My mare has a really long mane, resemblant of a western horse. She just came from her last owner a month ago and hadn’t had a mane pull for a while. We haven’t shown yet as we’re still working on getting both jumping and dressage to where they need to be. It’s hot and it’s only gonna get hotter from here. But the thing is I think she looks better with a long mane. It suits her well. I’ve put it in a running braid a few times and sectioned it off into seven or eight little braids a few other times to keep her neck cool. This is the first time I’ve come across a horse whose long mane I didn’t want to pull…any braids or ways to keep it cool and still useful against flies? Or do I just need to get over it and pull it?:ambivalence:
I do not ever pull my horses manes (we ride western) and they do just fine. If I see its very sweaty under there I may flip the mane over or braid it, but really they live with their natural manes fairly easily… does keep flies off of that side of the neck.
If you choose to pull it, be very careful to watch the thickness as you go. It is very easy to pull a long mane down to nothing.
Our PRE horses all have long manes and do just fine in the summer. As someone else said, it keeps flies off. I will braid for turnout if there’s rain and mud.
I do a quick running braid for rides. Otherwise in summer I put in anywhere from 3 thick braids to 7 or 8 little braids all down her neck, redoing those 1-2x per week. There was a baroque Friesian at our barn last year who had the thickest and longest mane/forelock I’ve ever seen in my entire life life. His owner did the same thing. The western QHs at the barn all have natural manes but they aren’t even half as long as my mare’s mane and nowhere as long or thick as the Friesian. None of those guys are ever braided and they do just fine. I have a hot blooded TB with quite a long mane and she sweats like crazy! Anything over 80 deg in the shade and she looks like she’s been working for hours.
I have a P.R.E. with a long mane. I braid it in the summer - about 6 braids - because he gets really hot under that mane. In the cooler months I leave it down mostly.
Note: not me in the pic. A friend used him for a photo shoot.
Thank y’all for your answers!! I ended up pulling it as it was just becoming a major inconvenience to both of us and it looks wonderful and I’m sure it’s much cooler on her neck:)I appreciate the comments!