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Longing For Long Manes
 By Winniefield Park   •   1st Feb 2019   •   913 views   •   0 comments


While many of us love the look of a beautifully braided mane and tail, and may even thin the hairs to achieve the look, there’s no denying the romance and beauty of long, wavy manes and tails. Most horses have tails that reach just past their hocks. And, their manes usually just cover their necks or are a little longer. But their are the Sampsons and Rapunzels of the horse world that nature has given a little extra. On these horses, the hair strands sweep the ground, and require diligent care to keep them neat, clean and unbroken.

There are some grooming basics to keep your horse’s mane in condition and pave the way for maximum growth. Preserving the hair by braiding, gentle grooming, protecting the tail in a tail bag, and providing good nutrition will help guard the length and thickness and sleek texture of the strands. And certainly keeping the horse out of burrs, preventing it from scratching it’s rump or neck on rough surfaces like trees and fence rails, and making sure it isn’t eating out of a feeder that rubs its mane out will also help.

But, there are things you can and can’t control about your horse’s mane and tail. The amount of hair and the rate of growth to a certain extent governed by the horse’s health. And, you may have noticed that your own hair grows faster during the summer months and this is true for horses too. Their manes, tails and hooves may grow faster during the summer. So while you can provide good nutrition, for some of us, providing endless summer might prove tricky.

But genetics also plays a large role. There are some horses, like my mare, whose hair just never seems to grow very thick, or very long. And there are breeds known to have fine manes and tails. Some horses may not have thick manes and tails, but the hair strands still grow long. Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Appaloosas, some Quarter Horses and Paints, Barbs and other hot climate breeds tend to have thin manes and tails, although there is always the exception. Appaloosas sometimes have almost hairless tails and thin tufts of mane.

So if you want a horse with a really thick flowing mane and tail what do you do. First off, pick the right breed. And pick the right individual from that breed. Most draft horses and many draft crosses have thick manes and tails. These include Clydesdales, Friesians, Shires, Gypsy Vanners and others. Many Baroque breeds, like the Andalusian, Lippizaner, and Lusitano have thick and often wavy manes and tails. Icelandic and Yakut horses have thick manes, tails and grow copious winter coats. Most pony breeds, crosses and types have really thick manes and tails, especially in proportion to their bodies. Shetlands, Welsh, Haflingers and Fjords are an example of ponies with thick manes and tails. Again, though there are will be a lot of variation between individuals. A few light horse breeds are known for thick manes and tails. These include the Morgan, Paso Fino, Rocky Mountain Horse and American Saddlebred.

It’s not unusual for we owners of thin maned horses to consider hair extensions and lotions and potions that promise to promote hair growth. Unfortunately, extensions are a temporary fix and most topical products are nothing more than ‘hope in a jar’. If you roach or hog your horse’s mane it will take about a year to grow in. Cutting a horse's mane or tail might make it feel thicker, but it won’t do anything to actually increase the growth. There’s nothing you can do to the outside of a horse to make it’s mane and tail longer or thicker, or faster growing. You can only preserve and enhance what it already naturally has.
Horse News More PB Articles About:  Mane,
Horse News More In This Category:  Care and Grooming      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
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