Question: I have a question that may seem absurd, but recently someone posted photos of their colt online. The photos looked like they had shaved their face of all hair. I am not sure why this would be done. Can you enlighten me?
Answer from April Reeves: There are specific breeds that shave their heads and necks to show off the skeletal structure and refinement of their foals. This is especially so with the Arabian.
You will see little foals with wooly bodies and naked necks and heads. It does look odd, but to those who breed and show Arabian, it’s their way of letting potential buyers see what’s under all that hair. These breeders are very conscious of the facial structure of their foals, as many people buy Arabians for their faces as much as the rest of the body. 20-30 years ago it was all about the body and legs, and the face was important but the horse had to be substantial. Then about 15 years ago, their heads became
the focus of the horse.
Other breeds do this as well so that buyers can see the horses heads. While it may help sell a horse, I personally have never ridden a horse’s head in my life, so I focus on the body and the legs. Pretty is in a horse that is willing and capable.
Each breed gets it’s own little traditions and ways of doing things that often seem illogical. In some cases those ways become so obsessive that we create trends for trend sake more so than any improvements made.