A shoeing and grooming, it can cost a pretty penny to keep a pony looking good, but if you really want to knock the hooves off the opposition at the local gymkhana, these crazy haircuts are surely the way to go.
The designs here are all down to Melody Hames, who discovered her talent by chance when as a nine-year-old she had to cut her pony Misty’s woolly coat.
Now aged 32, she travels around the world creating incredible artwork in horses’ coats with a pair of trusty clippers. Miss Hames set up a company called the Horse Barber five years ago with her ‘business partner’ – an eight-year-old cob called Romeo, who is the centrepiece for much her work.
She has created designs based on themes including the First World War, Game of Thrones, Alice in Wonderland and American Indians. Her creations can take up to ten hours to complete and prices range from £75 (R1 300) for a small coat feature up to £650 (R 11 500) for full body designs.
Miss Hames, who studied graphic design at Salford University, said: ‘People’s reactions are amazing when they see the finished piece.
‘The Remembrance Day clip really resonated with people. It took me six weeks to do my research and I visited the Imperial War Museum to get some ideas. Then I normally sketch some ideas down on papers and get started.’
Miss Hames, from Bury, has plans to hold more demonstrations for those wanting to learn the theory of clipping an equine coat, but also wants to launch online courses. She said: ‘I consider clipping to be an amazing art form and would love to get more people involved. I have such a passion for it and want to inspire the younger generation with my designs.’
Some horse owners pay for vets to inject their horses with sedative drugs while they are clipped, but Miss Hames instead relies on calm handling techniques to keep the horses still for their cut.
If a horse is initially nervous, she holds ‘confidence building sessions’ with them first so they can gradually get used to the noise and sensation of being clipped.
© Daily Mail