Leaving Braids In: what I know for sure.
Some leave braids in overnight. The horses don’t rub. YET, in short time, the manes thin considerably. As a pro braider, this was of great concern. So, I figured it out… Picking brains while developing my Shampoo, it came to my attention that kinky and frizzy hair is dry. Hence, hot oil treatments. WHY? Ideally, natural oils slide down hair shafts to replenish and strengthen them. However, when braids are left in, oils don’t get over the twists. So, hair gets depleted. Brittle, it breaks. THEREFORE, I am not an advocate of leaving hair braided. Unless, you want to thin it.
I am acutely aware that, if you go to some shows, you see lots of manes and tails left braided. Though, many still wear fake tails. So, what is that saying? A long wispy mane does not do it for me. Show manes are re-braided every day. If you come to Wellington, Florida, where many top sport horses winter, you may never see a mane or tail left braided overnight. It is not conventional wisdom.
MOTION helps pull oils down the strands. So, I go with the program that makes hair really easy to maintain. In my experience, the most effective routine is to use the right horse shampoo, and comb the long hair wet. Then, long hair stays more organized and grows great. It gets volumized and is NOT prone to ringlets. While I advocate daily picking, many tell me they can just shake shavings out for a week with this system. Wet hair stretches, so it is less apt to break if you comb as I suggest.
Cutting tails so they don’t drag on the ground keeps them healthy. However, even still, reiners’ tails can be compromised when the horse sits down/works. So, they put a series of loose figure 8 knots at the base of the dock. The hair turns, but loosely. It is an option if you need to get the hair up.
Special thanks to Tracy Emanuel Photography for yet another artful image.
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 Top Pick for greys and whites. Lucky Braids specialized braiding yarn also got stellar reviews.