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Lesser of Evils?

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  • Lesser of Evils?

    My mare has a lovely, thick mane that naturally lays to the left. Errr. I dont' show at that many shows a year where braiding is required, and, honestly, I usually have to get 2 horses ready (mine and overseeing DD's) so don't braid if I'm going to be the ONLY one braided. We are showing mostly at local circuit shows in hunters and/or eq, with a few jumper days thrown in. Here is my dilemma:

    IF her mane is shortened/pulled to the correct length to braid, it stands straight up (think Mohawk-Mane). IF I leave it long enough to stay down, it goes to the left and no amount of braiding before the shows can tame it - I've tried!

    Which looks worse - a mane laying to the left, or one that sticks straight up?
    A proud friend of bar.ka.

  • #2
    If you think you'll look like a goofball either way, do whatever makes you and your mare happiest. If you can get the mane to start off the round on the right before it migrates left, though, leave it long, brush it over to the right before you go in the ring, and let it flop over to the left over your first fence.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

    Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
    Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


    • #3
      Let it lay on the left.

      In my opinion...
      Jumpers look great with mohawks and banged tails
      Hunters should have a tame mane and more natural tail.


      • #4
        I'm actually a HUGE fan of the mohawk look. I think it looks a lot neater than a floppy one but that's just me =P


        • #5
          I'd take a mohawk over laying to the left... a horse with a mohawk just looks like it has unruly hair. A horse with a mane laying to the left looks like it has an owner who doesn't know which side of the neck the mane is supposed to lay on.


          • #6
            Just curious, because I have one like it- what have you tried to tame it? I've been doing the plaiting on the right side and leaving it in for a while thing, but it's not working that well.
            Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


            • #7
              Originally posted by kookicat View Post
              Just curious, because I have one like it- what have you tried to tame it? I've been doing the plaiting on the right side and leaving it in for a while thing, but it's not working that well.
              I would like to try that but am afraid my horse would rub his mane. My guys's mane has half on left side and half on the other.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lazy Palomino Hunter View Post
                I'd take a mohawk over laying to the left... a horse with a mohawk just looks like it has unruly hair. A horse with a mane laying to the left looks like it has an owner who doesn't know which side of the neck the mane is supposed to lay on.
                What are you supposed to do when your horse's mane just GOES left? I've had my OTTB for a year now, and after his short-lived racing career, he spent 2 years out in a field with no one paying ANY attention to him-- I'm pretty sure his mane wasn't trained to go left, it just DOES. I keep it neatly pulled, but it'll never be a right-side mane unless... well how exactly DO you reverse that, anyway?? I don't even know.

                Granted, I don't go to the kind of shows that require braiding (probably never will), just curious...
                *friend of bar.ka

                "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


                • #9
                  I think it is a combination of personal preferance and the anatomy of your individual horse. My guy has a very similar mane---if pulled to the right length, it stands straight up. For him, he has a pretty nice neck and the "mohawk look" really shows it off and gives him a lovely topline. If your horse has a really thick neck, you should probably lay it over to the left. If her neck is about "normal" or on the thinner side, I would choose the mohawk. I think it looks very nice on many horses!
                  "To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong


                  • #10
                    What are you supposed to do when your horse's mane just GOES left?
                    You do what you can, and then you try not to look at it.
                    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                    Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                    Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Renn/aissance View Post
                      You do what you can, and then you try not to look at it.
                      I disagree, Renn!

                      My answer is... pull it from the right (which yes, will take a fair amount of determination) and then put big loose fat braids in it. Every once in awhile, take the braids out, wet it down to right, and brush it. If it still wants to flip to the left, braid it back up.

                      When it's time to pull it again, pull it from the right.

                      Pulling it from the left side is only going to make your job harder. I maintain that most manes can be taught to lay on the right, if they're pulled and trained appropriately. Eventually it will lay right.

                      (Renn- this is excluding Manny's mane, which defies the laws or gravity by pointing STRAIGHT UP no matter it's length or training attempts)


                      • #12
                        You can train it to fall to the right if its heavy enough. Inky came to us with a beautiful, long thick mane, falling on the left. DD worked on it all summer with a wet comb, and now its falling to the right and lying flat, so its finally ready to pull. But you have to leave it long while you're training it over, don't pull it until its naturally lying flat on the right.

                        But we had the luxury of time!
                        Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                        Witherun Farm


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TheOneandOnly View Post
                          I'm actually a HUGE fan of the mohawk look. I think it looks a lot neater than a floppy one but that's just me =P

                          I agree.


                          • #14
                            My mare has a mane that likes to do the stand straight up thing. She has a really pretty neck, so I think it looks good on her, but would prefer that it would lay nicely on the right, like it is supposed to. I have fussed with it forever. I bred her, so I've had her all her life. When she was stall bound for 2 months, it laid nicely on the right, but as soon as she went back out(24hr. pasture), it got unruly, again. It must have something to do with the wind. My barn always seems to be very breezy. I've tried loading it with sculpting gel and banding it, which is less work than braiding and not as likely to cause rubbing. It helps for a while, then it goes back.


                            • Original Poster

                              Lol! Hers did lie right, once, for a day. I had pulled it (always from the right). The day I bathed it was quite windy and I let her graze while she dried, standing so the wind hit her left side. Her mane actually stayed to the right for a day.
                              A proud friend of bar.ka.


                              • #16
                                I don't deal a lot with pulled manes, but I've never had much trouble training a natural mane to the other side. Brush it, wet it, braid it over to the side you want, repeat a few times. Once it's pulled, all bets are off.
                                Originally posted by HuntrJumpr
                                No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.


                                • #17
                                  I really doubt it matters. First you have to find eight perfect spots. If you can do that there's a good chance what your horse's mane does won't matter unless there are at least one other rider who can do it too... then I think that where the mane lays is pretty far down the list as far as tie breakers go.


                                  • #18
                                    I'd pull it to the proper length then BAND it, not BRAID it. I have had better luck with banding because you can pull the main REALLY tight to the neck and it stays over better/longer. I think this way you could get away with it only being unbanded the day you show. Keeping it banded ill help but at least wash it a few days before the show, condition it, then band it, pulling it tight to the neck. Take them out the morning you show but do not wash the mane again. I agree that pulling it to the right will help as well.


                                    • #19
                                      We have a horse at our barn who is regularly champ/reserv... literally almost every time out.

                                      Mane lays left, always has, always will. Neatly trimmed. Never has affected his placings.

                                      Hopefully this link works:



                                      • #20
                                        I ride one that the bottom half of the mane falls left and then the upper half splits and falls right AND left. Before he was in my charge, I always thought he had a thin, wispy mohawk mane....turns out it was just how the person was pulling it. She was taking WAY too much out and pulling it WAY too short. He's actually got a ton of mane, I just could never tell. Pulled properly it will still lay over just fine. For the most part, I ignore it, but if we're going somewhere, I will pull it to the right and then wet and braid it over the week before the event. But show time, it's happy to lay to the right...and will do so for another week or so after.
                                        Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                        Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"