I'm trying to get my horse, Chester's mane to grow out but it just won't.
I've tried braiding it, thrown away all my combs and use showsheen on it and carefully undo the knots in it before brushing it.
I'm just frustrated so I thought I would ask some fellow horse lovers for advice.
thanks so much and happy trails.
In my experience, it's mostly genetic, however, I've met people who have had success with a few things:
1) put MTG (Mane & Tail Grower) in the mane to add about an inch in 6 weeks (I've personally used this method with success). It also works on the tail and coat to repair knicks and bite marks. You can get MTG at the Coop or TSC for about $15..it will last a couple months. I really like it on my mares when I bring them into the barn in the spring, 30 days before they foal. I coat their entire body with MTG about 3 times (3-4 days apart) and it does a wonderful job of causing the winter coat to shed out, fill in all of the knicks and scratches, and leaves them with a healthy, shiny coat.
2) one reputable farm uses green polmolive shampoo, from what I understand they put it in the horse's mane every few days and wash it out immediately...the longer you continue to do this, the more growth you get in the mane.
3) something that I've used, and is easy to apply, is to squirt Infusion 23 shampoo into the mane...just squirt it in every few days and leave it alone...it also keeps it from getting tangled. It can cause some sun bleach, but of course, some of us Rocky folks like that. :-)
None of these are "over-night" methods but I've met people who have had some success with them.
I have noticed that fencing has a lot to do with the growth of my horses' manes. They were kept for years in a barbed wire enclosure and their manes were short, scraggly, and different random lengths. I moved them into a field that is fenced with the white plastic planks and 4-inch square horse wire, and now I have to pull their manes so that they don't get too long!
I know that fencing isn't very economical to replace, so, if that is the problem, you may have to just deal with it :(
Have you thought about sleazy neck wraps? http://www.ss4horses.com/department/stretch_hoods.html
I do not know how often you wash the mane but I know from my own experience if I wash and groom, then apply showsheen about every week my horses mane and tail will grow longer.......the times I've not done much to them several weeks in a row they start breaking off.
I used to show Arabs and had a few that had tail issues - MTG worked well for hair growth because of the sulfur I think. It also keeps the ticks from nesting in my pasture horses' forelocks. One other thing, be sure your horses are getting enough trace minerals. Copper deficiencies can cause all kinds of hair issues including small white spots. From what I understand, this region has copper deficiencies in the soil so the grass/hay does too.
Kayla, I learned a great tip about manes and tails when my daughter was a US Pony Clubber. One word for growing long manes and tails......Listerine! Yes, the mouthwash. Get a big bottle, wash your horse's name and tail with shampoo, rinse it, and then apply Listerine and rub it into the neck and dock of tail with your hand. Don't worry about the hair, you want it on the skin where the hair grows out. Then put cream rinse over it, and rinse with clear water, but don't remove it all....just rinse like you would if you cream rinsed your own hair. It will still have somewhat of a Listerine smell. Since it kills bacteria by millions on contact, it eliminates any itch and dandruff, and your horse WILL grow a long mane and tail. But it takes several weeks to see the beginning of this result. Be patient, and keep the bottom of the tail blocked (squared off) so he won't step on it. I like it about half way between fetlock and hock. It looks thick that way, and very showy. You will see short hairs growing longer from the mane (neck) and tailhead. This works....be patient. You only need to do this about twice a year, in the spring and the fall. I do it last bath of fall, and first one of spring. If your horse is on pasture, like mine are, the rain and dust accumulates a lot of bacteria on their skin. Also, be sure to do at least two of your wormer rotations with Ivermectin, during the year, as that also gets hair lice, which are hard to see, but look like little grains of rice, and really itch the horse badly, so that it rubs the mane. Good luck! Let me know in six months if it worked for you. (I am confident! ) P.S. I use Suave Shampoo and Cream Rinse from Dollar Store, because it is cheap, but any shampoo is fine. The real Listerine is stronger than the generics, so I would stay with the name brand for your purpose.
Keep working on the knots, I recomend use a dog brush, for the mane and tail. The long needle type brush and some has the soft brush on the other side. I also recomend, use Mircal Groom TSC sell this, spray in the mane and leave it in. My horse has wirey dry hair, It condition his hair, and may help keeps the nots out. But I would stop braiding it may never work unless it flops on the other side that is why your suppose to braid it. I never use a comb unless your pulling the mane to make the hairs ends even. Use the brush on his tail and get the knots out with that, and Never cut the tail hair, some one local cut their Arbians tail hair cause of the knots. You should take the time to clean the nots out, yes it's hectice but It won't take you 3 years to get it out like it will take that horse 3 years to get his tail back. Good finger hunting.