In the Saddle: Even horses have a mobile hairdresser

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Last week was a busy week as I began preparations for my young horse to compete at the Derbyshire County Show.

Last year he competed there as a yearling (one year old) and was shown plaited in the ring. However, this year he has started rubbing and his mane was in very poor shape. He seems to have been itching his neck on anything he can.

We've got the vet booked in for some tests in a couple of weeks time as we think he is allergic to flies. In the meantime I just knew there was no way he could be plaited as his mane was so sparse.

So, when in doubt I called my horsey hairdresser. Yes, we do have such things and no - my horse didn't have to go into a salon and talk about his holidays.

Due to his breeding of Appaloosa - the rules state he can be shown in competitions with his mane left down and natural, plaited or hogged.

Now, in case you are wondering what 'hogging' is it is nothing to do with pigs. It is where the mane and forelock is shaved off entirely. Which was the only option available to me.

Claire, from Claire Cooper Equestrian Services, is very much like a mobile hairdresser for horses. Although, that is just part of the many services she offers alongside instructing and schooling horses for her clients.

Not only did he have his new hair cut, but Claire also trimmed around his heels too. We did try to sort out his whiskers but he was having none of it so we left it.

She did a fantastic job and I'm sure you will agree that my 'skin head' horse looks very dashing with his new look.

I'll tell you all about how we did at the county show in the next column, but in the meantime thanks for reading and remember you can follow me on Facebook at 'In The Saddle - Anita Marsh' or on Twitter @inthesaddleblog. Have a lovely weekend in the sun.