I like the look of a well trimmed bridle path on a decent mane, so I cut Indie's back a little more than what you would for just keeping the hair out of the way (just a little longer than her ear). But any horse I would own would have a clipped bridle path because I hate pulling on their hair when taking bridles and halters on and off. I use scissors too- it's just quicker and easier if you know how to cut in a straight line xD
Mine would look nicer if my gelding would stop popping his head up to look at something every time I try to trim it. Eventually I just get tired of it and ask him if he really WANTS to get stabbed in the head with the scissors? He usually doesn't answer that.
Alli has a bridal path about an inch wide purely because she tosses her head about if herr mane is tangled up underneath her bridal, and its easier to separate mane from forelock when quickly bridaling half and hour before dark
My new Arabian came with a growing out long bridle path. It was finally grown out when I decided to show her at halter for the experience.
I didn't want to clip it for one show so I didn't. I showed her with a 2" bridle path & won the class. I didn't clip her ears either.
This was just an open show, breed shows would have different requirements to be competitive.
When I bought my horse, I was twelve. His prior owner taught me to bend his ear back and clip to that length. I have been doing that, but lately I've discovered that it is more of a western thing and I will go back to only doing an inch or two
I have always cut 3" paths with the clippers. (I have Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Draft Horses and Minis) I think it looks cleaner. Even my brood mares are buzzed a bit. I hate pulling on there hair to get it under the bridle and it still looks like a mess. I also prefer the look of "THIS is the forelock, THIS is the mane". I think it makes for a groomed look, makes the horses throatlatch area look cleaner conformation wise. I have never shown - just always prefered the look and the hassle free bridle process.