It’s pretty common to see show horses parading around with their hair
clean and braided rather than left to hang freely. While this looks like it’s only for the sake of the
show, there are a lot of great reasons to put your horse’s hair into braids. Why is that exactly? For its
overall health! Braiding does a lot more than just act fashionable. Here’s why braiding their mane is
great for them.
The biggest positive that braided hair has for a horse is the ability to
reduce parasites in said hair. Most parasites like fleas and mites and such love to make a nest out of matted
and tangled hair, so keeping it clean and tidy reduces their ability to make a home for themselves. Much of
this can simply be done by brushing daily and washing frequently, but it’s actually easier to braid the hair
after a good cleaning. This will reduce the chance that parasites can get comfortable and will in turn help
keep your horse’s skin healthier as well.
Along with keeping parasites at bay, braiding also ends up training the hair
how to grow, oddly enough. Keeping the hair in a braid will force the hair to grow in only one direction,
making it simpler to groom later on. Partly, this makes it so the hair is trained to fall to one side when free
and reduces the amount that it becomes tangled on its own.
Even stranger, braided hair is strong hair. While being forced to grow
properly, the braid also keeps the hair from breaking. If left to grow without interference, it has a higher
rate of breaking and tangling (we should just be able to agree that tangling is a bad thing), whereas braiding
reduces this breakage and lets it grow strong and healthy.
Everything that braiding does can easily be accomplished by regular grooming
of course. Problems with parasites, damaged hair, constant tangles, nightly brushing will eliminate these
troubles. That said, a simple braid will also eliminate these troubles, except with the braid you don’t have to
make a habit of grooming every single day. It’s a time saver on your end and a fashionable choice for the horse
beyond just encouraging better health.
To braid or not to braid? It shouldn’t be a very difficult answer to come up
with. If you have quite a few horses to deal with on a daily basis, perhaps a simple braid is the solution.
Work smarter, not harder, and let the braid work for you and your horse.
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Winter Care for Horses
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