Supplementing for quicker mane/tail growth - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-11-2019, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Supplementing for quicker mane/tail growth

I have an Arabian mare whose got a pretty long mane, although it's not very thick. My friend suggested I start keeping it up in braids to prevent wind knots. Well, I should've thought it through more. The braids weren't tight at all, she just didn't like the way they laid on her neck so she proceeded to rip a few out. Her mane isn't visibly shorter but it's very thin in those places. It's not something that I want to trim or pull, it just needs to thicken up again. Are there any supplements that can help encourage growth in her mane&tail? I know genetics are the biggest factor but she has no problem with getting a long mane, it just takes a long time to grow. I don't plan on doing any showing with her until spring so I've got a good bit of time until it really matters. Maybe Biotin?
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-12-2019, 06:56 AM
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Biotin and the needed added amino acids and minerals so absorbing of it is optimum will help her coat, her hair and her hooves...

Biggest thing I know of to promote mane growth is leave it alone.
Same as the tail....
Don't brush it, don't put any product with a oil base in it like show-sheen or anything along that theory...
If it has knots and snarls, use only your fingers and work from the bottom to top to remove them, any debris or snarls.
Grooming tools often break the hairs = thin mane/tail happening.
Genetics is the biggest part of how thick hair grows, how fast and how long...
But our human practices in how and what we groom and bath with are a large culprit to what end result is seen, good, bad and ugly.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-12-2019, 07:14 AM
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When I had a horse with a long mane, I did feed biotin (though mainly for her hooves at the time), but from a grooming perspective, I maintained the mane and tail every single time I groomed her. GENTLY, though. I would spray in lots of detangler (there are some good non-drying ones out there), and do gentle detangling beginning with my finger tips. And then I would very very gently run a comb through small pieces at a time to find any remaining tangles, and then stop and pick those apart too. I had absolutely no breakage and no loss. And by keeping the mane slick with a lot of detangling and conditioning product, you help prevent those wind tangles. They were never a problem, even without braids. If I had a horse again, I'd do it the same way.
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post #4 of 5 Old 11-12-2019, 11:14 AM
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It takes a good 6 months or better for rubbed out mane to grow back. A few years ago ice had a big hunk of mane rubbed out. It was from a hay feeder we used over the winter.

I did nothing kept what was left of his mane tangle free. Using a good conditioner on it weekly. His mane grew back in without feeding any supplements

He's got a massive amount of mane it's ridiculously thick.

Out riding my horse.
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-12-2019, 07:47 PM
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Biggest recommendation I have is test your hay or horse's blood and fill in nutrition blanks. To be honest, trying supplements can be a bit of a shot in the dark, when results can take up to 9 months or more to show up. No individual supplement is going to work miracles without the basis of a balanced diet and not all grains/ ration balancers are complimentary to all areas, despite advertisement. For example, I literally could not find one grain or ration balancer in my area that would balance out the high iron, low vitamin E etc in my area. Good growth will be a result of adequate nutrition.

I have heard of biotin helping a little bit. Biotin is a b-vitamin (B7) that helps metabolize food and is both produced in the body and found in food, meaning that is is rarer for a horse to be deficient in biotin. That being said, some research has suggested that increased biotin may help with growth rate and hair/hoof strength. However, research on the relationship between biotin supplementation and growth rate are mixed, most likely because of differences in nutrition, climate, age, etc between horses used in the studies. There is also the fact that there is a lack of consistent regulation in equine supplements, which does not guarantee good quality biotin, nor a certain amount, as indicated on the label.

In short, supplementing with biotin wouldn't hurt, but I'd suggest testing your horse's nutrition first for optimal results.

For other things to do, I recommend finding a nice oil moisturizer on the mane, such as joboba oil etc. I've also used coconut oil in the past, but it does get waxy in cooler weather, so I didn't like it as much. Avoid daily detanglers with silicone in the ingredient lists as they coat the hair strands, which blocks moisture from penetrating the hair and can lead to breakage. However, they may work in your favor if you have access to a wash stall and need to keep mud from drying out the tail.

Brushing hair can lead to breakage, but so can a horse that becomes itchy at the crest, so I think this is dependent on the horse. My horse, who has a very thick mane, can not stand no brushing and will literally itch until he self-roaches his mane. I compromise by using a wide tooth comb and detangler to minimize breakage. I've also tried braid and banding in the past, but have had the best results leaving it loose.
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