I think a horse will lose the same amount of hairs regardless if they're braided or not. If their name is loose, the hairs just fall on the ground. But in braids, the hair has no where to go but to stay in the braid ago it looks like they're losing a lot more hair just because the hair couldn't fall to the ground.
As for my boy, I do nothing to his hair. I braid it loosely in four sections to keep it off his neck. The Texas heat makes him sweat under his mane if I don't braid it. When he snaps the bands, I just rebraid. Sometimes I'll finger comb it, rarely will I use an actual brush on it. When I bathe him, I use my brush that has soft bristles with a sponge in the middle and just brush the shampoo and such on it. Then sometimes I put in some cheap conditioner, let it sit a couple minutes, then rinse it off. He just managed to grow hair almost as fast as he grows his feet. Guess I'm just lucky ;)
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