Please help with my horses mane - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-13-2011, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Utah, USA
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Unhappy Please help with my horses mane

I show at local Dressage shows about every other weekend. My horse usually has a super thick, long mane and typically in the summer, I have to braid it because my horse gets really hot and sweaty when its 100 degrees and he has a blanket of mane on his neck. I usually braid about 7-9 braids down his neck and rebraid all the time (about every 3-7 days). The problem that is occuring this summer is that his mane is starting to break off and is rapidly getting shorter.

My trainer told me that the people who own the fresians that are showing all the time in my area, do a typical french (or running) braid and then vetwrap it. I would consider doing that, but have no idea how that could be done.

Does anyone know how to do that or have any other ideas or tips on how to save his mane?

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-13-2011, 10:22 PM
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I know how to do a running braid, (not sure about the vet wrap lol) it's basically like french braiding down your horses neck. I'm trying to think of how to explain it...
Okay, take a section of hair at the top of the neck and brain it just about two times, not all the way down. You should have two sections in one hand, (closer to the poll) and one it the other (closer to withers) now in the one with one section, grad another section and do once over (like continuing the braid) and then do the same all the way down the neck. Be careful and keep it as high on the neck as possible, it's less likely to fall out. And this can be harder the shorter it is. Sorry if its hard to understand lol, the best I can do with explaining and now being able to show you!
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post #3 of 20 Old 08-14-2011, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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First off, I love your username!!

Secondly, I do know how to do a running braid, what I'm asking about is for everyday use. A braid that I can use, without making my horse much hotter than he already is, but also not allowing the mane to break off and become shorter. I've lost like 4 inches this past month or so.

Perhaps my original thread was misleading, but I think that the question is properly rephrased in this post.
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-14-2011, 01:01 PM
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Ohh, I understand. Oops :) and thanks I was thinking the same about your username lol! I have to read it twice. I have always loved to use the running braid, it's made my mares mane grow out. But I can't seem to think of another way to prevent breaking.
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post #5 of 20 Old 08-14-2011, 02:37 PM
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Just take some rubber bands, and instead of braiding, just band about two or three areas down the length of his mane depending on how long it is. Make sense? It's just like doing a ponytail, in big sections down his neck. Once the initial top one is done, do another farther down that section. It's not as pretty as braids, but it's nicer on the mane.

It gets it off their neck nicely, without worrying about the breakage of braiding all the time.

Sorry if that's confusing, it's the best I can think to explain it.

"You're just as sane as I am."~Luna Lovegood.
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-14-2011, 02:55 PM
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Condition, condition, condition!!

I don't know if you use any products in his mane, but make beware of detanglers and shiners that make the mane dry and brittle. I just use conditioners in my Haffies manes for the most part.

IDK if this would work, but how about chopping up some pantyhose into rings, and using them to twist around bunches of mane rather than braiding it up?
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post #7 of 20 Old 08-15-2011, 08:30 AM
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Maybe make your braids smaller and looser. Less weight to pull and less tension should help minimize mane loss. Also, maybe just braid on the really hot days. I thought that I would braid my mare's mane this year, but I realized that having the braids in all the time was just too itchy for her. Also, weekly brushing was pulling out too much hair even though I was VERY careful. Now I just do a loose french braid on the really hot days.
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-15-2011, 08:40 AM
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I've found that when they are braided they tend to break off more hair when they rub on something, so no advice there.

I have working QH's with manes to/past their shoulders. I use jojoba oil to condition (I get it by the gallon from Solid Gold in CA, fairly expensive but lasts a long time! I use it on myself too) I try to keep them worked through on a regular basis, no metal combs of any kind and usually just finger comb them to prevent breakage.

You might try MTG to get some growth going. The stuff works wonders but smells like a smokehouse. I use it on broodmares that have had their tails used for pacifiers. Had one chewed off to above her hocks last year (despite trying cayenne, listerine, sour apple, darn babies!) and it's to her fetlocks now, I used MTG every other week on her.

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post #9 of 20 Old 08-15-2011, 10:47 PM
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I just attempted a running braid the other day! It's pretty much like French braiding. You start at the poll and, instead of adding pieces from both sides, you add pieces of hair from the opposite side of the poll, if that makes any sense. I could try to make a video and send you the link once it's made. But it's not near as hard as it looks. :)
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-17-2011, 06:49 PM
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This will all depend on how attached you are to your horse's long mane. Braids, no matter what shape or style will break hair. If you don't care about the long mane, then you can just do maintenance braids. If you really don't want the mane to break, just leave the mane down and unbraided when you're not showing. I don't think it bothers your horse as much as you think it does.
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