Braided mane safety

My two year old has a very thick long mane, I would like to braid it to keep it manageable, tidy and protect it.
I am wondering if I leave it braided when she is out in the pasture if it is more likely to get a large chunk ripped out.
Does anyone leave braids in while their horse is out in pasture?

Maybe try a running braid instead of individual braids.
That way only the end is secured, so less ripping, if any.

My mini with running braid (for show):

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I have left some short braids in my guys when I’m training the mane over with 0 issues, but they are only about 6" long.

Now I know a lot of Friesian owners and they always keep their manes in long braids. Turnouts and inside of course. Never heard of any issues with them and they have multiple horses in braids… They live in them.

I’m not sure if a running braid would last and stay in for turnout.

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I’ve seen it happen (or the horse gets a stick caught in the braid or something like that) but I’ve seen it NOT happen far more frequently in about 20 years of turning horses out in training braids. :slight_smile: If the horse is particularly well known for putting his head where it doesn’t belong, or is very itchy and scratches on trees etc, the odds of an incident go up.


I was about to write almost the same thing.

If you do a running braid for turnout, make sure it’s not so tight the horse can’t get its head down to graze. There’s a way to skip sections to put “releases” in it so the neck can stretch.

Says she who braided her Friesian’s mane so tight she couldn’t do the stretchy circle in a dressage test. Oops. :roll_eyes:


I have a long maned Morgan. I have not left a running braid in. I don’t think it would stay and it is likely to get snagged.
I have put in “training braids” which are just a lot of small braids not too tight at the top. I was hoping to help keep the length. But I think the rubbing still broke off hair in addition to the stress from braiding. The idea was to leave them in for a couple of weeks but we never made it that long without doing at least some. Recently I have only braided for really hot weather.


I absolutely would NOT turn out in a running braid. For one thing, it probably won’t last more than a couple of hours. But, more importantly, if/when the horse snags it in something, they’ll likely rip out a gigantic chunk of mane rather than just a small section.

My palomino mare has a ridiculously long, thick mane and lives out 24/7, so I have to keep it braided much of the time to keep it manageable and help her stay cool. She does rub/rip small (like 1/10” diameter) sections out here and there, but she has plenty of hair to spare. The more/smaller braids you do, the better. Be sure to also take the mane down to wash, detangle, and re-braid weekly to minimize breakage and itchiness.