Hah! I got chewed out by a pro braider for shortening a forelock. I actually call it his fro-lock because there is so much of it. I figured there was no way in hell that it was going to make a nice braid. Turns out I was mostly wrong (he's the one on the right.). It was a bit sausage-y but not overly noticeable. His mother has the ultimate fro-lock.
I always look at it and think it needs some cleaning up...but that braiders rebuke echoes in my mind...and the fact that he is not mine stops me from taking action against the -fro
Cannot imagine why or who would have said that. I DO braid professionally, and can absolutely do a better forelock on a shortened, thinned one than a bush. But, I manage all of our horses myself, so I have forelocks and bridle paths the way I want them. And they don't creep.
I've never pulled a forelock or ever seen anyone pull a forelock. I could see it I guess on a hunter that needs it's forelock braided if it was some sort of crazy huge thick thing, but I personally have never done it (even when I did hunters) nor seen it done.
Love these threads. My retired TB has somewhere between 8 and 16 hairs in his forelock, none longer than an inch. It did not get braided. My much younger WB mare has piles of hair. Was pulling the mane in our early days until she sent me to the ER by indicating that pulling was not her thing. Flung her head into my face, stitches in the lip!
Since that time we have resorted to the scissors method- even on the forelock sometimes.
Ya'all be shocked and appalled, but here's the deal. She is my horse. I braid her at shows. When she is braided, no one knows how I get to that end. But they are neat. When she is not, who really cares?
P.S. She is a dressage horse, and one of the great things about dressage is the VARIETY of braiding methods and styles. Big, little, looped, buttons, running, neat and sloppy. No one I know has EVER gotten comments on tests re braiding.
We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........
While I could see, for some horses, the advantage of thinning a forelock, I am more in the camp of "Need More Forelock!" Whenever I trim my mare's bridle path, I do so strategically to create more forelock for her, because she has a skimpy little natural one.
If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
I guess I should have specified that the horse in question is a haffie cross pony. So not a full Haflinger, where I should leave it all natural according to breed standards, unfortunately. So he has a pulled(ish) mane, and this big ol fro.
I ended up doing a little clipping around the sides to eliminate the fluffy stuff, and creating a slightly bigger bridle path to get some of the bulk out too. Thanks for the suggestions!
I would think it would be uncomfortable for the horse - with the bridle pulling their little hairs.....
I learned the no-bridle-path habit from Rob Bielefeld (a top hunter judge and trainer, for those who don't know), who once was so incensed that a braider gave a bridle path to all his horses without asking and against instructions that he refused to pay the entire braid bill for the show.
If you take 10 seconds to finger part the mane where the bridle goes and lay the forelock portion flat, everyone's happy. Personally I think two week "stubble" would be more annoying to the horse than hair that lays flat.