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Calling all Freisian Peeps!

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  • Calling all Freisian Peeps!

    My new mare is a Friesian and I am torn about her mane. I am NOT a fan of long manes and religiously pull my other guys manes. If I pull it will she look funny?? I don't want to take away from her breed but it's driving me crazy. And if I leave it long, what do I do with it at shows? Opinions please!

    Willow: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1461273053

    This is before we got her...(not our farm)
    Last edited by SouthernComfortMax; Oct. 7, 2009, 10:02 PM. Reason: added picture
    My DraftX could kick your Dutch Warmbloods BUTT!

  • #2
    don't do it to a friesian!!!! for shows you can do a running braid
    be kind to your horses mouth!


    • #3
      Friesian fanatics probably shouldn't continue reading as they might have a heart attack.

      We have a nice friesian and I've roached his mane. I also shave his feathers off, and he looks FABULOUS. I will take pictures if you are interested.


      • #4
        You can do a lattice (diamond) braid or a running french braid
        Bridal Sweet 05/28/1983 to 01/23/2008


        • #5
          Here's my rule of thumb for long manes regardless of breed-- if it's thick and luxurious, don't pull it!! Especially on a fresian or spanish horse and for god sake don't roach it. There are only a few horses on the planet that can pull off a roach IMO. And on a spanish horse for instance, to me it makes the horse look like a brood mare.

          If you have such a mane as this (I couldn't see the picture)--i.e. thick and long and fabulash--than I would keep it well sprayed with detangler or something or even long braids. When I rode I would do a french braid (it takes 30 seconds once you get good at it). You can do a really nice french braid that stays up on the neck (vs. a running braid like you see on arabians) by just adding from both sides when you add the pieces of hair into the braid (think of it like french braiding a person's hair).

          If the mane is thin and kind of pathetic then pull it. I've known people who have a spanish horse or a fresian and just because of the breed they leave the long mane but in fact their horse missed the "good hair gene" and so they end up with a horse looking quite ratty because the mane is thin and crappy.

          I love the thick long mane. To me nothing says stud muffin better (well except maybe a nice crest) but my horse, a lusitano, missed out on that. He had a long mane but it was pathetic. So I pulled it and he looks much better. If it had been a thick mane I would have left it.

          Oh and I'd shave off the feathers only because in my area scratches would be a big concern. And I'd put my horse's health over beauty any day.


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by krackc View Post
            Friesian fanatics probably shouldn't continue reading as they might have a heart attack.

            We have a nice friesian and I've roached his mane. I also shave his feathers off, and he looks FABULOUS. I will take pictures if you are interested.
            OH OH! I wanna see! I roach Max's mane and it looks really cute!
            My DraftX could kick your Dutch Warmbloods BUTT!


            • #7
              Alright, I'll take pictures tomorrow then post them


              • #8
                My coach rides a beautiful Friesian stallion, and although she would love to pull his mane, she has left it long. I usually braid for her, and I love braiding his mane, I just do a running braid, keeping it as tight as possible. Its much faster than regular braids and comes out much quicker too !!


                • Original Poster

                  Yeah her mane is kinda crappy and she doesn't have great feathers either. I have put her on bioflax so I am hoping that helps. The people I got her from never kept her in or put sunscreen on her so she is pretty bleached out which is very icky!!
                  My DraftX could kick your Dutch Warmbloods BUTT!


                  • #10
                    If the mane is crappy then it's crappy. You could try putting it in a few big braids (like the mane version of a tail bag) which might help but that is also rather labor intensive and I'm not sure if it even works or not.

                    Oh and I wouldn't do a running braid, I'd do a french braid.


                    • #11
                      The mane bags do work, and so does keeping it braided. For shows we do a french braid (a running braid on the andalusian) and it keeps the braids from slapping me like whips like the long braids do in schooling. I hate that, so I usually french braid the braids together when I ride. His mane is knee length now and that's honestly a pain, as well as being hot, so it stays braided ALWAYS. Once a week wash, condition, and braid. It takes years to grow it out and only a few seconds to destroy it (ask me how I know this - cough cough - chewed braid - cough cough). I'm fighting the forelock right now, too - he hates to have that washed, so I'm just letting it go, and it looks awful!


                      • #12
                        I'm really big on keeping a horse that is going to be doing one of the sport disciplines, clipped and groomed like a sport horse.

                        If I had a purebred Friesian, I don't know that I'd clip the feathers on the feet, but maybe I would. I have seen some with feathers clipped, and all tacked up in a dressage saddle doing upper level stuff, and you can hardly tell them from a fancy WB, they look great! I'd definitely keep the mane pulled no matter what, to me some nice big button braids with white tape would make that beautiful Friesian neck really show nicely!

                        I have a Friesian cross, and although I don't know if he'd grow much feathers even if I let him, I keep his fetlocks clipped clean like a sport horse. His mane is also neatly cut and the ends softened with clippers, not pulled, only because his mane is so darn thick it would take me HOURS to pull it.

                        Here's my guys "cut" mane and he's due for a fetlock clipping in this pic, but you get the idea. I leave the forelock long to help him shoo the flies out of his eyes:



                        • #13
                          Way back when, Hokan Thorn showed Bold Contender at Grand Prix level, and she had feathers shaved and mane pulled.

                          I didn't think it looked very good on her. But back then, the Friesians looked a lot more drafty, not as sleek and sporty as they are breeding for now.


                          • #14
                            As a Friesian owner and lover,I would only shorten the mane if it was thin and stragly. Then I would cut it and then let it grow out. I keep my guy in long individual braids and do a french braid for shows. He is out 24/7. I do trim the feathers high on his cannon bone and blend them down on the fetlock. There is no set rule, do what's best for your situation.
                            Friesians Rule !!


                            • #15
                              I don't know if this is true for Friesians but I heard it from a Gypsy vanner breeder who said it was true of his breed. He said the larger the horse, the less "hair" they tend to have. It is certainly true of my Friesian, who is huge. He has a lot of tail but not much in the way of feathers or mane. In addition, Bram rubs his mane and ends up with patches missing. So, I roach it and my theory is the mane only shows from one side anyway, so people rarely notice from a distance. Then I let it grow and if possible do a running braid, then he eats under the fences and rubs it, and I roach again.


                              • #16

                                But these are not WBs. They're not sport horses in the way that one might think of a sport horse.

                                I find that for showing a true french braid can look just as nice and clean as regular braids. In fact I almost like it better since it stays in one line over the top and accentuates the crest. On these horses anyway.

                                A horse can have a long mane and still do even high level dressage and still look quite well presented. But you may get some comments as I did once. I was told "well I guess it depends on how serious you are" as though the length of my horse's mane was somehow indicative of my seriousness for dressage LOL. What a DQ idea.


                                • #17
                                  I couldn't make my Friesian look like a WB if I tried, so why bother? I might as well work with him the way he is, and groom him according to his standard. His legs would still be 24cm even if I shaved them, so what's the use? He's a baroque horse .



                                  • #18
                                    Absolutely, I agree that they are baroque horses and not sport horses, but like yaya said, they are breeding them much sportier in type these days, so what looks best for the "type" you have would probably be best then.

                                    Look at this guy (looks better after you get past the piaffe/passage schooling part of the video):


                                    He's clipped and pulled, and I think he looks really nice, and you can still tell he's a Friesian! I'm just not a big fan of all that hair flying around I guess. But I do agree that the really typey Friesians that are heavier should keep their feathers at least, but I'm still on the fence about the manes.


                                    • #19
                                      I will admit to being a "mane snob." If the horse grows a nice long mane, and it's traditional in the breed to keep it long, then do so unless it drives you insane!

                                      Maresy, who's a Morgan, has finally grown out her mane after a bad pulling job last summer. It's still shorter and thinner at the withers, but we're working on it. We get a lot of compliments on her beautiful mane. I French braid it for shows and am getting better about doing that for everyday riding too. The biggest problem with a French braid is that she'll pull it out if she decides to graze. I'm also letting her tail grow out; it's thinner than her mane, thanks to her rubbing the top out on the shipping van when I got her 18 months ago, but growing well and just above her fetlocks now.
                                      You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                      1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                                      • #20
                                        To me the horse in the video looks like a percheron cross the way he is clipped. If you want a WB buy a WB.