We've all been there..... it's May, you're out competing trying to plait a tiny whisp of mane that hasn't recovered from the winter rug rub. Your horses mane resembles a chance encounter with Edward Scissorhands, and you're kicking yourself for not trying to sort it out sooner.
Fear not, with our top tips on reducing the chance of baldness are below:
KEEP RUGS CLEAN - Build up of grease on the inside of the rug can cause friction and rubbing. By keeping rugs clean you are reducing the probability of hair being pulled out, it's also good practice and will help prevent soreness.
REMOVE GREASE - Use a small amount of unscented shampoo to gently hot cloth grease out of your horse's mane and shoulders. Get a bucket of warm water, add a drop of 'Easy does it' and use a flannel or tea towel to gently remove grease. Keeping the mane clean will reduce friction.
INVEST IN DECENT UNDERWEAR - No one likes cheap undies, do your research and invest in a good quality bib or mane guard that is well fitting and uses breathable fabric. This will help stop seams catching and reduce friction.
BUY WELL FITTING RUGS - It's always best to buy the best you can afford when it comes to rugs. Horses are just like humans when it comes to their clothing, different brands fit different shapes and sizes. When you first get a rug, check closely to make sure it isn't too tight in one particular area. This will not only help prevent rug rub but also ensure your horses comfort. Wearing something that rubs isn't fun!
ASSES YOUR NEED - if your horse isn't clipped and is a native asses weather a neck is really necessary? Horses lose on average 30% of their heat through their neck and chest so for some breeds, especially when clipped it's essential. But for others - they may not need one.
PLAIT - It can be a faff but one way of preventing losing the mane is to plait it into individual plaits. It's time consuming but it does work.
USE A DETANGLER - Many people have had results using a detangler on the mane to prevent rubbing. VELVET is the perfect product for this, it contains no harsh chemicals so is safe to apply as a 'leave-in'. It also contains ALOE which helps with hair regrowth and restorative GINGER ROOT OIL.