By Becca Husselbee
A woman known as the ‘horse barber’ has created incredible pieces of artwork by clipping into the coats her four-legged equine friends.
Melody Hames, 32, from Bury, in Manchester, set up the Horse Barber brand five years ago and now clips artwork into horses’ coat all over the globe.
From the United States to Ireland, Melody has perfected her skills and creates incredible clips for various occasions, some taking as long as ten hours to complete, with themes including World War I remembrance and hit TV show Game of Thrones.
Melody said: “I started clipping when I was around nine-years-old and it has now become my full-time job.
“I travel around the world producing creative clips as well as teaching others the science and horsemanship behind clipping.
“I clip all year round and not just when horses develop their winter coats, so on average, I can clip around five horses a day.
“The creative clips obviously take more time and depend on how far I can get in a session. The horses well being is my priority, so if they become bored, I pack up and start again the next day.
“People’s reaction’s are just amazing when they get to see the finished piece.”
Melody has developed her brand over the last five years along with her horse and ‘business partner’ Romeo, an eight-year-old Welsh Section D cob, who is the centerpiece for a lot of her work.
One of her favourite pieces to create was the World War I remembrance clip she shared at this years Your Horse Live event, which depicted scenes from the Great War.
Some of her other pieces include an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party clip, as a tribute to the Macmillan Cancer coffee mornings, which helped Melody raise £1,588 for the charity, as well as other dragon and red Indian themed clips.
Melody, who studied graphic design at Salford University, said: “I’m as passionate about the standard clips as I am about the creative ones, but they always stand out.
“The remembrance day clip really resonated with people and went viral quite quickly. 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.
“Sometimes I have to tailor the design to each horse as each one is different. For example, the coat colour or hair type, and might mean I have to change my technique.”
Melody has plans to travels back to the US and hold more demos for those wanting to learn the theory of clipping an equine coat but also has plans to start online courses for those unable to attend.
She said: “I have big plans in 2019 to reach more people with an online course and more demos here in the UK as well as overseas.
“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.”