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Dear Western riders, If you were looking at a horse...

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  • Dear Western riders, If you were looking at a horse...

    Forgive the silly question, but...

    If you were going to look at a horse to buy (say, a cute little chestnut Qh with whom you wanted to head out on the trails and do some local gaming shows) would it be strange if said horse had a short, pulled mane?

    This must sound like such a dumb question, but I'm prepping a horse to be shown to potential buyers, and, normally working with dressage/jumper horses, my instinct is to pull a horse's mane. This sweet little lady is an anomaly in our barn of giant Tbs and Wbs and I want to make sure to present her properly for her line of work!


  • #2
    Personally it wouldn't bother me, because manes grow! If you wanted a more western look, you could band it - the horse would look more like a halter or WP horse then. Just take a look at some show pics from the AQHA to get a better idea.
    Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
    Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


    • #3
      First of all, I am very partial to cute little chestnut QH mares and your description made me swoon.

      Most non-halter, non-WP type western horses are shown with a natural mane and tail. Reiners, cutters, ropers, barrel racers.....all long manes. For non-showing trail horses, it's just personal preference, but I do think a lot of people like it long.

      I say leave it long, since it's a whole lot easier to go from long to short than the reverse. If someone buys the horse and wants the mane short, they can pull it themselves after the check clears.

      Proudly owned by 2 chestnut mares
      Crayola Posse: sea green
      Mighty Rehabbers Clique


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by BlueEyedSorrel View Post
        First of all, I am very partial to cute little chestnut QH mares and your description made me swoon.
        ...You want her? She's not sold yet

        She really is the sweetest thing. And thanks! I think I'll keep her mane long, she looks pretty darn cute with it.


        • #5
          Originally posted by kashmere View Post
          ...You want her? She's not sold yet

          She really is the sweetest thing. And thanks! I think I'll keep her mane long, she looks pretty darn cute with it.
          No, my own short cute chestnut mare keeps me plenty busy and depletes my bank account enough as it is! She is cute though.....

          Proudly owned by 2 chestnut mares
          Crayola Posse: sea green
          Mighty Rehabbers Clique


          • #6
            Leave it long. Most trail riders will want on a long mane as it offers the horse some fly protetction. And I have never seen a gaming horse with a poulled mane. I have seen a few with roached manes. With gaming its whatever tickles your pickle, but as others have said it only takes minutes to shorten it but it can take months (years! with some horses) to grow it back.


            • #7
              BTW- fopr conformation shots with a Quarter Horse stand the horse square, not in an open stance like you do with sport horses. Take the picture from a lower angle and slightly from the rear and the horse will look bigger and her butt will look bigger- these are good things with a stock horse!

              Example of a more typical Quarter Horse conformation shot http://www.danceyquarterhorses.com/DSC013711.jpg


              • #8
                She is really gorgeous! And I bet she looks super cute with her long mane.
                “Thoroughbreds are the best. They’re lighter, quicker, and more intelligent.” -George Morris


                • #9
                  I don't do any real serious western riding myself, but many of my clients do (I teach them basic horsemanship and trail skills). When I've gone shopping with them, I wouldn't look askance at a horse with a short mane. I'd assume it was a western pleasure horse or one that shows English and western--or even just that it is in an English barn where that's the norm.

                  That said, I agree with everyone else that you should leave it long. I wouldn't think something was odd or anything, but virtually all of my clients keep a natural mane on their horses. The only western riders I know who really pull manes are competitive western pleasure riders. I doubt a pulled mane would scare away any potential buyers, but leaving it long might save them some aggravation as they grew it out.
                  exploring the relationship between horse and human


                  • #10
                    I mostly just trail ride but I do keep both horses' manes pulled- not uber short as in for braiding for hunters, but closer to that than what I've seen in the reining horses for example. I just like a tidy mane.

                    If I were gonna show western pleasure again I would probably just show up with that tidy mane- the 'banding' thing has just never tickled my fancy.

                    But if I am looking for a horse to buy, how long or short or absent the mane is is immaterial to me, I am looking more at horse's overall health and condition. Whatever you show me make sure it's properly groomed! That reflects details about you as a horseman.


                    • #11
                      She is super cute! If her mane isn't rubbed out, then I would condition it well and leave it long. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with evening it up.
                      When people show you who they truly are, believe them. Maya Angelou


                      • #12
                        ZOMG she's adorable! In that pic she looks really short though, at most 15hh. If she's taller than that I agree with the swoon worthy shot of the palomino as guidance.
                        Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                        Originally Posted by alicen:
                        What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.


                        • #13
                          I would leave it long. If you were trying to market her as a western pleasure show horse (or showmanship), then I might consider shortening it, but if you are marketing her as a trail/game horse, leave it as is.
                          There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks for the advice and compliments! Her mane is going to stay long and just get some minor tidying. The folks coming to see her are looking at her for their 11 year old son to do trails and maybe some local shows. I really hope they click -- she's just the loveliest little horse and she truly deserves a kid of her very own.

                            Renae - thanks for the example, if we need to do up another ad, we'll re-do our photoshoot with that in mind. She does look a bit on the puny side in our shot -- I guess that's what happens when you're 6' tall photographing a shorty!


                            • #15
                              Registered /papered QH?
                              The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.


                              • #16
                                Can some of you western knowledgeable people confirm, deny, or clarify what I thought I heard once? It was a comment along the lines that calling a QH "cute" was a bit worse than damning them with faint praise. Got the impression it was sort of like saying "bless his heart" when evaluating his strengths.

                                I call horses "cute" all the time, and it's true, it can be a kind of catch-all meaning possibly less than "wow!", but I wonder sometimes if I'm inadvertently appearing to diss some horses....



                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl View Post
                                  I call horses "cute" all the time, and it's true, it can be a kind of catch-all meaning possibly less than "wow!", but I wonder sometimes if I'm inadvertently appearing to diss some horses....
                                  I grew up in the western/QH world, and I've never heard of someone being offended if their horse was described as cute. Lots of QH people seem to go for the "cute factor," and it's fairly common to see some variation on "cute baby doll head" in ads. I'll agree that for your Congress or World Show champ, you probably want the reaction to be more "wow!" than "cute."

                                  Now, for the OP's horse, a mare marketed as a kid's trail and possibly local show horse, cute is IMHO exactly what you want. Not that a kid's horse can't be objectively drop dead gorgeous (subjectively speaking, they are all World's Most Beautiful Horse to their kiddo), but appearance isn't really the first thing on the job description.

                                  Proudly owned by 2 chestnut mares
                                  Crayola Posse: sea green
                                  Mighty Rehabbers Clique


                                  • #18
                                    Likewise- I can see where someone maybe not enthusiastic about a horse would call it 'cute,' just to be polite, kinda like describing an ugly girl as 'great personality' when you are trying to get her a blind date.

                                    But mine get called 'cute' all the time, and I'm not offended, especially given the number of 'is he (or she) for sale?' questions I get (most often from working cowboys it seems).


                                    • Original Poster

                                      7HL -- nope, not registered or papered, just grade. I can see "cute" being a bit of a backhanded compliment if said with the right tone, but in Lucy's case? Cute is what we're aiming for! Her conformation is decent, she's an easygoing girl, and she's sweet as all get out. She's not a world champion, but cute? Oh, she's cute, and she'll be perfect for someone!


                                      • #20
                                        If you don't know her breeding you might want to get her HYPP tested if you haven't. I honestly wouldn't buy a QH or paint, pinto, Appy (since they seem to have let some QH in) without knowing their status, or want to pass one along without knowing.
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