Monday, April 27, 2009

Horsey poll whadya think?

I have been allowing Washashe's mane to be growing and flowing for 11 months now...with the hopes of braiding it into a running braid for clinics and shows...well, it may be a while for those right now, though my riding mentor brought up shcooling shows today, as we did so well in our riding! There are some seasoned Dressage folk that sometimes read my place here,and I know it is out of character for a Thoroughbred's mane to be as hers is sister would probably faint..but, she has not been to see us in awhile! it acceptable for me to do a running braid for shows ? Or should I buck up and do the hunter mane,and pull it next time I get her teeth done?

Yea or Nay ????? Be Honest!


  1. Well, I don't what horses should or shouldn't have for shows, but I like the braid. I read about mane pulling and it seems okay, but may be painful.
    The "filly" at my in-laws was in the field with one other older looking white horse and they were running together for a bit so I don't think she's too lonely. No idea if she's being weaned. She looked pretty big to me. Again I know next to nothing about horses:) Also, her coat looked kinda shaggy and she had a few long lighter color hairs sticking out on her face. Is this because it's a winter coat? Are there longer hair breeds? Is it because she just got rained on a ton that day? Just curious.

  2. Wa has such a lovely thick mane! I could dream of getting a thick mane like that from Sahara's mane, even less chance of Arwen! At least Wa doesn't have two fillies that chew on hers! :-D I love the braid and don't see why a Thoroughbred can't have one - your girl is gorgeous and she fits so well with you! For how long does the braid last?

  3. Morning! If you are showing at a high level, I would shorten the mane. The braiding job you have done on her is beautiful and should be fine for schooling shows. Not sure what the standard is in your area. I posted a picture of Target (T bred) yesterday, and even tho he does not do much, I keep his mane short as he looks much better that way...younger and shows off his confirmation (not that anyone is looking at this 26 yo boy). If I were a judge, and you and your horse were well turned out and performed a strong test, the braid would not bother me a bit. It all depends on the judge you get.

  4. hm, you said be honest.

    i love her luxurious hair, but she's a working horse, and a TB, so i think she should get the hairdo to match.

    the pulled-to-uniform-shortness job. hrm, what a pain it must be to pull a mane regularly. i've never done it, cuz i've never had a TB.

    and you can't have a mane like that when you consider her tail. you've got her tail all businesslike, so, to be honest, the mane should match.

    or we could got totally different, and you could get her a western saddle with lots of silver, and a big honkin bit, and let her hair go wild. HAHAHAH right. wake up WA, you're only dreaming!!


  5. Ok, here comes my honest opinion.
    I love the long hair, of course I ride Western and my boy sports a full mane. Seriously as a judge that sees horses which show both disciplines I do not count off for Western horses with pulled manes and I shouldn't think a judge would for your mares if it was done up nicely in a braid. However, i know hmmn how should I put this......the dressage world is uh....somewhat more fussy on these kind of things. Just a side note to your reader Lytha, not all of us western riders have silver on our saddles and we certainly do use honkin bits! :-)

  6. Personally, I wonder what it is about people that they think it is ok to put animals in pain for "their" own personal enjoyment, I say go for wild and free,, but I don't go to horse shows if you want to win you should probably do the oposite of what I say lol.. you have a beautiful horse.. We have three mustangs (I hear the thorough bred owner gasp ;-) and a running quarter horse. They are wonderful animals and we enjoy them.. Built for back country riding not the show ring, but they sure think they are. good luck with what ever "mane doo" you decide..

  7. Her mane is beautiful!!! And you braid well! But, if you want to show, and since summer is here, you may want to go shorter just to keep her cooler; of course I am in Texas.... I purchased a Grooma ManeMaster (not that I've used it much, but I plan on doing the H/J mane for the summer just b/c of the heat...)AND b/c I can't do a running braid to save my life! I can't even french braid human hair! Anyway, I found mine on e-bay almost new and got it for $23.00, they do retail at $44.95 ish. I think even that is worth it. Pulling a horses mane DOES hurt and it takes a LOOOONGGG time. (But I am impatient...) This thingie will get you the results in 1/2 that amt. of time and my horse never even flinches. You have reminded me that I need to start that--Jacks has a SUPER long mane right now--very Arabian, prob. twice the length of Wa's! I added the website of my Equitherapy place to my most recent blog for you to take a look should answer most of your questions...the videos are great too. The first video is about a guy named Mike who works there--the other day he tried to recruit Jacks for the program! I was very complimented but told him, NO WAY MAN! Maybe someday.....

  8. I vote pull/thin it.

  9. Her mane is gorgeous, but, to get a nice, neat running braid you're going to need to thin it and even it up, maybe even shorten it a tad.

    I keep my horse's manes pulled simply because it looks neater, is easier to keep tangle-free and DEFINITELY keeps them cooler in the summer. I don't pull to the super short show length but to about 5-6 inches. Some horses actually enjoy having their manes pulled, (there are fewer nerve endings in their crests than on other parts of their body) and others are very sensitive to it. My husband's mare falls asleep while I'm doing hers and I massage her crest as I go. My daughter's gelding doesn't even notice, but Gabe is sensitive near his withers and poll, so I use the thinning comb instead of actually pulling.

  10. I prefer a shorter mane, but that's a personal choice.

    If you are in schooling shows, do what you want. For dressage, anyway. I've been to schooling shows this year where horses still had mud stuck in their manes and received high scores and no comments. Recognized show? Pull it. If you are doing hunter, I think you're gonna have to pull it and basically get rid of any piece of unkept hair. ; ) For dressage, you an still braid a longer mane, you just have to do it differently and you end up with big button braids. I'm not sure what the length should be for a button braid, but four inches is regular braid length.

    Lastly, if you're going to pull it just use scissors or the razor pulling thing from the tack store. Doesn't hurt and the end result is just the same. I did it on my horse, took 15 minutes and can't tell the difference between it and an actual pull.

  11. This is great...exactly what I was wanting to hear..all of it! I appreciate hearing from you all!! Keep it comin'.....Kac

  12. I think she looks fantastic with that mane!

    Are you going to be upset if you go to a show and don't win because her mane wasn't pulled? I wouldn't be, and I don't think it should really matter at schooling levels... but if it matters to you, I don't think she'll mind having it shorter!

  13. Kac, I love Wa's beautiful mane just the way it is and it looks so good braided. Why do people think that a certain breed has to have a certain hair style??? It's a horse and they have beautiful hair, well, except for Gilly cause Pokey keeps chewing it off! LOL Gilly had his mane pulled by a gal one time and he hated it, I am sure it must hurt. If someone grabbed a hand full of my hair and yanked it would hurt.
    So my vote is leave it long and flowing, it is gorgeous!!!!
    check your email, I just wrote you a note!!!

  14. I don't hve that dilemma with Major because being a Highland, his mane and tail are left to grow naturally. However, I used to own a Highland x TB and never pulled her mane either. Hoever, some judges were critical about this at shows. I'm an advocate of being as nature intended as far as possible.

  15. I love the running braid!!

    I'm a big fan of short manes instead of long ones tehe ;). I don't do the pulling process with Ink, but I do use that handy razor tool to thin it, works pretty good!

  16. Hmmm. Don't know as I'm in a position to comment, as I've let Phantom's mane grow back and it's down to the point of his shoulder again. But that's acceptable for an Arab. I would do a Continental braid if I showed him.

    French braids do NOT work for jumping. They go all wonky when the horse stretches its neck over fences. I should think it would work fine for a dressage clinic or schooling show. As for a rated dressage show, I suspect a TB would be expected to appear in "peanut" braids.

    HOWEVER...try looped braids for Wa!! This is what I did for my mare in my former life when we did hunters. Looked fabulous, solved the issue of her longer mane, and worked over fences. Make a series of braids per usual. Instead of tying each individual braid to itself, loop it to the next braid down the neck, or every second or third braid -- whichever creates an even length of loops down the neck. At the withers, the braids are looped up the neck toward the poll.

  17. Well....I'm just glad I'm not having to worry about the mane for showing right now! LOL so many diff opinions, depends on your horse, etc. I personally love them long but trimmed neat or braided! I like the versatility of that. I guess you'll have to find out the requirements if your showing, but her mane is soo beautiful I'd hate to cut it! BUT my Rocky Mountain's fro grows like crazy so on him it wouldnt matter! LOL Do what YOU like best!
    I've never encountered a horse that doesnt like having their mane and tail actually feels good I think since those knots or tangles can pull on their skin. Hmm guess any method words though, every horse is different! I really dont think that any of the dressage or such is inhumane as stated in a comment? I do think what they do to racking horses is when they put chains on their feet to lift them high and fancy..I call that down right cruelty

  18. Well, even though I love the idea of a long natural mane...if you are serious about showing you will have to at least thin it and straighten it up a bit. I have been experimenting with my braiding and at the last dressage schooling shows I did scallop braids. See pics at:
    Fawkes has such a wide mane that if I pull it to the 'correct' hunter/jumper length then half of it stands up like a mohawk when not braided and I hate that. So I have been leaving a little longer and playing with it.

    The braid you have is fine for a schooling show of any kind and ultimately I think as long as it is neat, functional (doesn't pull out during classes) and looks good then you should go for it.

    Just my opinion! My H/J trainer on the other hand... well she shows at the national level and that is a different story.

  19. I prefer my horse's mane to be short, but that's my personal preference. We don't braid for schooling shows, and at the bigger shows the braiders have a fit if we get to the show with a mane that isn't freshly pulled, so it easiest for me to keep it maintained.

    If you like it long, I think it would be perfectly exceptable to keep it up in a running braid. I think it looks really cool! We are talking about a schooling show, not the Olympics. You can reassess if you are going to seriously start competing. I see people get away with far "worse" things than that!

  20. I have no idea what is the correct thing for horse shows, but I love her long and natural mane. And the beautiful braided "up-do" is just the thing for summer's hot days. A girl likes enough length to get the hair off of her neck in the heat. I'm just sayin'...

  21. If it's just schooling shows you could leave it long and thin it out with the running braid. As Lori said it will all depend on the judge. I don't think most judges mind as long as you are turned out neatly.

    For me I prefer the shorter mane with traditional braids because I need all the help I can get in the show ring.

    In the end it's your decision. And I think you really don't want to pull it at this point, so don't.

  22. I dont do dressage, but I love the running braid!

  23. I don't know why I'm replying because I have no clue about what is expected at those types of shows, but it sounds like shorter/pulled manes are the norm.

    Personally I adore Wa's thick, shiny mane. And I'd go with the pretty little braid instead. A girl's got to have options for her hair, ya know.

    But even if you pulled it, you know it would grow back again just as long and lush within a year.

    So just do whatever your heart is calling you to do, my friend.


    word verification: trottor

  24. Well, your mare doesn't look awfully impressed!

  25. Uh... Great looking mare. That's about all I'm qualified to say on the subject. 'Cos I have NO idea what any of that meant. But she's a beauty. I HAD to say that.

  26. My blog post this evening is dedicated to your mane dilemma.


  27. Love long beautiful flowing manes!

    Rules may be rules, but I don't much care for pulled manes. (neither does the horse)

    What a gorgeous braided mane! I'd give you a big YEA for the braided mane at the next show. You just might steal the show.

  28. Wow! A lot of comments here but I'm going to add my two cents. First of all for those who think Kacy is hurting Wa by pulling her mane she did say she would do it when the vet comes to do her teeth and I think that means it will be done while Wa is woozy so she won't feel it. Two, not all western riders have honkin bits and silver saddles!
    As for my opinion, I like the long mane and you did a great job braiding. I agree with Lisa at Laughing Orca that a girl needs choices with her hair!
    Ok I'm past showing- mine are definately not show horses and they both have long manes. Sandy's is thinner and doesn't need pulling but Dani's is coming in very thick so I will probably have to pull it a little just so she's comfortable in the heat of summer and so I can get a comb through it.
    I'd like to try that watcha-ma-jigger that Jacksonsgrrl was talking about. If it's faster and easier on the horse I'm all for it!


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