Ok my horse has a tail that reaches his hocks(no prob there) but up at the top of his tail his hair is mabey an inch or two long and when I plait the tail it will fall out no matter what I do :( so frustrating and is there any way to thin the mane without shortening it?? The little bobbles I make are frizzy and deformed and are way to big :) so does anyone have the same problem or any advise I would sure like to hear about it :)
Is there a reason why the hair at the top of his tail is so short? I mean, does he rub it out or something? If he's rubbing, maybe try a dewormer that handles pinworms. If he just has dry skin and is itching, I've used baby oil to moisturize the tail. MTG works for skin irritations, too, and can jump start hair growth.
I have seen tails with the upper portion of the tail pulled or clipped, as opposed to braided. I'm not crazy about the look personally, but it may be an option.
To do either flat or button braids, the mane needs to be thinned and shortened for the right effect. I'm picky about my guy's long mane, so I do this kind of braid:
I get by in shows with it, and it's actually getting more common to see the french braids in the ring, even in hunter classes, in my area.
Thinning shears may work on a long mane, but I've never tried it.
He doesnt have pinworms or anything I worm him regularly.....its just that his hair doesnt grow except for his mane its finally 5" long :) but his forelock is like a bunny tail :( NEVER would I clip or pull his tail or ANYTHING like that I don't like the look either :/ but that style of braiding on the mane...is there a website that would give me "detailed" directions??
I usually do it as close to showtime as I can. If my guy puts his head down, the withers-end comes undone and it needs redone for the ring.
Try Shapelys brand MTG on his tail, and his mane/forelock, if you like. I've heard good things about MTG for regrowing or lengthening/thickening manes and tails. If you're brave, I also suggest trimming the end of his bunny tail forelock. My grandmother's QH gelding (famous in my family for his skimpy mane and puffball forelock) went years without his mane being touched with scissors or a pulling comb until this summer, when her trainer talked her into pulling it for a show. The horse's mane grew more in three months after the pulling than in 8 years of coddling every precious hair. Keeping the mane/forelock braided can help keep it from getting rubbed or broken off, but you run the risk of elastic ties breaking the hairs anyway. I'm a big fan of sewn in braiding, for looks as well as for the wear on the hairs.
Just curious, what breed is your horse? Some breeds just have skimpy hair, and it can be hard to get them to look nice with much other than the traditional stock horse trim.
Hes a quarter horse :) you mean like trim the dead ends type of trim? And his mane doesnt need to get any thicker haha his tail is just right except for the top.....hafve you heard of using egg white when braiding? If so have you used it and/or would you recomend it?
Yep, just trim off the dead ends. Quarter horses are one of those breeds with skimpy hair, especially depending on the breeding. Reining bred horses seem to grow longer, thicker manes and tails (look at Hollywood Dun It and Wimpy's Little Step), but I'm sure their manes are kept braided and bagged unless they're in the ring. Halter and cutter bred QH's (Impressive line and Doc Bar line are what I'm used to dealing with) tend to stay stringy and short, better for banding or button/flat braids. It sounds like you're dealing with a middle of the road type.
I've never heard of using egg white, but I'll bet it works to get the flyaways to lay down. My only concern about it would be if the raw egg white starts to "turn" and smell, but maybe washing it out after the show would be fine. I use human hair spray or hair gel out of my bathroom, and that tends to work well. My horses just smell like poodles.
These can slide off of some horses, but you could try washing, conditioning, combing, then put the tail guard on, and comb with ShowSheen, or Cowboy Magic type of stuff, each day and rewrap. Just watch what color you use if his tail is any color but black. I've heard horror stories about palominos whos just washed tails took on the color of a wrap.
Everything everyone is saying sounds good..but I reeeeally must comment about Show Sheen. It's NOT a conditioning product. It detangles and makes the hair look pretty at the time, but it actually dries it out and will do more harm than good. I didn't know this for a long time and used it, and kept wondering why my horse's hair didn't look so hot. Eventually someone told me about this and as soon as I stopped using it I saw the difference. If I were you I'd look into things that are made to condition the hair at the same time, like Cowboy Magic, Eqyss Survivor, and (my personal fav) Santa Fe which is also from Absorbine.
MTG is great too. I just started using it a week ago and my horse's tail has already grown quite noticably. I also put it on a big cut he had near his hock, and went back to look the next day and it had a patch of hair growing on it. It's really amazing stuff.
It's kind of annoying to work with, but it REALLY works.