By Patty Wilber
There are lots of manes–one for every horse!
There are also lots of styles for manes.
Reining horses and cow horses often have long ones. Long can be beautiful and dramatic when these athletic horses are running, spinning or working a cow!
Lacey just competed in her first cow events and will rein eventually. She has the mane for it. When it all stays on one side and is clean.
LT is also doing working cow and reining events. She has some talent, but you wouldn’t know it from her mane.
A Paradox (cow horse above) is her dad. They are Appaloosas and historically, spots and short manes went together. This sparsity (wow that is a real word) has been bred out in many cases. LT does have a reasonable tail (that is recovering from Julian’s chow job last year.)
But what to do with this mane for showing?
Most likely, I will “band” it.
Banding can help a mane lay down and remain orderly. (That may not be possible for LT whose registered name is Paranormal Activity!)
I could “roach” it. (Shave it all off.) That would be easy to maintain and neat.
Or maybe mane extensions?
Cometa, unlike some of his Spanish Barb brethern, does not grow much mane. Been hanging around too many Appys!
Stetson, who is a western pleasure horse, has more length.
The current style for western pleasure is short and banded (see above) but in the New Mexico Buckskin Horse Association, we have a contingent that shows with longer manes. Recently, at the National level in Quarter Horse, some folks have elected to buck the shorty trend. I like the longer look, but going short can enhance the appearance of a horse’s neck.
In Hunter Under Saddle (English), braided is the norm. But, if a horse has short and banded hair for western, that can work for English, too. Or for a horse like Stetson, a French braid can work for English (yes Franco for Anglo). (Use hair gel and hard-hold hair spray to control wisps. The hair spray can double as hat glue to help keep a hat on a round head.)
Fjords are duns, and have a strong black stripe in the middle bordered by white, in their very striking manes. The hair is really thick and will stand up if cut short. There is a lot that can be done with that, stylistically. Click here to take a look at some amazing Fjord ‘dos from the link where I found the picture below.
The trouble with a precision cut is the maintenance. I mean, you’ve got to go to the stylist every few few weeks. The time! The expense!
Mojo is growing his out.
That’s it, manely.
Mules seldom have nice, lay-down manes. But I’ve seen some nice trims a la the Fjords.
Lippies aren’t known for either mane or tail. Somehow Duncan got a My Little Pony tail, but his mane is classic Lipp. Not much to be done with THAT!