Tail & mane that needs an overhaul, ideas? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Skyseternalangel
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-25-2012, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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Tail & mane that needs an overhaul, ideas?

I've owned horses for nearly ten years now, but I'm still a complete beginner when it comes to manes and tails. In the past I've been lucky enough to have a mare who had a thin mare that was little maintenance and a thick tail that I managed quite well.

However, both my experience with ginger mares have always been mammoths with hair, thick bushy manes with thin tails that just hang there. Admittedly, I've never wanted to take to them with scissors to get them short enough to then pull to the desired thickness (the manes) but whenever I did I felt like the Mother who cut their kid's hair using a bowl and blunt scissors - though this has slowly improved...but their tails have always had me stumped as they just never looked good!

Honey, bless her, well she is all out of order. I -want- to learn how to maintain a nice tail and mane year round, and not give up because I've failed to use my tools in a manner to flatter. I've watched many videos and gained helpful hints and figure whilst I'm not showing, I can learn to try a little more. I recently got her mane shorter for pulling so I'm not too phased by that... but I have no clue how to pull her tail/shape it in order to flatter. My instructor clips hers (I know not everyone enjoys that) and I do like the look and have used it in the past and find it very easy to maintain. But wonder if this would be my best option and then whilst it grows (hers does grow relatively well) shape it as I go?

Man I feel a little ashamed at how I'm just not sure what to do

Here's a couple of pictures to explain...

I don't like how it has flyaways all around the base of the tail underneath... it looks really untidy, adds to the fact that her tail is so thin and would like to have a neat tail. As you can see, mane is ridiculously thick, and I need to pull it!

I want to show her later in the year (much later haha) and so I'd like to get my not so okay skills up to being at least do-able for low level events. Is it acheievable? Hahah! Any handy hints?

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post #2 of 8 Old 01-25-2012, 10:52 AM
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-25-2012, 11:47 AM
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For the mane, pull a little every time you're out there. Or you can try a thinning comb. Also, I recommend avoiding scissors since you get that "this was obviously cut by scissors" look. Try a razor or if you DO use scissors, flip the mane over on the other side, trim/cut, and then brush back to it's usual side.

You want to pull it after exercising so the pores are nice and open and there isn't any ripping.

Leave in conditioner helps to make it silkier which will help the tail. I use a paddle brush to brush out my horse's mane and tail and forelock. Starting at the ends to get the knots off, then brush as usual.

Don't brush when wet, and make sure to use a detangler.

Hope I helped
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-25-2012, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I prefer not to use scissors either but it was just so long! So I flipped it over to the off side and tried to fix it a little. Just got to pull it now and yip I know the pores trick!!

I'm buying a brush for the tail before I touch it. I normally brush it from the bottom up. Never when wet! Thank you, this was helpful!!
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-25-2012, 04:07 PM
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Also, OP.. I wouldn't cut the flyaways (just saying because some people have..) either pull them.. and be careful about doing so! Or you could braid the top for shows. It'd look smart and clean and those fly aways could grow into the rest of the tail.

If she's rubbing, listerine is useful.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-25-2012, 04:34 PM
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Try braiding her mane down the side of the neck that it tends to hang on. Braid nice and tight and I've found that this also helps with thinning if you take out and rebraid once a week or so. You will have a number of hairs that pull out very easily. It will also help train the mane down
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-25-2012, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Sadly the type of shows I'll be attending are ones that have the rule of 'no plaiting' haha. Just my luck cos I'm actually really decent at tail plaiting!!

I've never pulled a tail before, I'm a little hesitant to so might get a friend to show me but most of my show friends tend to clip the docks and opt out of tail plaits over here!

Thanks for the plait tip for the mane. Honey doesn't like the fuss but I'll give it a go!
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-26-2012, 12:50 AM
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My horse's mane is thick like yours. You do have to pull some, razor the underside some. Now for the trick to get it to lay flat for a show. The night before, flat iron it and put a sleazy on him. It will be flat against his neck in the morning. I even used my salon flat iron spray on it. Works excellent.
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