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I know that appys tend to have short tails and manes. However, I won 2 bottles of MTG at our award banquet and I was wondering if that could work for growing out his mane. Next year I am getting moved up into the grass arena at our shows and they require you to braid your horses mane. I have tried to do hunter braids on him before but they didn't work because his mane was too short.

Anyways, whats your guys opinion on MTG. My trainer said I could try it but I should only put it on later in the afternoon because since its oil based it will burn in the sun.

Has MTG worked for you all? If not whats other methods I could use to help grow out his mane? Picture to show how long it is now.
 

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Be very very careful with MTG. Some people seem to love it, but some horses have a very strong reaction to it, and it can actually burn off hair instead of "stimulating growth." It's also very stinky stuff. Personally I have no interest in the stuff. Also, Appys tend to be more prone to sunburn, so anything that could increase the likelihood of sunburn is not a great idea.

The best things you can do for mane and tail growth:

Take care of what they have by regularly, GENTLY detangling them. Liberally spray with a detangler and use just your fingers, loosening tangles a few hairs at a time, starting from the tips and working your way up gradually. The more often you do this the less time it will take, each time, and the fewer tangles they'll have, so less breakage. Keeping the tail conditioned with a detangler will help prevent tangles and snags, too. Same goes for the mane.

Meet their nutritional needs. Supplementing with biotin can help hair and hoof quality. Feeding ground flax, and/or black oil sunflower seeds, also helps keep their hair in good condition.

You can't actually make hair grow faster or thicker by putting anything on the outside. Any product that claims it can is lying to you.

Edited to add: a lot of Appaloosas are just genetically incapable of growing a thick mane or tail. There's unfortunately absolutely nothing you can do about that. Consider it... one of their charms. ;)
 

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His mane in the photo is actually too long to braid or band neatly unless you're doing the bigger dressage buttons.

MTG is my last resort... the stuff reeks and a lot of horses are allergic to it. I have a bottle that I use for things like suspected fungus or rain rot, otherwise I can't stand it.

You grow a healthy mane and tail from the inside out-- by correct nutrition and not breaking off hairs when you groom.
 

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Not a fan of MTG either. And YES to SilverMaple's suggestion that good nutrition is the best way to grow a healthy mane and tail.
 

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Never had a horse react badly to MTG, but also not sure how much benefit it is to hair growth. I use it a lot in the spring, because grass ticks hate it, and it helps keep the numbers down.

I agree that the best way to a great mane and tail is good diet, and careful handling.
 

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Genetics play a huge roll in coat, mane and tail growth, no getting around that.
Apps are notorious for thin manes and scraggly tails.

You could try feeding a well made biotin supplement with the added amino acids that complement the growth.
Good feed, quality and fed in proper amounts will help...
What you feed or do now though you will not see any changes noticeable for months, many, many months.

Get rid of the sprays like Show Sheen and those that have silicone or oil based as they cause more damage than good after a while.
To much bathing with shampoo also dries the hair and causes damage...
Its hot and I bet you are washing, washing and more washing...fine...just do that with clear water to remove the sweat.
Getting a bath with shampoo should only be done once in a long while...honest

MTG..also not a fan and it smells...:frown_color:
It can seem like it is helping and then it all breaks off and you are worse than you started out with.
Yes, it is oil based and can cause sunburn on a horse who is already a tendency to burn just because he is color he is and App.
Apps skin mottling makes them vulnerable to burning...be cautious if you use that stuff at all.
:runninghorse2:...
jmo...
 

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When it comes to genetics, you get what you get! Many other Appaloosa owners have the same lament as you which is why through selective breeding, you can find longer manes and tails in the show ring. And also why many Appaloosa purists love and celebrate the sparse mane and tails of the "original" breed style.

In your case, nothing you feed, put on, or do will ever give you a longer, thicker mane and tail.

MTG has its place for some people. The sulphur in it can help with certain skin conditions and the oils make for a decent detangler. But, as you've been told, it can burn the skin, the oils attract dirt, and the smell is... smelly.
 

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Just like hooves it is what you put inside that is reflected on the outside. The better you feed your horse ensuring his nutritional needs are met the better his coat including mane and tail will look. That said genetics plays a large part in how long the hair grows. There is a set length of time that each hair has before the root dies and the hair falls out. That determines to an extent the length of hair that is grown. If he has a short duration gene then his hair will never get long. You can maximize the rate by meeting his nutritional needs but it will still only get so long before falling out.



MTG can work wonders for horses with certain skin conditions if they have no sensitivity to the ingredients (mainly the sulfur and cade oil - juniper tar) but it will not grow hair. It may control conditions that are causing premature loss but that is not growing hair.
 

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I have a Curly with the tendency to shed her mane and part of her tail. I'm not 100% the genetics are that different in the so-called 'extreme' Curlys--those that just don't grow mane and tail like Appys--and Appys that don't have manes and tails. Curly horses were developed by the Native Americans like Appys and have Appys feature in their foundation stock--so there may be some genetic sharing of this feature. Even if not, it's worth a try.

On the Curly Horse Country website there's a whole plan developed by a Curly enthusiast that helped her sparse mane and tail horses grow more hair. Contrary to common knowledge she was able to get more and healthier hair growth by treating from the outside (the article doesn't mention her changing feeds or supplements although a different one does). This particular Curly enthusiast found that her sparse mane and tail horses had thickened skin in the manes and tails. She uses a iodine based bath at least once in the fall and once in the spring as well as treatments with Natural hair oils (like those used by Africans). Several other Curly owners with sparsely haired Curlys had good luck with her protocol too.

With my Curly, I noticed she was losing her mane and tail this spring. Her skin was also flakey and rough around her nose and such. I switched to a low corn feed (first Nutrena Safe Choice now Purina Senior) with a fairly high fat content. Her skin immediately started improving and her mane & tail are coming back in very well. So you may also look into feed sensitivity. I also use a cocoa butter lotion on her mane, tail, & any rough skinned spots similar to how I've treated my daughter's eczema.
 

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Just like hooves it is what you put inside that is reflected on the outside. The better you feed your horse ensuring his nutritional needs are met the better his coat including mane and tail will look. That said genetics plays a large part in how long the hair grows. There is a set length of time that each hair has before the root dies and the hair falls out. That determines to an extent the length of hair that is grown. If he has a short duration gene then his hair will never get long. You can maximize the rate by meeting his nutritional needs but it will still only get so long before falling out.
I have a Curly with the tendency to shed her mane and part of her tail.

On the Curly Horse Country website there's....I've omitted intentionally this part.

With my Curly, I noticed she was losing her mane and tail this spring. Her skin was also flakey and rough around her nose and such. I switched to a low corn feed (first Nutrena Safe Choice now Purina Senior) with a fairly high fat content. Her skin immediately started improving and her mane & tail are coming back in very well. So you may also look into feed sensitivity. I also use a cocoa butter lotion on her mane, tail, & any rough skinned spots similar to how I've treated my daughter's eczema.

So Biology Brain, horses shed their hair just like humans do..
It is normal, it is natural and it is healthy that it happens.
There are times during the year where I know more hair is lost than others, then times where hardly a hair is lost..

But now you have found that by changing her food products you notice a improvement in her hair growth.
You also clean and maintain her skin and coat with enriching products made for human use and treatment of specific kinds of skin condition. Topical care but not lasting..
A mystifying puzzle now coming together in completeness.

In this case though the OP was referring to using MTG as she was awarded them at a end of year awards banquet...



Genetics, diet and food fed, daily care regiment are what give you results no matter the breed.
Some animals just are blessed with being thick mane and tail and some are not..
You can enhance, or topically change what is seen, but stop the practice for just a few weeks and you revert right back to what you had...
Sounds like the Rogaine commercials..."you can grow new hair"...sure, but stop using that stuff every day and you will again resemble the cue ball used in pool.

It's topical band-aid.
But if you feed a diet with the right ingredients you can enhance from within better health and that does work without applying all the this or that to combat that or this. You yourself are finding this true right now...

Good body hygiene is needed, when needed and as needed...


What was written by QtrBel and by you is exactly what I re-wrote above and here...phrased differently.
Reread what was written and take out the hype and adding of this or that product and what have you got...
Genetics, diet and food fed, your basic care regiment are what give you results no matter the breed.
Health attained from inside out..you said it yourself.
The body changed when food fed changed. :|

:runninghorse2:...
jmo...
 

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So Biology Brain, horses shed their hair just like humans do..
It is normal, it is natural and it is healthy that it happens.
There are times during the year where I know more hair is lost than others, then times where hardly a hair is lost..
So completely losing a horse's mane is normal? Obviously horses shed some times. However, most horses don't lose their entire mane (and/or tail) down to bare skin *ever*, but some Curlys do. It may be 'natural' but it most definitely isn't healthy. In fact, Curly Horse breeders have been attacked for being 'abusive' for continuing to breed horses with extreme characteristics or even just sparse manes and tails or annual shedding of manes and tails. So, I'd say most of the horse world disagrees with you that horses losing the majority or entirety of their manes and tails is normal or healthy.

But now you have found that by changing her food products you notice a improvement in her hair growth.
You also clean and maintain her skin and coat with enriching products made for human use and treatment of specific kinds of skin condition. Topical care but not lasting..
This was my experience with my particular horse. Cocoa butter is not relegated to only human use by the way. I said it's similar to what I've use daily for my daughter's eczema, not the same. I buy plain cocoa butter and make my own lotion out of it along with some coconut oil...it's a great skin conditioner for horses, dogs, cats, bunnies, and people. It's not specific for any skin condition. In fact I believe I've read several instances of people on HF recommending coconut oil both topically and orally to promote healthy coats & skin.

I only mentioned my daughter's eczema and topical treatment of it because it is similar IMO to what happens to some horses' skin--particularly Curlys and possibly Appys (I don't know a whole lot about why Appys have sparse manes & tails genetically, but research is ongoing into Curlys' special coats and skin). Their skin and hair has been shown scientifically to be different in general to the average horse. FWIW my daughter was born with eczema and allergies to foods and environmental issues. Her skin will probably always be sensitive and require topical treatment to make her comfortable no matter what she eats or supplements she takes. Trust me, if I could find the perfect skin diet to eliminate her eczema, I would, but according to specialists there isn't one. Some diets/supplements help some people, but not everyone. Why shouldn't the same be true of horses with skin/hair issues?

The topical treatments decrease the itchiness which in turn leads to healthier skin because the skin isn't so irritated by the constant scratching. The topical treatments sometimes even soften and thin the thickened skin caused by the irritation, scratching, and symptom of eczema. yes, sometimes topical treatment has to be done continuously or there is a relapse, but that doesn't mean the topical treatment isn't beneficial. It just means the condition is ongoing and sometimes may never disappear. I didn't think it was that out of line to image the same thing could be true of horses.

I guess I shouldn't have offered my mare's case. Although I do know that in her breeder's meticulous care for feeding her corn/grain free, she still needed extra help topically or else she'd shed her entire mane and part of her tail. Her breeder had good luck using coconut oil and lavender essential oil as a topical in addition to balanced nutrition. Nutrition alone wasn't enough to maintain her hair/skin's health. I personally added cocoa butter to the mix because of my positive experience using it with my daughter.

It's a 2-pronged approach that is sometimes required and often people are already thoroughly nourishing their horse, but they don't know that some topical support is beneficial IMO. Nothing topical is going to really 'promote' hair growth, but topicals can allow for better skin/hair growth by reducing irritation of scratching and conditioning/softening the skin itself. Topicals can address certain practically invisible issues of the skin/hair and allow skin/hair to grow in more healthy. In other words, sometimes topicals can do what nutrition can't--address the external factors limiting skin/hair growth. Often these topicals aren't your simple grooming that most horse people do. Sometimes a more in depth approach is needed and one of those was in the links from my previous posts.

BTW I've had numerous horses throughout the years and some had thick manes/tails, others had average manes/tails, and others had thin manes and tails. I've never owned a horse like my current mare that annually loses her mane and part of her tail. I've done a lot of research into the issue in addition to the research I did for my daughter's skin condition. To me the parallels are intriguing and some overlap is bound to happen.
 

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I know of quite a few Registered Curly horses and I have yet to meet one with a thick and full mane and tail. I fear you might be out of luck. MTG is a great product and feeding supplements that will aid with growth and making it nice and healthy will help, but realistically there might not be much improvement just based on the breed.
 

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"Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
So Biology Brain, horses shed their hair just like humans do..
It is normal, it is natural and it is healthy that it happens.
There are times during the year where I know more hair is lost than others, then times where hardly a hair is lost..

So completely losing a horse's mane is normal? Obviously horses shed some times. However, most horses don't lose their entire mane (and/or tail) down to bare skin *ever*, but some Curlys do. It may be 'natural' but it most definitely isn't healthy. In fact, Curly Horse breeders have been attacked for being 'abusive' for continuing to breed horses with extreme characteristics or even just sparse manes and tails or annual shedding of manes and tails. So, I'd say most of the horse world disagrees with you that horses losing the majority or entirety of their manes and tails is normal or healthy. "


In a horse that is genetically programmed to do so then you are not going to change that. If there are external factors present that can be changed to promote growth and internally the correct nutrition is provided you may see change. But the point to the OP was that you are not going to take a horse that has a short, thin mane and tail genetically and have that horse look like an Appy version of a Freisan with a mane to his knees and tail that drags the ground with both so thick you can't run a brush through it. Each horse comes with a preprogrammed set of follicles and each follicle has its own schedule. They like us are constantly shedding depending on the time of year (and other factors) there are times when they lose more than other times. If the genetic programming that differentiates body hair from mane and some tail hair is turned off then that horse will lose that hair and you cannot change that. Now if they are programmed to lose most and there are skin conditions that are causing the rest of the loss you can alleviate that with multi pronged approaches. There appears to be nothing wrong with the OPs horse except that it has a short, thin mane and tail. She is not going to be able to change that. Make it look healthier, make it shine, maximize growth and retention to get a small percent more length and thickness sure but this is not a horse that is so poor nutritionally and neglected that there is a whiole new horse waiting to burst forth and bloom.
 
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