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Mane. Does it really matter which side?

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  • Mane. Does it really matter which side?

    My dumb question for the day. Of course, we all know it's proper for the mane to lay on the off side of the neck. But every now and then you come across a horse or pony whose mane is determined to go the opposite way, no matter how many times or methods you use to train it over.

    Does it matter in the show ring? And I'm just talking about local and the occasional "C".

    My mare's keeps wanting to flip to the other side. When I got her as an early 2 year old, it had to be trained over, and it still wants to flip back.

    And I just got in a really cute large pony lesson/show prospect with the same problem. Hers is the perfect thickness, no pulling required, just even it up lengthwise. But it's on the wrong side.

    Would you bother fighting this or let their manes fall to the side it naturally falls?
    Crayola posse~ orange yellow, official pilot
    Proud owner of "High Flight" & "Shorty"

  • #2
    In jumpers, no (though I always have my horses' mane on the correct side). In hunters I would always have it on the correct side but if you braid you can braid it to the correct side so it wouldn't matter what side it lay on normally anyways.


    • #3
      When you braid it, braid it on the right side, always.
      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


      • #4
        What I do on the wilder manes or the ones that want to lay on the wrong side is just wait for a day or 2 before a horse show and put in some tight training braids. Then the morning of the show you can just pull the rubber bands out and brush it down and it should stay for the remainder of the day.


        • #5
          Honestly, no it doesn't matter.


          • #6
            No, it doesn't matter. What matters is if you put in a very good round.


            • #7
              We had someone who braidedher horse BEAUTIFULLY for a C show, on the wrong side. it didn't affect her placing but she did incorrectly next time.

              It's traditional. I would do what other posters mentioned. I also use a hood.

              If you are going to the effort to show, especially at a rated show, I would braid it on the correct side.

              Good luck and have fun.
              Come to the dark side, we have cookies


              • #8
                I'm confused as well...

                I get that hunter manes should always be on the right and be braided on the right, and I get that it doesn't really matter which side the mane lays on for jumpers.

                However, does it matter what side you braid a jumper's mane on? I see plenty of jumpers at the European shows that are braided on the left side, and can only assume their mane falls on that side.

                I'd love to braid my girl's left lying mane for a jumper class, but am wondering if the rules for jumper braiding over here are different than in Europe? Do I go left or right with her?
                My Blog: A Work In Progress


                • #9
                  Originally posted by abv1269 View Post
                  I'd love to braid my girl's left lying mane for a jumper class, but am wondering if the rules for jumper braiding over here are different than in Europe?
                  Show me a written rule regarding braiding



                  • #10
                    Manes on the wrong side are like fingernails on a blackboard to me.

                    It's like wearing a black bridle or a saddle pad that doesn't fit or rubber boots -- No, there is no rule against it, but, IMO, it looks really tacky.

                    The top half of my horse's mane lies on both sides, but when I go to a show, it is always lying correctly.

                    Once you get it to the correct side, then brushing it wth a wet hairbrush before and after every ride (or every day) will keep it there.

                    If you are not braiding, you can always "band" it over i.e. tiny rubber bands put in every 1/2" that you cannot see unless you get up close.
                    "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"


                    • #11
                      It shouldn't matter what side the mane lays on, ans long as it lays flat on one side.
                      I've always heard it has to do with muscle strength. A horses will have a stronger side and weaker side, and the stronger neck muscles can flip the mane over to the weak side. Anyone else heard this?
                      "You can shout curses, but you can't cry."-Joe Fargis


                      • #12
                        Personally, if my horse's mane was laying on the wrong side naturally, I would just leave it for at home but I would ALWAYS braid it to the correct side for a show, no matter the rating of the show. If my horse had a mane that naturally fell to the right, then I may not braid it for a C or schooling show.

                        I personally always braid my jumpers mane on the right if I am braiding it, but it naturally falls the left. I actually find I prefer this, as it's easier to seperate the hair and just pull it over as opposed to having to clip back the excess hair and get it out of the way when braiding a horse whose mane lays to the right.


                        • #13
                          I second using a hood the night before a show. We had a pony with a total mohawk, stood up entirely and usually half of it was flipped over to the other side. When he mane was still damp, we brushed it over correctly and put a full fleece hood on him. Didn't even recognize him when we took it off


                          • #14
                            Um, what about mine who has chunks that lay on both sides? He looks like he has a bad mullet. Haha!
                            "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."



                            • #15
                              The assumption here is that this is for the hunters, correct? If so, I have no advice.

                              Otherwise, I have shown dressage up to 2nd and eventing up at the FEI levels as well as the jumpers and all my horses have been braided on the left side (I'm left handed) and it seems all my horses have their manes split left and right. Never once have I been penalized nor has the judges made note.


                              • #16
                                I attended a Joe Fargis clinic in the 80's where a hunter exhibitor was told to not attend day #2 until she could manage her mane to the right. The exhibitor explained it just couldn't be done on this horse. Mr. Fargis wasted no time explaining there would be no exceptions.

                                She went home that evening and braided to the right, tied heavy fishing weights to each strand, wet the mane and covered with a hood. The next morning she removed the braids, wet the mane and placed on a little hair gel helping it lay right.

                                Day #2 his mane lay on the right side. And forever.
                                no hoof, no horse
                                no head, no horseman. just wear it.


                                • #17
                                  I think it's a little obsessive to try and have it always trained to the right side. How would you like to have braids like that for days? If you are going to a show just have it braided for the hunters & it's not overly important on the jumpers since your results are about time anyway


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                                    The assumption here is that this is for the hunters, correct? If so, I have no advice.

                                    Otherwise, I have shown dressage up to 2nd and eventing up at the FEI levels as well as the jumpers and all my horses have been braided on the left side (I'm left handed) and it seems all my horses have their manes split left and right. Never once have I been penalized nor has the judges made note.
                                    And you can keep on showing dressage w/ a left-braided mane, because nobody caresMy gelding was a "leftie" and my current mare started left, flipped right mostly and is now almost entirely left again, all w/out assistance from me. I actually went thru magazines looking at FEI horses' pictures, and you see both sides.

                                    So to answer the earlier question re muscles, I have also heard that and believe it MAY play a role but not sure.


                                    • #19
                                      I don't have much to say about the braiding, other than for hunters you ought to go traditional, and get the mane on the right for the show.

                                      But as for ads in a magazine, they may well have been flipped so the horse trots the 'right' direction to match other horses in the ads, or so the horse trots from left to right, say. If you only have a good pic of the horse trotting right to left, and want to can flip/reverse the photo, and the mane will appear to be on the wrong side.


                                      • #20
                                        Always braided on the right side in my opinion.

                                        I have one whose mane is perfect. It lays on the wrong side though...

                                        I haven't tried very hard to train it over to the right as he has not showed yet and is out a lot. I do keep it very neatly pulled and it looks awesome.

                                        If he shows this year likely it will be locally. I may try to train it over to the other side a few weeks out, but I don't think I will braid it. Issue is when you pull a mane that lays perfectly on one side and try to brush it to the other side of the neck, the way it is pulled won't look even on the other side. The hairs lay differently and likely will have some layers to it.

                                        It is funny though, that although my horse's mane has a great texture, evenly pulled and kept up, it looks odd on the left side!