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Re: [RC] braids - Diane Trefethen

Rick Jackson wrote:
...I note at several of the rides I have attended about half of the horses will have their manes braided. I have a black and white paint that puts on a pretty thick winter coat. I am not able to blanket him/pull blanket off so I don't shave him. Do the braids actually help the horse cool or are they strictly for looks? By the way, he looks pretty darn good with a set of braids!

I do not know crap about braids. But what I have noticed is that horses from cold, wintery climates have long, thick manes (think Shetland Ponies). Then, horses who come from the desert have long, thin manes, (think Arabians). I ask myself, "Why would these equines develop these characteristics?"

My totally off the wall, unsubstantiated guess is that horses in cold climates need insulation (masses of fiber trap air) so they need thick manes and horses in hot, dry climates need a built-in air conditioner, so they need a long, flowing mane that moves around a lot to produce maximum air flow.

Ergo, if your Endurance horse has a thick mane, you need to thin it. If it has a fine mane, leave it alone.

PS: There are lots of folks who love their horses flowing locks and CHOSE to keep them long and "braidable". This has absolutely nothing to do with what is useful or practical for an Endurance horse. It is just what some people want to do.


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[RC] braids, Rick Jackson