Making a Naturally Long Mane Look its Best

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Making a Naturally Long Mane Look its Best

This is a discussion on Making a Naturally Long Mane Look its Best within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

View Poll Results: Should I braid her mane?
Yes 6 75.00%
No 2 25.00%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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    05-03-2011, 08:52 PM
Making a Naturally Long Mane Look its Best

My mare has a naturally long, somewhat thick, beautiful mane. I've always had horses with naturally thinner, wimpier manes who really benefited from keeping them braided. I didn't think twice about braiding them since their manes were not all that great to start.
If her mane is naturally nice, do you think it's worth it to braid it to maximize its length and fullness? I'm just horrified of risking ruining it in any way, and though I've had mostly positive experiences personally, I know I've heard a few horror stories about keeping them braided. I just don't know how rare it is that they can get ruined that way.

So do you think I should do it? Or should I stick with just gentle care and MTG application for health and growth?
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    05-04-2011, 12:15 PM
A few tips. Never brush the mane, always finger it cause brushing does cause breakage and thining and will end up pulling many hairs out by doing this. Yes it takes longer but it is well worth the work. I wouls suggest doing a few long braids being looser on the top and tighter at the bottom. This way when your horse moves her neck around it wont pull the hairs out or make her itchy which will cause her to rub. Keep it clean. I suggest washing it and thoroughly rinsing it once a week. If the roots are clean then the hair will grow faster and strongeer and healthier. If you do decide to use conditioner don't put any up towards the roots, cause you won't be able to rinse it out completely no matter how hard you try which will cause her hair not to grow as well and will deffeat the whole purpose of washing it. Then after it is completely dry braid it again. Never breaid wet this will damage the hair, I also suggest not doing anything with it till it is dry. Wet hair can be much more brittle than dry. Also besides coming down for braiding there is really no need to be messed with. The less you mess with it the better off it will be. The more you mess with it the more hair you will lose and damage. Also suggest not using bands to tie off your braids they can also cause damage and fall out very easily. It is much better to braid in and tie off some string or yarn. This way you don't take the risk of damaging the hair with the rubber.
    05-04-2011, 06:14 PM
Yep, I always do loose braids and have never had a problem with rubbing.
    05-04-2011, 07:23 PM
Green Broke
I would be worried that another horse might rip them out... But I haven't braided my horses manes for very long, so I'm not much help LOL
    05-04-2011, 07:32 PM
Originally Posted by Ray MacDonald    
I would be worried that another horse might rip them out... But I haven't braided my horses manes for very long, so I'm not much help LOL

I can say in my experiences that this has never happened. But not saying that it can't as anything can happen. Just think it would be extremely rare.
    05-04-2011, 09:07 PM
My Paint Clydesdale used to eat Arthur's hair when I used M-T-G on it.
    05-04-2011, 11:46 PM
Green Broke
I experienced a lot more problems with my Arabs long mane when braiding - regardless of how loose, she always rubbed them and broke hairs, etc. I find her mane is just as manageable if I keep it clean, and apply products like Satin Sheen or Cowboy Magic to it weekly. It keeps the hair ridiculously silky, repels dust and mud and basically just makes it extremely manageable, less prone to breakage, easy to comb, and isn't afflicted by things like mud, burrs and wind whorls (they come right out).
    05-05-2011, 01:44 AM
I'm going to give it a very cautious try and if she shows any signs of just rubbing it I'll take them out right away and probably not try again...I have been working with her for several months now without braiding her mane and even in the mud she kept it really quite clean. She also has a very easy hair texture so even when it gets big tangles they are extremely easy to get out, and I keep a lot of quality conditioning detangler in it, too. I would just like to get it as nice as I possibly can while also being wary that she can be kind of a princess and if anything makes her too uncomfortable she will definitely do something about it! Lol
So tonight/tomorrow will be a trial of whether or not she's bothered by them, but I'm going to be excessively cautious for sure. It's quite a bit on my shoulders to be entrusted with such a mane
If I do anything to mess it up I don't think I will be able to live with myself, lol
    05-05-2011, 09:03 AM
I have a friend who has an Arabian stallion with a glorious beautiful mane that is 34 inches long and he keeps it braided all the time with no problems with rubbing or hair breakage.
    05-05-2011, 09:44 AM
We have a Canadian mare with a chest-length. We only braid if it's hot out, as her mane is SO thick. Other than that, we put Mane 'n Tail in it to keep it smooth and manageable, and that makes it pretty easy to keep it from tangling and getting too dirty.

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