Have a dilemma with my gorgeous dapple grey TB with black legs, mane and tail. His mane is terrific, long and thick, so beautiful. Some day I would love to show him, but know hunter/jumpers just don't look like my guy. Are long manes ever permitted? I've been told I can sit on him and braid it down the middle, have never tried. Is anyone in this situation with advice?  Lark

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If it is serious showing in hunter I would be plaiting. You could try to have more smaller plaits to adjust for his think long mane.
there is the scalloped plaits, and running plaits, but many of those are more for arab type horses..but I am sure they would work..

here is a link of a well done running plait (remember to do them tightly or it will just come out)


and here is the scalloped..


and then there is this one, but to my belief it is moslty used for arabs, and dressage


heres another good link showing your tips on how to braid for longer manes, and the proper care of longer manes: http://www.raspberryridge.com/Kids-Mane%20Care.htm
Hey Sassy, thank you so much for your advice. I will definitely check out all of these sites and give it a try. And Echo thanks you. Lark
I am in the same situation! I used to show challenge/ trillium last season i showed western pleasure and didn't need to pull her main. Now its gotten so long and its so beautiful I defiantly do NOT want to make it shorter. so would challenge and trillium series even allow plaiting?

Is it one of those things thats "allowed" but the judges dont really like?
I am not sure what I will do either, my horse is a standardbred, and most are just left natural. My husband has been a standardbred horseman for over forty years and is dead set against shortening Che's mane... he has been so great about this whole horse venture that I want to give him his own way on at least this (lol)
I would try the down the neck idea, see how it looks, you would have to 'french braid' it... I suppose. I am going to try to braid the traditional way, then double it up and yet again... sewing it flat... Che's mane is light (he is a pacing bred horse) so at least it is not as thick as my quarterhorse of old! Good luck, let me know how it goes.
Hi Deb, check out the sites that Sassy suggested. I'm going to give it a try. And BTW, my horse also belongs to my husband who rides him western on the trails, so I want to keep him happy too. L
for cassandra:

I show western pleasure..and I see alot of people band there horses longer manes..it takes longer to do, but the WP junior winner in the AQHA Worlds had a roan with a very long mane all band, looked fine here's a link (also try the last link for maintenance in my previous post):


(stop at step 1 just make the bands smaller to elongate the neck)


also..the reason for shortenning the manes mainly is to make the horses neck look longer, so having a long maned horse is not going to stop your placings, and the next reason is the time, and to braid normal hunter braids for the allrounders.
Hi Thanks I will... you never know... Che is daddy's boy alright... I keep calling my husband a horse theif... lol right now he is in Guelph with him at a really good training farm, I on the other hand am at home working to pay the bill!!! seems the horse and husband have the right of it! take care deb
Hi, Lark:

It's not so much a question of what's permitted, it's more a question of what's expected. Jumpers are usually shown with pulled manes, but may be loose or braided.

Hunters, on the other hand, are ALWAYS braided, and I think you would be looked at somewhat askance if you showed in a hunter ring with a running braid, a long mane, or any variation thereof. As in dressage, the short and tight braids serve a purpose, they make it possible for judges to correctly see and evaluate the throughness in the neck and poll, and acceptance of the bridle. In dressage various types of braids are permitted (here in Canada you're really only asked to braid or roach, so that the neck can be seen) but I have come across judges with very definite ideas about what's acceptable.

My personal feeling as a coach, judge and competitor is that you should groom your horse appropriately for the discipline(s) in which you compete, and short and properly pulled manes are de rigeur in pretty much everything but breeding classes. I rode Arabian stallions in open dressage for years, and they were very competitive, but I did present them as "dressage" horses, not as Arabians. Were I competing in breed classes, I would expect to groom my horse in accordance with the breed standards, and I thiink you should do the same within your chosen disciplines.
Well thanks for your candid advice Jan, and I understand there are rules and tradition. Perhaps I am not meant for the show ring and would rather ride in hunter paces here in Florida where I may be accepted. Best to you. Lark
Hi, Lark:

Hunter paces sound like a lot more fun than show prep!
here in Canada..I talked to my 3 day eventer friend and her friend owns a horse with a long mane, and her horse has a decently long mane aswell, they do the running braid, the scalloped, and the banding..the one got 3rd in the province. Maybe try something in 3 day eventing where you will be excepted into more than just a stereotype..


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