View Full Version : Right Sided Mane or Left?

Apr. 11, 2011, 01:45 PM

I am not sure if this is a myth though I have been told by several people that I must train my mare's mane to the right since it lies on the left ....

I have never actually owned a horse with a left sided mane before so I heard nothing of it before....

Is this actually a requirement or faux pas in the hunter ring?

Apr. 11, 2011, 01:51 PM
A hunter's mane should lay to the right. Easier said than done for many horses, though, as the hair grows in the direction it grows. No amount of "taming" will prevent hair from growing to the left. Stall braids can help for short periods of time, but the hair will always flip back if not properly maintained.

That being said, the mane should always be pulled laying to the right so that when it's braided to the right, the hair will be of proper length/thickness. Always braid to the right.

Apr. 11, 2011, 01:58 PM
Darn... I was dreading that it should lay to the right. Thank you!

Apr. 11, 2011, 02:05 PM
I've found it's still pretty easy to braid on the right, though, even if it naturally lays on the other side. And then it might stay on the right for a few days after the show... which doesn't help in the long run, but maybe if you're leaving it loose for a show you could braid or tame it a few days before to get it laying on the right? I've never had this problem either since I've had horses that either had manes on the right or were always shown braided.

Apr. 11, 2011, 02:19 PM
It is traditional for a mane to lay on the right side in the H/J world. That being said, if your horse is a jumper, it's not as big of a deal. One of my jumpers has the most beautiful left-laying mane. Super straight, easy to cut blunt, looks very nice. So it stays just where it is. When we were trying to make him a hunter, we would braid his mane over every week with very little luck. He and I are both glad that this is no longer part of our grooming regiment ;)

Apr. 11, 2011, 07:48 PM
Has anyone had any experience with those neck slinkies..... basically spandex to help train the mane?

I wonder if this would work.... I don't know if I can bare breading her mane all the time haha.

Apr. 11, 2011, 09:33 PM
Don't know if there's any truth to this but I heard or read somewhere that the mane can "flip" if the horse's muscle development changes. My mare (dressage horse) came a year ago w/ a mane that went mostly left. Now it has decided to go to the right.........

Apr. 11, 2011, 09:46 PM
Has anyone had any experience with those neck slinkies..... basically spandex to help train the mane?

I wonder if this would work.... I don't know if I can bare breading her mane all the time haha.

Again, you're not going to be able to permanently alter the direction of the hair growth. If it grows to the left, it grows to the left. Managing a mane like this is hard work- requires regular stall braids, diligent pulling, and frequent attention. Most people are content to put some stall braids in a few days before a show to keep it temporarily to the right. But most left-sided manes are just left that way on a day to day basis.

I would avoid using a slinky. They are hot, and when fitted improperly, can cause serious irritation to the eyes/muzzle. Additionally, they're not really designed to "tame" manes- the mane is still "loose" underneath, and can creep over to the other side, which just compounds the problem.

Apr. 11, 2011, 09:48 PM
So what's the best way to train the mane then? Mine is very decidedly to the left, minus a small patch that likes to lay on the right. I haven't braided him but I do comb it over every day but I mean by the time I put him away it's back over to the left...

Apr. 11, 2011, 10:09 PM
Stall braids, and a lot of them. I do mine relatively thick, braided relatively tight to the base of the neck. They don't need to go all the way down, just far enough that the braid lays flat on the right side of the neck. Use those little elastic bands to secure.

Depending on the horse (some will tolerate stall braids longer than others), I leave them in for 3-5 days, then leave them out for a day, then re-do them. You can always tell when they need to come out (signs of rubbing, broken elastics, etc). FWIW, I always hose mine off/treat them as usual while the braids are in.

The important thing to remember is that stall braids, unless used regularly, are not going to do anything long term for a horse's mane. They're a great way to get the mane on the right side for a day or two, but any longer than that, and you're going to have to repeat the process.

Apr. 12, 2011, 12:55 AM
Yeah, I've never been able to get a mane to lay permanently on the right side if it just doesn't want to. My last horse had a part right down the middle of her neck, and there was no changing it. It's the same as a cowlick in human hair - you can fix it with styling, but it's eventually going to go back to the way it grows.

I've seen lots of rubbing before in the slinkys - I don't know if it's because they're hot and they get itchy or what, but some horses can really make a bird's nest of their mane under there just rubbing it.

Apr. 12, 2011, 12:34 PM
I'll add my NO to the slinky's!! The mane training braids, good for a few days after they come out and then the mane goes back to what it wants to do anyway!! :lol: My mares grows in both directions as well as up in the air, I just make sure to keep it pulled and then braid it to the right side for shows! Off weeks......who cares, she certainly doesn't!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Apr. 12, 2011, 02:01 PM
Lucky's got a split mane, but if it's long and heavy enough it all stays on the right. (Not helpful if it's pulled short, obviously.)

I've never got a reason beyond 'tradition' for why it needs to be on the right. At least if all the mane goes completely left. If it's a split mane, though, pick a side, not both! (Or just do as I'm increasingly tempted to do and roach it!)