A thick, lustrous mane can be beautiful to behold, so long as you have plenty of time to keep it neatly brushed out and tangle free. A thick, unkempt mane can quickly turn into an ugly, tangled mess if you do not know how to maintain it correctly or do not have enough time to do so. Understanding how to care for the mane properly will help cut down on the amount of time you spend caring for it.
Brushing the Mane
If your horse has a thin mane, you have to be careful about how often you brush it with an actual mane comb because brushing tends to pull out and break hairs. When your horse has a thick mane, you do not have to be as careful about brushing because he can afford to lose a few strands. However, it is still a good idea to detangle any knots using your fingers before you take the brush to your horse's mane. Daily brushing and detangling may be necessary to keep a really thick mane under control.
Thin the Mane
Mane pulling combs exist for a reason, and that reason is to make the mane thinner and more manageable without actually cutting it. Mane pulling combs thin the mane while still maintaining a natural look. If your horse's mane is so thick you can not do anything with it, or it is making your horse uncomfortable, use a pulling comb to thin it out. You use the pulling comb by teasing the mane and then yanking out the longest strands of hair by wrapping them around the spine of the comb and tugging.
Show braiding is time-consuming and not effective for long-term control of the mane, but it does bring your horse's thick mane into control when he is being judged in the ring. Outside the arena, a few thick braids will help keep a thick mane under control and improve airflow to your horse's neck during hot weather. Brush and braid the mane while you are doing your regular grooming and just redo the braids every couple of days or when they start to fall out.
Don't make your job any harder than it has to be. Use a good-quality conditioner when you wash your horse's mane and then spray a detangling product on it to help work knots loose and keep hair sleek, shiny and free of tangles.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.