A Close Shave!
I probably say this every year, but I can’t believe we are in February already and find ourselves full steam ahead preparing the horses for the early shows that will start in March! I always think there is lots of time after the madness of HOYs and the Christmas/New Year break and then suddenly here we go again.
One of the many jobs on the list is hogging the cobs. I love to see the transformation from their partially grown out manes to a beautifully smart hog.
If you want to show your cob you will have to hog its mane and this will only really look right if your horse has a workmanlike head and neck, which is why it suits cobs so well
Hogging Top Tips:
- It is best to use battery powered clippers. Try to use the quietest pair you can because you will be working right up to and through his ears. Do not use small trimers are they will not be powerful enough. Make sure your clippers are clean and the blades are sharp.
- It doesn’t matter if you are re-hogging or hogging from scratch make sure you have a perfectly clean and dry mane before you start.
- Make sure to take the time to ensure your horse is happy with the noise of the clippers before you start the process. Don’t expect to leap on your horse with the clippers for the first time the day before a show!
- A long mane should be cut shorter with scissors first to make the process easier and prevent the clippers overheating.
- Ideally hog the mane about 3 days before a show as this allows for a bit of regrowth so your horse will not look scalped because he will on day one!
- Find something sturdy to stand on so you are not having to reach up to the mane from the ground. It is also safer to have someone hold your horse rather than tying them up, in case they pull back.
Remember – a hogged mane will take up to a year to properly grow out, so be sure it is the right choice for your horse before reaching for the clippers!
When hogging your horse’s mane, it is important to make sure that clipping is blended into the hair, so the hog looks neat and sharp and preferably flat on top. Never hog a horse down to the bare skin and always follow the contour of the horse’s neck. It is best to go back over the mane after washing the horse in case any hairs have been missed.
Step by step:
- Start at the withers and run the clippers along the top of his neck all the way up, stopping just before his ears. Be positive, using even pressure – not light, tickly strokes because he won’t like that!Now go from the top to the bottom with the clippers slightly to one side, then change sides and run the clippers back up to the top, angled to the other side. You should have most of the mane off now.
- Go up and down the neck again if there is any mane left and angle the clippers as needed to get all the stray hairs.
- Switch to a small set of trimmers if you have them to tidy up, sculpt and shape.
- Finally, take of the forelock by running the small clippers between his ears from back to front. Horses seem to prefer this rather than have you come at them from the front. When you have taken the forelock off, blend in again to ensure a tidy finish.
- Once done, brush off and wash the mane to get rid of any scurf. Then check it is tidy with no stray hairs sticking up.
(all photos credit Peter Nixon photography)