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Horse mane - hair covering the entire body of an animal: from the back of the head to the tail. Responsible for performing several important functions: from protective to aesthetic and decorative. For a mane to look healthy, it needs regular, high-quality care. This is daily cleaning, washing, cutting and even styling. Correct implementation of the full range of procedures is a guarantee of the health of the animal's skin.
Why do horses need a mane
The main function of the hairline on the horse's body is to protect against external influences. At the same time, the mane acts as a decorative element, an indicator of pedigree and an indicator of the horse's health.
More about the protection function:
- In winter, it protects the horse's skin from hypothermia.
- In summer, it absorbs sweat, saves from overheating (fanning, the horse cools down).
- Drives away flying blood-sucking parasites.
- Protects from moisture during heavy rainfall as the hair repels water.
Another function is decorative. At exhibitions and hippodromes, people always pay attention to the beauty, length, and grooming of a horse's mane. Also, on the basis of its condition and quality, the presence / absence of diseases, characteristics of the diet, content are determined. Therefore, a horse's mane is one of the main indicators of an animal's health.
Basic rules of care
Under the dirty, tangled, unkempt strands of the horse, a favorable environment is created for the active growth and reproduction of fungal and other harmful microorganisms. Therefore, regular maintenance is mandatory for reasons of hygiene and health. All procedures should be carried out in a clean, well-lit and spacious area.
Held daily. Required attributes are a comb, natural bristle brush, cloth or microfiber cloth. Before cleaning, the horse's mane is carefully examined, lumps and mats are manually straightened, specks, straws, and other debris are removed. Then they are divided into several small strands, each separately combed with a special comb.
Good comb indicators:
- gaps between the teeth;
- rounded ends;
- suitable material is wood;
- complete absence of chipping, sharp elements.
The horse's mane is gently combed with a comb. After he began to freely pass through the horse's hair, they take a brush. The treatment ends with a damp cloth under the nape of the neck.
The washing up
Veterinarians recommend washing horse hair only when it is heavily soiled. The approximate frequency for working horses is once every 14-15 days, for horses - no more than once a month. This procedure is mandatory before scheduled shows or competitions, but it is not recommended to wash the animal more often than 1 time in 5-7 days.
For high-quality and complete cleansing, special means are needed. Women's shampoos and gels are not recommended for animals, as they dry out the skin very much.
It is more convenient to wash by helping with a brush and watering the horse with a hose. All strands should be thoroughly washed off and rinsed, and combed after drying. Additionally, the mane can be treated with conditioner or add 2-3 drops of any natural oil to it. In winter, washing is prohibited; an alternative is regular wiping with a damp cloth or soft brush.
To make the horse's mane look more beautiful and attractive, you can cut it, style it or make an original hairstyle. Each procedure requires patience and accuracy from a person.
There are several options for haircuts - cardinal, original or regular alignment of the ends. Horse hair is quite coarse, so it is best to use a well-sharpened garden shears or any large scissors. It is not necessary to completely restrict the movement of the animal during the procedure. It is enough to tie it with a chumbur (the cord is no longer than 2 m).
It is recommended to trim the horse after running or other physical efforts: at this time, the pores are enlarged, the pain threshold in case of accidentally pulling out the hair is significantly reduced.
- Pre-wet the strands slightly.
- Present the end result. Keep in mind that after drying, the hair will become slightly shorter.
- Start from the occipital area.
- Smoothly move to new zones - withers, back.
- Trim the main length.
- Then carefully examine the result, remove all irregularities.
Original haircuts - curly patterns on the horse's mane in the form of a zigzag, checkers, hearts. To trim a horse this way, you need experience or special skills.
How to braid
They braid the horse's long hair to protect it from various mechanical damages. It is important to check the condition of the braids daily, to intertwine them at least 2 times in 7 days. To make the strands more manageable, it is recommended to use formulations with a conditioning effect (for easier combing).
- Braids. The classic version. You can make one in the center or several on the sides. Weaving is standard: divide the mane into 3 strands, alternately weave together. Take tapes or elastic bands to fix it.
- Western hairstyle. Separate several thin strands, secure them with elastic bands at the root zone. Then put on a few more pairs of elastic bands along the entire length, keeping equal gaps between them.
- "Hunting". It is based on a different number of strands, but strictly a multiple of 3. Each curl is braided into a braid with a ribbon, the end of the braid is masked inside the next one.
To add volume to the horse's hair or make it wavy, it is enough to braid classic braids at night, and in the morning to unravel and comb them. For the best effect, the mane should first be slightly moistened with water.
A horse's mane has an aesthetic and protective function. The hair cover protects the skin of the animal from hypothermia, overheating, heavy rainfall, blood-sucking insects. In order for the mane to reliably perform all functions, it is important to regularly wash, clean, and comb it. For an attractive or unusual look, you can have a haircut or braid the mane.