The striking appearances of the Andalusian or Lusitania breeds make them look like something out of a fairy-tale. Both breeds are full of hair with long, luscious manes and tails. How can their grooms, trainers, owners and grooms maintain these lush, lush manes? A consistent and thorough grooming program. Erica Peet, the Andalusian trainer at Peet Equestrian and a member International Andalusian & Lusitania Horse Association, shared her top five tips for healthy, strong hair.
The rich history of the Andalusians, Lusitania and other Lusitanos is rich, with their beautiful, flowing locks dating back to 15 _-century Spain. Many owners have maintained their historic tail and mane standards over the years. It is difficult to maintain these lush, full-bodied tails and manes. A consistent and thorough grooming program can promote healthy, strong hair in all breeds.
Concentrate on the base of the mane and the roots when washing it. Peet said that you should scrub and massage the roots to loosen any oil or dirt deposits and encourage blood flow. The underside of the mane is often the dirtiest. Always turn the mane upside down to scrub it. It is important not to ignore it because it is hard to see. It is crucial to do this when you shampoo your hair and rinse any products from it.
Peet warned that the conditioner shouldn’t be too heavy. Lightly add water to the conditioner to spread evenly throughout the hair. This will prevent the conditioner from being lost in the rinse. It is essential to rinse the conditioner well because oils attract dirt.
Peet recommends using a leave-in conditioner after your hair has dried to replenish any natural oils lost during the shampooing process. She said that this helps to improve the hair’s health and shine.
You can also use this treatment to care for your tail. To prevent oil buildup, focus your attention on the dock when washing your tail. The dock is where dirt, dead skin and dander accumulate. Peet said that sometimes horses rub because the dock is too dirty.
Avoid conditioners and shampoos that are high in sulphates. They can strip hair of its natural oils. To moisturize the hair, choose a product with a base of natural ingredients such as coconut and tea tree oils. Peet advises that people stick to products within their means. There are many products available! She said you should choose what’s most affordable and works best for your needs. My most important grooming product, my leave-in conditioner, is what I spend the most money on.
Peet reminds us to be mindful of where we live and how the climate affects our ability to select products and manage mane and tail care. She explained that different products work in different areas. It would help if you adapted your grooming routine to suit your environment. In dry climates, I should focus on moisturizing my hair. However, in humid climates, I must closely monitor hair for signs of build-up due to the natural moisture of my environment.
Braid to Reduce Breakage
After shampooing and conditioning, braid your mane to prevent breakage and protect it from sunburn, dirt, matting and sunlight. Peet explained that she takes two-inch sections from the hair to avoid tension in the braid’s outer sections. I start the braid loosely and then move to a tighter weave to prevent tension at the root every few inches.
There are no shortcuts to growing hair. However, braiding can be a valuable tool for keeping a horse’s mane in good condition, especially for those horses that don’t experience much growth.
Peet suggests braiding the tail, starting at the dock and working your way down. Then, loosen the braid for a few inches, then tighten the braid as you move further away from the dock.
The key to seeing the best results is consistency in your grooming routine. Peet suggests repeating the above process every 10-14 days.
She said that washing too often can dry out the mane and cause breakage. However, the horse’s daily movement means that the hair will get tangled and brittle.
Training a mane to lay flat on one side is a common problem. Peet suggests a thorough washing and braiding routine to encourage manes that lie flat on one side. This will also preserve the hair’s health. Peet explained, “This is the process I am currently going though with Bravata, my mare. Her mane has been allowed to grow out after I roached it.” It would look very unruly and split on both her neck if it was left to itself, which isn’t a very attractive look.
Tools of the Trade
Peet uses various tools to help her with her tail-care and mane-care. You can avoid getting tangled and causing breakage by using a wide-toothed comb. To protect against breakage, you can also use your fingertips to pull out small tangles. Braid bags act as a barrier against environmental factors. Peet recommends using electric tape for braiding instead of rubber bands. She explained that rubber bands can get tangled and break hair. While electrical tape sticks to hair well and leaves no residue, she disagrees. The leave-in conditioner helps with the brushing by allowing the knots to slide off a bit easier. She added that she mists her manes and tails before brushing.
Take Your time
Slowing down is the most important thing for your tail and mane. Peet said that not all horses are born with the hair gene. Rocky is an example of this.
Always start at the root and work your way up. Peet stated that using your fingers to separate knots will prevent breaking. Sometimes your brush will rip your hair out. It is important to take your time.