So basically last winter the general routine was to have it braided (I'll post a picture) for about 6 days, then let it out, detangle/condition it and brush it, and leave it down for an hour or two, then braid it again. About once a month I'd wash and condition it, then let it air dry, detangle it, brush it, and braid it again. I also trim about half an inch off about every month or so.
Last year I was using Cowboy Magic detangler, but this year I'm using a spray in conditioner/detangler (from Great Clips, lol!) for little kids which works WAY better. Her hair used to feel kinda brittle and I'd worry about how many hairs I was going to break, just by handling it, but since I've been using this new stuff her hair has been feeling SO strong and soft!
Anyway, this is what I started with last fall:
How I braid it (it starts, loosely french-braided, about 4 inches about the end of her tailbone and then turns into a regular braid after the tailbone ends) :
(please excuse her condition in the spring/braid pictures, she looked horrible and I knew it was bad but I wasn't sure what to do about it (barn drama etc). However, now she's at my neighbor's house so I'm in full control of everything now so there will not be a repeat. EVER.)
Tips? I'm trying to grow out the shortest layers since about half of it is significantly shorter than the whole, and I want the total length to be longer, but I'm trying to let those bits catch up first. Basically thickness is the goal.