DON’T DO IT. I understand the temptation. But, there are far more reasons NOT to buzz a big mane. Here are a few of them:
1. Hair will grow back like WIRE. If you think the mane unmanageable now, just you wait. There is no turning back once you clip the mane. It grows back very coarse and straight- like wire.
2. Hair growth will push the rest out of place. Even when freshly clipped, the mane will not lay flat. Braids will never be stable. The same goes for if you use a blade that cuts the mane at the crest. In my experience, Solo Combs and the like make braiding well impossible. Loose manes never sit properly, either.
3. Braids have no solid anchor. The base (edge to edge of the crest) will not be there to hold braids still on nor flush to the neck. There will be no maintaining a clean bottomline, the most important part of the braid job.
Unless you are playing polo or working cattle out on the range, roaching any part of the mane is counter productive. Trust me. So that is does not grow back all at once, your best option is to thin the mane by pulling a little bit at a time, over a long period of time. I understand this is controversial. Please understand that I have peacefully pulled hundreds of thousands of manes. There is a way to do it. Most are not privy.
Unfortunately, most people inadvertently teach horses to resist thinning. Hold on. I can hear the uproar. Consider this: Have you ever noticed it hurts to pull your hair, but not to pluck your eyebrows? Not all hair is the same. Unless a horse has had a REALLY bad experience, you can get it to relax while thinning its mane. YES: relax. I actually do mean that they will fall asleep. Other pro braiders will attest.
Pulling well is a *management issue*. All top braiders agree that only less than 4% of horses even question pulling. If you are skilled, it can be non-invasive. Here are some key points for thinning manes peacefully.
To simply shorten manes, I tease and cut the bottom with the big Oster 84 AU blade. It has NO sharp edges that will cut anything but hair.
START NOW. Getting a mane in good shape for braiding can take time. So, read that link and tick away at it.
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 LuckyBraids.com, 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 Whitener Spray Top Pick for greys and whites. Lucky Braids specialized braiding yarn also got stellar reviews.