Last Updated on March 8, 2022 by Allison Price
Hogging is also known as “roaching” in the US. It involves shaving or cutting off a horse’s forelock and, often (as in the case with feathered cobs), also trimming the horse’s legs to remove long hairs. The breed history may dictate that the forelock should be cut, but it is not always necessary.A hogged Norman cob
It is not easy to decide whether or not to hog a cow. A cob can be shown in certain classes by hogging. It can also make a very rugged cob look neater.
Are there other reasons to hog than appearances?
Horses with heavy feathering on their legs, such as cobs or other horses, can become infected and parasitic. Long hair traps warmth and moisture, making it an ideal environment for harmful microorganisms such as Dermatophilus and Staphylococcusbacteria. This can lead to mud fever. These moist conditions can also lead to fungal infections.
Horse feathers can harbor feather mites, as the name suggests. There are many species of feather mites, each with its own attack mode. These mites can spread to other areas of the horse, causing severe irritation. Some mites prefer the tail and/or mane.
The process of clipping long hair from your legs can make it easier to keep dry and clean legs, especially if your horse is muddy or gets wet. Horses that are outside or don’t get dry enough will end up with permanently moist legs. This can lead to secondary infections and injury.
It is possible to keep a healthy horse feathered all year, but clipping makes it easier!
It’s not natural, but it is…
Hogging is often criticized because it is considered ‘unnatural’ and may in any way hinder the horse’s ability of adapting to its environment. Although this may seem like a common reaction, it is not accurate.
There is no wild equid with a long, floppy or thick mane. And there’s not much evidence to support either. These characteristics were chosen by humans for their aesthetic appeal. They look beautiful!
Of course, not all ‘HT0_ natural _’ is excellentanyway – and not every physical characteristic is adaptive!
Shaving the mane or leg feathering of horses is not likely to cause any harm. However, it can make them less able to communicate with others by affecting their ability to swat at fly flies.
There is no right answer to the question of hogging. It really comes down to personal preference and practicality. It’s only hair, it will grow back!
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!