What's the secret for long manes - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 11-29-2016, 10:35 AM
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Genetics is the biggest bit. Tried braiding my TBs mane and kept up with it for 3 months...she just doesn't have the DNA to have a long mane. Braiding is a lot of work too. Just use leave in conditioner and MTG now, has got her mane thicker but not much longer.
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post #12 of 17 Old 11-29-2016, 12:14 PM
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I do lots of MSM/Vitamin E [for health issues with my gelding, but it has the added effect of improving his hair growth], plus absolutely no silicones/detanglers/etc. I use a dab of pure Jojoba oil and melted coconut oil on my hands, then rubbed into the mane or tail to detangle before brushing.

He clearly has the genetics for a long, thick, mane and tail, but this regimen has really improved his hair quality since I got him!

I only braid his mane during the summer [using electrical tape to end the braids - it really works!] using really chunky braids that are loose enough that they don't pull on his neck. In the winter time, his mane is down and I let it get all kinds of muddy and stuff - the key is to crack the mud out by hand prior to brushing/conditioning and restrain yourself from doing it more than once every week or so.
I would put it up in the winter but: 1. If I'm gonna let him have a long mane, I might as well let myself enjoy it sometime! 2. It helps keep his neck warm. 3. I honestly don't care that much
I only braid it in the summer because it gets so hot under that mane that he literally gets fungal infections and overheats from his MANE!

I put his tail up once the flies have died off and it starts getting muddy outside. I use a braid-in tail bag after washing and oiling his tail. Right now, it's muddy enough for his tail to be up, but the flies are still around. I find, for my gelding, that more hair seems to break in the braid if he's swishing at flies than if I just leave his tail down and avoid messing with it.

Here's a picture from one year ago, 4 months after I completely roached his mane off -

And here's a photo from yesterday, exactly a year after that^ picture was taken:

He's an Arabian/Lipizzan cross so the genetics for thick, long, hair are DEFINITELY there..but I try to do my part to help his hair look the best it can. :)

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

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post #13 of 17 Old 12-01-2016, 10:43 AM
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My mustang's mane is ridiculous right now and I love it. She has the genetics for a crazy thick mane and tail that grow forever. For the most part, I don't fuss with it too much. I use Cowboy Magic's detangler on any wind knots, and finger comb her mane otherwise. I only braid it while working her on hot days. and keep one braid near her withers while riding just to keep her mane from getting under the saddle pad. The best advice is to keep it clean. I have the advantage of seeing her almost daily, so if it does get tangled, it doesn't stay tangled long. The cool part about long manes is that you get to play around doing fun things like this.
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post #14 of 17 Old 12-01-2016, 04:09 PM
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A lot of it has to do with genes, some horses have the gene to have long manes, others do not. However, this does not mean you cannot grow your horses mane to a long length. Regular MTG applications and braiding the mane helps increase length. I do not braid my horses tails, because of all the swishing that happens, if they get their tail caught on something, it will rip out whole chunks, not a few strands. Hope that helped!!

-Caitlin Sanderman
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-01-2016, 07:41 PM
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In my experience (and my gelding has a VERY long mane) DO NOT BRAID!
Braiding breaks hair, especially if the mane or tail is thin. Think about it, we braid our horse's mane while his head is up, but when he puts his head down to eat, the top of his neck stretches and becomes longer. The hair is bound in braids, and thus gets ripped out. As for the tail, every time a horse swishes a braided and/or bagged tail, hair breaks. Braiding tails up might work during the winter when there are no flies.
As long as the mane or tail doesn't drag on the ground, there's no need to braid. If the hair really is that long or unmanageable, put it in loose figure-8 knots instead. But please, I'm begging you, save your horse's mane and tail and don't braid.

It's definately easier to grow hair when your horse has the hair gene, but it isn't necessary. Instead focus on his diet. Make sure your horse is getting his omegas! Give your horse a multivitamin (if he needs it) and adding a skin/coat supplement can do a lot for his hair. Not only has SmartShine Ultra made my horse super glossy, but his mane and tail have also exploded in growth. BioMane makes supplements specifically for hair growth, so maybe compare ingredients?

As for hair products, I can't recommend Mane-ly Long Hair enough. To help your unicorn have the longest hair possible, I would get the whole line. The shampoo leaves hair more moisturized than before you washed it. Their detangler is a bit expensive, but I can guarantee you'll never go back to your old one. It's light, non-greasy, effective, and doesn't freeze in the winter (bonus!!) I never touch my gelding's mane or tail without some detangler in there. When I brush through his mane and tail, there isn't a single hair stuck in the brush, which means none is breaking or being pulled out. Never use whitening shampoos or detergents on your horse. Never use coat polish spray on his mane or tail, nothing will dry it out faster.
I sound like a total spokesperson for this company, but I wouldn't recommend it if I wasn't totally in love with the products.

Sorry for the long post, but I hope my experience helps you obtain your long mane dreams!
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post #16 of 17 Old 12-03-2016, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Bright Stride Equine View Post
Genetics is the biggest bit. Tried braiding my TBs mane and kept up with it for 3 months...she just doesn't have the DNA to have a long mane. Braiding is a lot of work too. Just use leave in conditioner and MTG now, has got her mane thicker but not much longer.
This. Have never seen a TB with a long mane. They just don't grow it. I just use a hair detangler and a brush such as this. Talila's mane is probably in its maximum length now anyway.
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post #17 of 17 Old 12-03-2016, 08:40 AM
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I'm another one voting genetics!

At this point in his life, this boy lived out in a herd 24/7, on nothing but grass (no feeds/supplements), and got groomed maybe once a month? No special treatments, just a tonne of Mane and Tail detangler and a mane brush. This was after I had spent 30 minutes teasing out wind knots.

Whilst you might be able to help a little with topical potions and supplements, you aren't going to be able to change the number of hair follicles on his neck. Bill is a cob - he is bred for mane, tail and feather production, other breeds aren't.

(Disclaimer - the cob is not mine, he is a horse I worked with).
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