There is nothing more beautiful than a horse’s long, thick and healthy mane flowing in the wind during a ride. But if your horse’s hair is experiencing some dullness, brittleness or breakage then that’s a different story. If your horse's hair is in rough condition, it could be that you’re not caring for it correctly. If your horse’s mane is lacking length, luster, and lusciousness, check out these tips and tricks to get that mane looking its best!
Cleansing and Conditioning
The first step to a beautiful mane is to make sure you’re washing your horses hair correctly. When it comes to cleansing, opt for a sulfate-free shampoo that contains more natural ingredients. Sulfates will strip the mane and dry it more so than a sulfate-free option. When it comes to the process of shampooing, make sure to really scrub the base where the mane grows to break up any dirt, oil, and debris. Scrubbing at the base will thoroughly clean it, as well as encourage blood flow for growth. During this step, also make sure you are flipping the mane to scrub the underside, which is usually the dirtiest part.
When it comes to conditioner, you want to opt for a conditioner that is moisturizing, but not too heavy. Heavier conditioners contain oils that will attract dirt, causing the mane to become filthier quicker. Mix your conditioner with a little water to allow it to spread evenly, then apply a layer to the mane. Make sure to rinse thoroughly.
Start the detangling process by breaking apart any knots with your hands. Using your fingers will cause less stress and breakage to the mane than a comb. Once you have broken up the knots with your fingers, spray a conditioning detangler throughout the hair. Cover thoroughly but avoid over saturation. Once the hair is evenly coated you can begin brushing the mane. Using a brush, start at the bottom then work your way up. Starting at the top will cause you to tear through the length, capturing any knots on the way down and causing damage. Also, make certain to separate the hair into sections at the top where it thickens. This will ensure that you get each and every possible knot. When sectioning, also make sure to get to the underneath as well, similar to when washing. To protect the mane from any breakage it is best to thoroughly comb out any knots from the entire mane.
When the mane is in protective styles such as braids or buns, it will allow the mane to grow while keeping it from knotting which will cause breakage. When braiding, be sure to braid in small sections at a time in order to avoid too much tension on the hair. Starting at the top, take just a few inches and braid loosely, getting tighter as you work your way down the mane. To secure the braids don’t use tape with too much residue or tight rubber bands. The residue left behind by some tapes can cause tangling, whereas the tight bands can cause stress on the hair which leads to breakage. Be sure to not leave the braid in for more than a week. Leaving the braid in for too long can also cause damage, and you should be washing your horse's hair weekly anyway!
Another secret to a long flowing mane is fueling from within. If a horse is lacking nutrients such as proteins or aminos, its mane will never be at its best condition. Make sure your horse is well-nourished whether it be from supplements or through diet.
Now that you’ve learned the secrets to a beautiful mane, make sure you practice them today! For any mane care, tools or supplemental needs Equine Medical and Surgical Associates has whatever it is you’re looking for! Click HERE to learn more about all the supplies we stock for a beautiful mane!