I am going to show English this upcoming year and was wondering what to do with my horses mane. It is frizzy, long, thick, and double-sided. I want to keep some length and I already thinned the underneath layers. I tried the small hunt style pull braids and they end up very thick and close together. It doesn't look good. Other than roaching it off, are there any other styles that would be acceptable for lower level hunter and jumping?
Your braids will likely look much better if you get rid of some of the length. Hunter braids rarely look good when you want to keep some length in the mane. Do you have any photos? Often times even the lower level hunters are sticklers for things like braids, so I'd stick to the norm if you can.
I struggled for years with my Haffie's mane ans English shows. She had a long, flowing THICK typical Haffie mane that I could never decide what to do with at shows. One day in September, we were jumping, and my hands got tangled in her mane. I decided I was done with the long mane thing, and the next week, cut and pulled it to a more typical length. I was able to braid nicely for the next show, I felt we were both more ready to show, and we placed batter to! So I suggest just cutting it to about 4 or 5 inches, then pulling it alot to get the thickness down. I'll post some pics. You should too!
Alright, here is Tiara's mane before. Brushed out completely smooth.
During. Taking sharp scissors, I just cut the hair straight across, about an inch at a time. When I got the hair to about 4-5 inches at the withers, I continued cutting farther up the neck until it was all that length.
(You can see she looks nervous! )
And, while I didn't get a nice picture like the other two after, here is one of a jumper show about a month later.
(Moderators Note: removed photographers proof. Placeholder for new pic)
Gage... your horse has a pretty mane but is much to long and still to thick to get nice, even looking hunter style braids.
You need to bring that mane to about 5" and probably 1/3 thinner.
That is a lot of hair to work with.
It needs pulling not cutting with a scissor to finish "the look" and make it easier to braid.
You can shorten it with a scissor but only pulling it will take the heaviness out of it...do not use thinning shears as that gives you uneven lengths that are harder to braid in and make nice appearing English braids...
I agree with horselovinguy. The mane needs pulling, the above picture is an excellent reason as to why manes should never be cut. The only time they should be is if the mane is very thin as with some TBs and then you are better using a serrated kitchen knife than scissors.
I can see that his mane is frizzy but, they really do plait well when pulled to a shorter length. If you get it shorter and braid it over and keep wetting it with a brush it will stay on one side.