‘Deeply Concerned': School Wants People to Respect the Mane After Horse Haircuts

Someone cut the manes on a herd of horses at Walter B. Saul High School of Agriculture Science in Roxborough

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A Philadelphia public school is left wondering who messed with their horses.

Walter B. Saul High School of Agriculture Science in the Roxborough neighborhood is hoping no one else messes with their animals after the manes of a team of horses were cut off two weeks ago.

Employees believe someone used a pair of scissors to cut the manes of their Ohana and Stricker horses. The exact reason for the unsolicited haircut wasn't known, but employees don't believe it to be for the hair to be used by humans.

Jane Arbasak, farm manager at Saul, said in the Philadelphia Inquirer that it's dangerous to cut the manes because every interaction can change the horses' behavior.

"The biggest point is that every time somebody interacts with a horse, or a cow or a sheep, that you’re teaching them a behavior," Arbasak told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It's not about you, it's about the kids."

A simple haircut can put the herd in danger for various reasons Marissa Orbanek, a communications officer with the School District of Philadelphia said:

"Manes are important for a variety of reasons. They help protect against flies and other insects, which is especially important when they spend their days in the pasture. In colder weather, they provide warmth. Manes can also indicate their health."

According to the school district, this is the first time the herd had any incidents since being at the farm.

"The School District of Philadelphia is deeply concerned about the trespassing that occurred at Walter B. Saul High School’s farm, which is not only illegal, but also dangerous," the district said in an earlier statement. "For more than 30 years, we have had our horses in the pasture without any incidents. As a response, the District will be installing a non-climb horse fence to ensure the safety of our animals."

The school is not looking to press charges on who did this, but just want people to show some respect.

"We take pride in being able to offer agriculture education to students in the School District of Philadelphia through our farms," Orbanek said in a statement to NBC10. "We know the community also views these as sources of pride and want our animals to remain safe and for the public to respect our property and animals."

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