I know this may have been asked before but nothing is coming up on the search. I understand that traditionally, a shaved close style roaching of the mane is acceptable in Hunters and most other disciplines (of any breed). It is not as common these days in hunters, and certainly uncommon with arab owners. (I can't find any pics!) I'm considering it but want to be sure I'm on the right side of the rules.
I don't think I'll ever get to the point where I can compete in breed shows with my boy, but I thought I'd look at the rules for AHA just in case. It states: "Purebred Arabian horses must wear a long, natural, unbraided mane and/or tail (with or without clipped bridle path). Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian horses are not required to have a long mane and/or tail, but an unbraided mane and/or tail is mandatory. Exceptions: Horses shown with Hunter, Jumper, Show Hack, or Dressage appointments are permitted to show with a shortened, pulled, or braided mane and/ or tail. Cutting horses may be shown with a roached/shaved mane."
In the USEF rules for the hunter division nothing is specified for manes other than other ladies sidesaddle so I'll put that here: Mane and Tail- Must be braided. (Exception: roached mane and pulled tails).
For hunter pleasure it just says Manes and tails can be braided or not.
I can't find anything but I imagine its not allowed in showmanship classes? No idea.
So, my question is, would it be acceptable to roach my purebred arab? I've done two schooling shows with him so far, (one bigger than the other) and both times I felt a little...overlooked because of his breed (he is also green but horses with worse behavior during classes placed higher).
In our first grooming and showmanship class I was told to leave it natural/loose rather than braid because it was so long, but then didn't place because turns out the judge (who was the person I asked prior to the show) would have preferred if it was pulled and in braids. Most people I know at the barn expected him to win or at least place because I kept him is such good condition prior to the show and spent so many hours grooming and preparing for it.
Hiba just looks...awful with a pulled mane honestly. It only happened once, when a volunteer at a different barn pulled all the horses, lesson and boarders(without asking) included. I was not happy.
His mane is thin, coarse and stringy and breaks easily as it is currently. If I go on to compete in other all breed schooling type shows or even make it to a little higher level hunter/eq classes, would it be a bad thing to be roached? We already stick out as the dynamic odd duo, but at least I'd like our turn out to be sharp, manageable and neat. Besides, his mane irritates him at the canter and over fences, so I've kept it in plain maintenance braids for months, which is a pain. He's also currently used as a lesson horse so braiding is a weekly thing as kids and Hiba end up pulling off the bands and undoing the braids. I just don't want them brushing his hair every day, he'd have bald spots!
It does look lovely and full when loose, but his living situation makes it more of a chore and its never out anyway. Besides if I'm going to be passed for ribbons because he has a lovely Arabian mane versus a short tidy TB one...
Thanks in advance. Any pictures and stories of bald neck Arabians, especially showing, would be greatly appreciated!