View Full Version : Manes and neck muscle development

Oct. 19, 2011, 09:38 PM
I had a coach tell me once that my horse's mane was flipping to one side at the wrong "spot" because he was artificially carrying himself and therefore the neck muscles were pushing the main to the wrong side.

(In years past, I have heard it described as breaking at the fourth vertebrae.)

Is this really a "thing"? Neck muscles dictating mane position? :)

(I'm just casually curious! :lol: Not really sure if he was exaggerating to get his point across or if this is really a "thing".)

Oct. 19, 2011, 09:54 PM
Yes. The crest can be upright, or flipped to either side. If the horse is bent right, and the crest isn't flipped right, it is a tell that the horse isn't bending properly through the neck.

Oct. 19, 2011, 11:42 PM
Thanks so much for that info! Hope the OP who asked why her horse's mane is changing sides sees this!

Oct. 21, 2011, 06:51 PM
Thanks for the reply!

I guess I always assumed that hair flipping was genetic/had to do with the "volume" of hair versus neck development.

So if my horse's mane is split down the middle then what does that mean??

Oct. 21, 2011, 07:38 PM
Now I'm curious. I've never heard this before and my daughter's horse for the most part lays correctly except for a middle section.....

Oct. 21, 2011, 11:51 PM
I've been told that the mane falls to the horse's hollow side. it does this because the horse's muscles are less developed there. I have seen horses' manes "change sides" -- at least partly, as their muscling evens up and they become supple both ways. I suppose, in a perfect world, you'd have a "half & half" mane.

As a horse flexes right or left, when done correctly, one can see the nuchal ligament "pop" the crest of the neck back & forth. it's what joiedevie99 was talking about.

Oct. 22, 2011, 06:57 AM
I have heard this & looked extensively on the net for answers. I find it easy to believe, being an equine massage therapist & thus aware of the muscular development of horses & the equal muscles mass causing hair folicles to fall in such a way. However I posted it on another message board & the over ruling response was that it was a load of. HOWEVER when I started trimming all my horses myself, all their manes split exactly down the middle?? I think it will always be one of "those thing". Really interesting to hear other people's thoughts!

Oct. 22, 2011, 07:01 AM
Yes, the belief is the mane will lie on the horse's hollow side, but it does not suddenly flip from the left side to the right side.

Check to see if there is whorl at the same spot where the mane switches sides. That is likely the answer, just like our hair sits in different angles depending on our cowlicks.

Oct. 22, 2011, 12:26 PM
manes will switch sides as the horse develops. agree a whorl can affect the mane, but so can a crest, etc.

i would have to see the horse in question go to say whether it was broken at 4th.