Managing Big Manes

Managing Big Manes


Big manes just need love. When well managed, they can be easy. Thing is, if you pull too much at once, the mane all grows in at once. When most hair is one short length, it can’t lay flat and braids will skew. The short hair is always pushing the rest out of place. Braiding that is a bear! I have cried over such things. *Short and thick is the WORST!* If you pull too much at once, that’s what happens. It also inadvertently and unnecessarily teaches horses to hate pulling. There IS a BETTER way. In my experience, thinning manes can be *relaxing* for all…


  1. A LITTLE LOTS. If you pull a few strands at a time, over a long period of time, the mane will grow in staggered. So, it will be, by far, the easiest to tame and twist. Plus, not making a big deal out of pulling, builds horses’ confidence.
  2. Let it be a GOOD EXPERIENCE. Heed these tips to Pulling Peacefully. In addition, if you just hang on the hair, the crest will eventually release it. Easy out, a few strands at a time. No holes in the crest.
  3. NO HOLES. Pulling chunks out means holes in the growth along the crest. So, braids won’t stay straight or tight. I pull or shorten a few strands along a broad area. I pick up 10-17 hairs at a time.
  4. IN WITH THE NEW. The old idea of pulling hairs from underneath does not jive with my sensibilities. You need hair at the base of the crest to anchor the braids. Otherwise, they’ll jiggle and won’t maintain the clean bottomline. I pull hairs evenly throughout the thick areas of the crest.
  5. UNIFORMITY. You may need to shorten, without thinning some areas, depending on the crest.
  6. FEEL GOOD. If you do want to numb the crest a bit, Lucky Braids Handy Salve cools and soothes. It takes away the sting. I just follow direction as outlined in my articles.
  7. FULL FORELOCKS. I love big forelocks. So, the Lucky Braids DVD shows you how to braid any size forelock, even if to the nose.

Some manes need to be cleaned up every week, with a little pulling and blading. If you keep up on them, even Trojan manes can get super fast and easy.

Bio Pic

Ruthann Smith has spent a lifetime studying sound horsemanship- both as a groom for top international horses and as a renowned braider. Quietly twisting manes atop a ladder, she watched and learned in some of the best stables in the world.

As her passion for great grooming grew, Ruthann became focused on researching, collecting and sharing the best practices of the world’s keenest horsemen. Ultimately, Ruthann used her vast experience to develop exceptional equine grooming products to help raise the bar of horsemanship.

The knowledge she dispenses and the products Ruthann developed solve age-old grooming issues. Making quality horse care easier, they have received the highest honors in the equine industry*. Her Lucky Braids for Top Turnout coat care and braiding products are the best, most versatile, cost-effective and easiest solutions available on the market today.

Now Ruthann offers her LOVE, LOVE Guarantee. If not totally thrilled with a product she developed, Ruthann will refund you in full, regardless of where you purchased it.

It’s her life’s mission to empower horses by educating, motivating and equipping their people to be true horsemen. You can access Ruthann’s tips at: The Grooming Resource on, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and her Horsemanship Clinics.

*After testing 350 products, Lucky Braids All-In-One Horse Shampoo was named product of the year by Horse Journal, the “Consumer Reports” of the industry. They also named Lucky Braids Shampoo and Top Pick for greys and whites. Lucky Braids specialized braiding yarn also got stellar reviews.