Mane Disasters! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 05-04-2013, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Mane Disasters!

I would like to see your mane disasters, and how you fixed them. I am strange, I LOVE to sort out matted manes. It is so relaxing, especially when you are working with horses like these. Thursday, I was finally able to go home, and because I am on limited time, there is only so much I can do. Thursday was pasture horse mane maintenance. LOL. My broodmare was very grateful for the attention. She readily volunteered and pouted when I moved on.

I did this all loose in the pasture. I don't recommend that at all, especially with tails, unless you are confident in reading your horse and the horses around you. My mares are pretty tall. Sometimes I cannot see the others. It is very important to know how your individuals communicate with each other. The turn of an ear can help keep you safe. A lot of times, some do not like to wait their turn, and will crowd you and the horse you are working on, which is dangerous. It is best to be able to work one at a time, but you have to be aware of everyone else. Ideally, you should be catching them and working on them in a closed environment.

All in all, the three horses, with lots of petting time and socializing(I have been missing my horses okay! Lol) it took under two hours, to do three full manes and a really bad tail.

Here is my girl's mane.




And the end result.


One thing you always have to remember when doing mats like these, is to cut straight down should you ever have to use scissors. This includes those awful tail mats too. Cutting is often unavoidable, and if you get mats this bad, you must realize that these mats are caused by hair that has fallen out. You should have a pile of mane by the end of it. The goal, though, is to save as much of the mane that is still attached as possible. These mats are like Chinese finger traps from hell. You have to start at the top and loosen by hand. Starting at the top gives you a good idea what hair is good and what has fallen out. The more you can spread the mat out, the easier it will be to separate without pulling out or cutting out too much good hair.

In doing these, over 90% is done with fingers alone. You can feel the good hair better than you can with a comb, and work the hair out gently.

This poor guy looked so rough.


Ta-da! Handsome old guy.


This girl was awful. This was one of those situations where the hair matted around a few burrs. Not terrible amount of burrs, but they made that main mat almost solid. It took almost immediate cutting through the center to get it to loosen up.


Cut straight down. NEVER across or up.


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post #2 of 15 Old 05-04-2013, 04:57 PM
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Impressive! Such a dramatic difference!

I don't have pictures to share though :/ I brush my horses' manes every time I'm at the barn
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-04-2013, 06:02 PM
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My Grace has a really long mane and she LOVES to roll, which makes her mane get really nasty and matted up. I don't have any pictures, but I understand where you're coming from. I love to brush out those matted manes and tails - I love to see the difference when I am done. :)
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-04-2013, 11:12 PM
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I don't have pics but when I first got my Mustang his mane & tail were pretty bad. In fact, his tail was almost like a baseball bat!, but I did'nt have to cut any of it! It took a very long time & alot of patience, but it came out. What did I use you might ask? WD-40. Works awesome!

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post #5 of 15 Old 05-05-2013, 12:13 AM
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I heard the use of veg oil. Leave it in for a bit then start brushing out then you may not have to cut at all but they will be dirty till you can shampoo it out
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-05-2013, 02:04 AM
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I have a question about a mane disaster (kind of).
My mare has a thin mane to begin with. In order to braid it, I have to pull it to make it shorter. Half of her mane flops on the wrong side of her neck, so I pulled that a lot to make it stay on one side. The more I pull, the more hair flops over. I've tried training braids, but they only worked for a day or two.

I WILL NOT cut her mane. Everything I've ever been taught is against cutting mane when you can pull it lol. It's really looked down upon with eventing, so no mane cutting. I will take better pics, but here you can see the chunk on the wrong side. I've pulled it more since then, but it's just getting worse. Why is this, and how do I make it shorter and stay on the right side?

529419_586824084674989_1006383818_n.jpg

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post #7 of 15 Old 05-05-2013, 03:56 PM
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Baby oil! Works pretty well too. One of the horses here gets actual dreadlocks in his mane.

I may seem small, but if you mess with my horse, I will break out a level of crazy that will make your nightmares seem like a happy place.
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-06-2013, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Ash, from what I have read, you pull the mane when it is too thick. I woul imagine to get that flat bottom, even look, you have to trim it. I am not an eventer, so I don't have much to go off of. I have read too that when you do it, you never want to do it within a week of a show, and to always start your trim about two inches longer than you want it to end up.

Now something I am pretty good with is getting a mane on the "correct" side through braiding. What I would do for your horse is pull it all to the side I wanted it and braid it before even thinking about pulling it or cutting it. You are going to be leaving these braids in, so make sure they are not tight, so those will irritate and she might rub. Nice loose braids. On some horses, I will sometimes put some styling gel on them to help keep them going the right way. On rare occasions, I have even hung a light fishing weight on the end to pull the hair down more. You will want to let down, brush, and rebraid every few days to make sure everything is going alright and she isn't itchy. You will want to keep this up for... Oh, I would say at least a month, so you can have good growth of the mane and train its growth in the new direction.

Once you get it growing in the right direction, then think about getting it in that fancy eventer style.
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-06-2013, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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My mares are very distrustful of smelly hair products, so when I am playing with them loose, I just go without. When I have them caught, I must say I am a fan of MTG.
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-06-2013, 02:12 AM
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I always use kids detangling spray. Less oily and it smells great! Hehe.

My quarab once developed a mat in her tail so bad (I was away visiting family and mother had no interest in removing it) I had no choice but to remove the whole hair mass with scissors. Unfortunately this meant removing all the hair from the tip of her tail. Her tail looked like mutton chops for a while, so awful! I hate cutting horsey hair.

On the horse with the floppy mane, try a slinky for her neck. It wil force the hair to lay flat and keep it clean.

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