissors. It's a little uneven, but he looks rather handsome even if he is 24.



I also roached my Arab/Appy's mane because it was a mess. It grew back thick and full. I never had an issue with the mane being gone. They have shade to get to and plenty of fly spray. Should you roach it? I don't think it matters. It'll grow out eventually whether you roach it or not and it still needs conditioning and some TLC. Can you roach it? I don't see why not. I would, but that's just me.

It does look like he's rubbed it on a round bale feeder.
 

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Sure looks like addressing the horse's nutrition would make a big difference. It isn't just wispy (which can be genetic and nothing you can do about that), it is horribly dry, and clearly itchy as well. Roaching won't make those things go away.

Also roaching is clean against the Morgan style, although that may not be of interest to the owner.
 

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There is nothing you can put on a mane to make it grow. Growth comes from two things- genetic potential and good nutrition. The best nutrition in the world won't grow a mane or tail if the genes aren't there for it.

That mane looks like it has potential. Just needs TLC . MTG can cause burns if applied and horse is out in sun so use with care.
 

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Down here in Florida, and in Arkansas, Georgia, and South Carolina I would never leave a horse's mane long if I could help it. They sweat way too much under that hair, it doesn't give them any relief and just makes the neck hot. The 'cooling' idea of it is a wives tale, and have never seen any evidence that it's true.

Plus longer manes are prone to looking, feeling, and being dry and doing things like that - bleaching and rubbing. Its harder to keep the root clean so the horses will itch more in it.

Starting from scratch means you can baby that hair more. You can't fix dry and damaged hair. Not in humans, not in animals. You have to wait for the healthy stuff to grow out.
 

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If you don't have owners permission I'd leave it as is. I'd be livid if someone roached off my geldings mane.

Wash it good put conditioner in it an even it out. My geldings mane is long he doesn't rub it ,and it sure isn't all broken off. I have no trouble keeping it clean even at the roots.

His mane and tail are soft & silky. His tail is touching the ground. When hot humid I braid his mane ,in loose braids to keep his neck cool. I've done the roach it off and never again hated, the maneless look

Took a year to grow out then goes through that ugly ,sticking up straight period.
I'm all for the natural look if my horse didn't have such a thick mane,I wouldn't cut a bridle path.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sorry i guess I forgot to mention that the owner said she doesn't care but of course I would double check before doing anything and I would probably get her help roaching it, I would also be very upset if someone clipped my horse without my knowledge as well lol. I believe she had mentioned something about him having sweet itch which I’m not sure how to treat that. Roaching his mane is a last resort for me as I want him to have a long healthy mane but it just won’t grow out. There is also so little mane that I didn’t think it would make a difference with the flys. And I’m also in Florida so the heat is a real killer which is another thing I was worried about if he did grow out a long think mane. I was thinking I could roach it, and if it looked nice on him just keep it that way or I would start fresh and really make sure to up keep it while it grew out. He’s kept in a hot wire pasture so boards wouldn’t be an issue, I don’t think but there are oak trees in his pasture he could scratch on.
 

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I forget how old this horse is but if the mane condition is chronic - in that he has rubbed the spot for an extended period there may be damage to the follicles and it may not grow back.
 

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With your bit of more information shared...
Does the horse also rub out his tail dock?
Sometimes it is a issue too and more a indicator of sweet itch than other things.
If sweet itch, the horse if t/o during hours of no-see-ums, mosquitoes. gnats and such are in abundance then getting the horse a fly sheet with neck cover is a better way to go. These are specific made sheets not just a fly sheet so if you decide to offer some protection this way buy carefully.
If you roach you need to then have a sheet and neck covering used everyday to protect that animal from biting insects he no longer has any mane to fend off of him.

If the mane is really thick and long, you concerned with overheating {sorry, no}...then shorten the mane and thin the mane by pulling it.
Cutting it blunt looks horrible, do it correctly...but still I would not roach since you don't know if it will grow back once roached off...you don't know.
What you can try is fly repellent that is applied to the neck...since in Florida I know Tractor Supply Stores carry a spot on repellent that might do the trick.

The other thing that occurred to me is neck thread worms...they may be erupting/shedding and with nothing done to stop them they drive the animals nuts, they rub and rub trying to get relief.
Also do not discount other horses doing grooming of this area if more than one is t/o together...
All possibilities.
I also live in Florida and understand the frustration...but to remove his natural fly defense to me is a no-go.
:runninghorse2:....
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
With your bit of more information shared...
Does the horse also rub out his tail dock?
Sometimes it is a issue too and more a indicator of sweet itch than other things.
If sweet itch, the horse if t/o during hours of no-see-ums, mosquitoes. gnats and such are in abundance then getting the horse a fly sheet with neck cover is a better way to go. These are specific made sheets not just a fly sheet so if you decide to offer some protection this way buy carefully.
If you roach you need to then have a sheet and neck covering used everyday to protect that animal from biting insects he no longer has any mane to fend off of him.

If the mane is really thick and long, you concerned with overheating {sorry, no}...then shorten the mane and thin the mane by pulling it.
Cutting it blunt looks horrible, do it correctly...but still I would not roach since you don't know if it will grow back once roached off...you don't know.
What you can try is fly repellent that is applied to the neck...since in Florida I know Tractor Supply Stores carry a spot on repellent that might do the trick.

The other thing that occurred to me is neck thread worms...they may be erupting/shedding and with nothing done to stop them they drive the animals nuts, they rub and rub trying to get relief.
Also do not discount other horses doing grooming of this area if more than one is t/o together...
All possibilities.
I also live in Florida and understand the frustration...but to remove his natural fly defense to me is a no-go.
<img style="max-width:100%;" src="http://www.horseforum.com/images/smilies/runninghorse2.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Runninghorse2" class="inlineimg" />....
Now that I think about it he dose have missing hair on his tail dock as well. I would love to get him the fly spray and fly sheet that you mentioned as he gets turned out during the day and stalled overnight but I’m not sure I could get enough money for that. I’ve weighed the pros and cons of roaching his mane and decided it would be best not to do it. I don’t know if this makes a difference but his mane has been missing hair and short like this since she got him. How would I go about trying to help him grow back his hair or get rid of whatever bug is bothering him?
 

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If he has neck thread worms, Ivermectin 2 weeks in a row is recommended and seems to work is what all my research and comments here reinforced.


If you want to try the spot on product horse applicable...TS by me has several brands in stock.
I would imagine some treat more than others so rea packaging carefully and where it is to be applied.


I would also wash and clean that mane/tail very carefully looking for any hidden ticks, lice or creepy crawlies that could make the horse so itchy.
Now neck is different than tail...but if he is itching and rubbing his tail...
When did you last clean a sheath?
Also a possibility that if dirty then will do whatever they can to get the itch...
:runninghorse2:...
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If he has neck thread worms, Ivermectin 2 weeks in a row is recommended and seems to work is what all my research and comments here reinforced.


If you want to try the spot on product horse applicable...TS by me has several brands in stock.
I would imagine some treat more than others so rea packaging carefully and where it is to be applied.


I would also wash and clean that mane/tail very carefully looking for any hidden ticks, lice or creepy crawlies that could make the horse so itchy.
Now neck is different than tail...but if he is itching and rubbing his tail...
When did you last clean a sheath?
Also a possibility that if dirty then will do whatever they can to get the itch...
<img style="max-width:100%;" src="http://www.horseforum.com/images/smilies/runninghorse2.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Runninghorse2" class="inlineimg" />...
I’ve been at the barn for 2 years and I don’t believe his sheath has ever been cleaned but he never got bathed or groomed often as everyone sees him as a dangerous horse. I’ve been working with him for 2 months I think and he gets groomed twice a week and rinsed once or twice a week as well but he hasn’t gotten a bath as he’s not to great about standing on the wash racks but I’ll try to get him used to it. How often should I bath him? Will Mane N Tail shampoo and conditioner work? Also how would I go about telling if he has neck thread worms? Thanks!
 

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Ummm... I may be very spoiled but my vet cleans my horses sheath when he does his other work if any sedation is needed, far easier when slightly loopy to do the deed.
If you have never, its good to learn how but this might not be the best animal to learn on..
However, if he constantly fidgets on the wash stall he might by dirty up their too..
Have you ever seen him relaxed and dropped? A quick peek will tell you needs cleaning or not, however till you check for a bean you aren't done...that's the part that can get your kneecaps kicked.

I don't bathe my horses with soap very often.
I rinse their coats of sweat and for me, find that adding 2 capfuls of Vetrolin liniment to water sponged over their body brings us a glistening shine...and softness.
Never, ever use anything but clear water on the face and eyes when washing down a horse...liniments or what ever else you may use can burn the eyes!
What you suggested to use is great products...just make sure you rinse residue completely.


The thread worms make horses itchy crazy when they are hatching, moving around and are not seen as they are underneath the skin, not felt but by the horse.
Dosing with Ivermectin will not hurt the horse but will take out this possibility.
Since you only mention rubbing of the neck makes me more suspect of worms in several locations possible too {they rub tails if wormy too}
:runninghorse2:...
 

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I don't understand? I didn't even know this practice existed?? Why would you ever want to cut off a horses manes?? I must say I just looked up what roaching was and I was watching that video with my mouth open and utter disbelief. Probably nature had an intention with her design... :D Just saying...
 
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