AH, SPRING! The warmth of the sun tickled just right by a crisp breeze…the grass growing braver by the day, emerging little by little…the birds chirping their hourly status report with pre-nesting gusto…and ALL THAT HAIR coming off your horse…and onto you…and into your mouth…and…
As much as we northern horse folk love what it heralds, spring’s not the prettiest time of year for horse OR rider. Between the acres of dirt we’ve let accumulate under “Simba’s” coat (for insulation) and the wilderness that once was a bridlepath, we have weeks ahead spent shedding blade in hand while avoiding all clothing made of fleece and its near relations (aka horsehair magnets).
When we grow most desperate, we just need to remember: the rewards are many when our horses finally reflect the hours of love, labor, and supplements we’ve been throwing their way…usually around June.
Just in time for spring cleanup, pro grooms Cat Hill and Emma Ford bring us WORLD-CLASS GROOMING FOR HORSES, a truly unparalleled guide to top equine turnout, with over 1200 professional color photographs by Jessica Dailey (www.jesslynn.photography). WORLD-CLASS GROOMING FOR HORSES is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.
Here’s what Cat and Emma have to say about training unruly manes:
Whenever you groom your horse, the mane should be combed or brushed out to keep it free of tangles. After bathing, always comb down the wet mane to encourage it to stay on the same side. For the most part, a mane is “trained” to the right side of the horse; however, breeds with manes naturally to the left—Friesians, Andalusians, Lusitanos, Morgans, and Arabians, as well as any dressage horse—are allowed to leave the manes where they are.
“Training” the Mane
There are a couple of ways to train a mane to stay on the right side of the neck and to lie flat. In the long run you may never fix issues like manes that stand up or lie on two sides of the neck, but getting it to lie down correctly for a couple of days will allow you to pull, thin, or trim it evenly.
1 Wet the mane and comb smoothly on the right side of the neck.
2 Section off a 2- to 4-inch piece of mane and wrap a braiding band around it until it is snug.
3 Repeat this all the way down the neck.
Depending on how “wild” the mane is, you might need to braid it down.
1 Wet the mane and comb it smoothly on the right side of the neck.
2 Section off a 2- to 4-inch piece of mane and start a loose braid.
3 Make sure you do not pull the side pieces in tightly since this can cause irritation, as well as damage the mane.
4 Braid only 3 or 4 “crosses,” then rubber band the end.
5 Leave these braids in for as long as the horse is comfortable; when he starts to rub his neck, they need to be taken out. Be aware that some horses will take offense and start to rub them out immediately, so always be on the lookout for this!
Check out this short video trailer about WORLD-CLASS GROOMING FOR HORSES:
To order your copy, CLICK HERE NOW.