From Endurance to Dressage
Pull or Cut?
Mane I mean. And the answer is I don't know. I guess I should say I don't know how.
[Quick side note ... yesterday, Memoirs of a Horse Girl blogged about this very thing. I actually wrote this post over the weekend, but it's funny how we're all thinking about or dealing with the same issues. Check out what Val was doing with Harley's mane at Memoirs of a Horse Girl.]
This is an Arabian's mane left loose for endurance racing ...
Okay, I am just trying to be funny. Not all Arabians, nor all endurance horses, have a mane like Montoya did, but you get the point. Endurance horses are allowed to have long manes, and in fact, most endurance riders leave them long and full because the mane is natural protection from the flies.
And if the ride is going to be a hot one, the mane is braided in long individual braids that look like this ...
French Braids for Showing
When Speedy G goes to a show, I just do a long French braid that holds fairly well and at least looks neat. This isn't a very good photo, but I've never thought to photograph his braid before.
I just can't pull or cut his mane. Arabians need a flowing mane. Which brings me to Sydney.
Sydney looks cute with a short main and since he's not an Arabian, it is expected that he be braided for shows. I've braided his mane and it comes out quite nice, as it did here.
A Mane That Needs Cleaning Up
Since I don't know how to pull a mane, and I am not sure that I want to learn, I decided to use the scissors and "trim" it. I am sure the purists are cringing. I did too. This is the before shot.
Trimmed with Scissors
And here's a photo after the scissor job. It's not great, but it's not a total hack job either. The angle is horrible, I know.
Not Quite Even
Here is his cleaned-up mane a week later. From a distance, it's probably okay. I would sure love some suggestions regarding best length for braiding as well as tips for cutting it without the ends looking so hacked off. If you've got any ideas, please share.
10/20/2011 04:54:38 am
I found this article really helpful with shortening manes, particularly the bit about using an up-and-down cut to make the edges a little more natural:
10/20/2011 12:01:13 pm
That is too funny! What do they say about great minds? :)
10/20/2011 10:29:32 pm
Now That's a Trot - thanks for the link. When I have time this weekend, I am definitely going to check it out!
10/20/2011 10:32:20 pm
Val - I thought the same thing when I read your post. I forgotten that it hadn't been published yet. I went back and saw that it was on the schedule for mid week. It just goes to show we all face the same issues, good or bad!
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: