The mane of a horse has an indefinite growth. However, its growth depends on both environmental and genetic factors, just like humans. Some horses have short tails and sparse manes, which take ages to grow. You might wonder how long does it take for a horse mane to grow back? How you can speed it up.
The numerous special supplements and shampoos, horse mane growth products, and fake tails prove that the horse owners are obsessed with their mane and tail growth. Unfortunately, genetics is the only thing that determines hair growth and mane thickness. However, proper care will also lead to longer and stronger manes and tails.
So how long does it take for a horse mane to grow back? The answer relies on factors like the season, environment, diet, and genetic makeup of the horse. A particular study showed that the tail of a domestic horse could grow to one centimeter in two weeks. That is for harsh living conditions. Therefore, it can grow faster in better living conditions.
What about the manes? Subjectively, a horse’s mane can grow from 0.5 to 1.5 inches in a month. It also depends on the breed. Heavy breeds such as draft and cob have faster growth in their tails and manes with thicker hair.
Can The Horse Mane Grow Longer?
All facts explaining what to do to make your horse’s mane grow longer magically are all but myths. The length in which your horse’s forelock, tail, and mane should reach is due to genetics and time. But taking care of the forelock, tail, and mane can lead to the growth of healthy and robust hair to the vastest potential. You will realize your horse’s tail and your hair can only grow so long.
Why is The Length of The Horse’s Tail and Mane Limited?
The length of the hair depends on the phases of hair growth. Hair growth has three stages; anagen, catagen, and telogen.
1. Anagen Phase
This hair phase is when the hair is growing. Let’s take a horse consuming the best nutrition available, assuming it never rubs its hair. It means that the horse’s hair growth in the anagen phase will result in super quality hair.
However, the mane’s length is still limited since the anagen phase relies on time. The phase durability is between two to seven years. It seems that Saddlebreds’ cycle goes for seven years while Appaloosa has processes going for two years. That proves genetics is at work.
2. Catagen Phase
This phase is where the hair is at rest. It lasts for a few weeks. During the stage, the hair follicle remains calm until new hair grows.
3. Telogen Phase
In this phase, the life cycle of the hair begins when the hair starts falling out. It does not have much happening; it’s a matter of time for the new hair to replace the old one.
Your body hairs and your horse’s mane are on those cycles, but not all of them are on similar processes. Otherwise, we would go from all hairy to bald. It’s all the hair, from tail to mane to coat on the belly to feathers to eyelashes. Each part has its length during the anagen phase. That is the reason the hair on our scalp is longer than our eyelashes. However, consider loose and long braids. It helps prevent the tangling of the tails and manes and the development of wind knots.
Tips to Accelerate the Growth of Your Horse’s Manes
If you are wondering how you can speed up your horse’s mane and tail and make it thicker, here are a few tips:
- Use shampoo as it helps the hair to grow in some cases.
- Use leave-in conditioners. Many horse owners have proven it to be helpful.
- Find the cause and treatment for horses that rub their manes or tails. The rubbing causes breakage hence thinner and shorter hair.
- Ensure your horse has a well-balanced diet. It should entail minerals and vitamins which provide sufficient energy and nutrients for your horse. Failure to do that, the horse will use its extra energy in more important things than mane and tail growth.
- Add a good hoof supplement to the feed. These supplements promote not only healthy hair growth but also stronger hooves and good skin.
- Brush the tail or mane frequently but not too often. Brushing seems good for promoting growth but promotes breakage. However, when brushing the hair, ensure it is clean. Remember to use a detangler when washing the hair.
- In cool weather, use a fly sheet or a blanket and cover the neck to protect the mane, while for the tail, use a bandage or a tail bag. If the weather is hot, plait the mane in a straight manner to prevent snagging and tangling.
I Prefer the Products for My Horse
We all do! For a long tail and mane, consider genetics above everything else. The second priority is nutrition, then hair care. After it is all grown, now use all your favorite products. It is the only way to optimize the tail and the mane. It is our responsibility to protect the hairs that the anagen phase has provided.
- Healthy hair – healthy hair is a result of a proper diet. An Equine Nutritionist or a Veterinarian can help you make a balanced diet for your horse. A good diet enhances the skin and hair of the horse. For a healthy mane and tail, here are essential diets to consider.
- Safe horse care – is your horse rubbing its tail, pasture mate eating the tail hairs, or snagged in a fence? There are many reasons why a horse should rub its tail. It seems that a horse should avoid touching anything as it is possible for hair damage.
- Clean and protected – is your horse’s tail and mane adequately cleaned? Are you saving it with tail bags, flysheet conditioners, and detanglers? You have several options to ensure a clean horsetail and tangle-free. It also prevents breakage if the tail gets stuck on something.
- Numerous product options! They can be sheen products, detanglers, conditioners, and anything responsible for slippery, healthy, and soft hair. I am a fan of grooming oils too. We rinse out conditioners, but we retain grooming oils, detanglers, and sheen products. An experiment is convenient to find the best.
Will Braiding the Horse’s Mane Boost Its Growth?
Plaiting or braiding the mane protects the existing growth and makes it grow thicker and longer. The weaving should not be tight if you want it to endure more hours. Too tight braiding stresses the hair follicles hence pulling the root out. It also leads to hair damage and mane or tail damage, mainly horses that often scratch their tails and manes.
So how long should the braids last? Any decision you make in securing your horse’s mane, the recommended period of leaving the braids is seven to ten days. If necessary and the hair look attractive, then you can extend the braids.
Today, most horse owners embrace braiding. You will see all kinds of horses have beautiful braiding. Apart from the aesthetics and practicalities of the braiding, it prevents the hair from knotting. There is a myth stating that knots in the mane of the horse were a result of fairies.
Wondering how many plaits your horse’s mane should have? Let’s give it nine to thirteen weaves, as it is the standard number of braids seen. It also depends on the size and conformation of the horse. Use the plaits intelligently as it can disguise the weakness of your horse’s conformation. So choose the best number of braids that will suit your horse.
- What is the Correct Side for the Mane?
In general, it is correct for the mane to lie on the off or right side. If you like rides or low-level shows, the side that the mane lies on probably doesn’t matter. In high-level performances, a good turnout is essential. The horse mane should lay smoothly on its neck right side.
2. Do horses feel their mane?
There is a myth that when you pull the mane of a horse, it won’t hurt. The follicles don’t have nerves like humans. The reality is that their strands have sensory nerves. Pulling the mane can cause pain or discomfort.
3. Are the manes even necessary?
The answer will surprise you. If you thought the manes were for looks, you would be surprised by their numerous essential functions. The forelock or foretop is the most distinguishing feature, making you wonder about its importance.
Of course, there are numerous reasons why the manes are there. Upright manes have more benefits since they can help in the protection of the neck’s back. They also drain the water if it is wet due to rain and keep the head warm in cold weather.
The manes protect the horse against predators. The necks’ back is the perfect spot, and the predator will find it difficult to bite due to the thick hair. It also serves as an indication of the horse’s health. Sick horses have sparse and patch manes. Females looking for mates tend to have healthy luxurious neck hair.
Growing a horse’s mane is not a one-day affair. You need to exercise patience and take care of your horse while at it, especially during trimming. As long as you keep the hair roots and follicle safe while trimming the horse’s mane, then be sure the mane will continue to grow. In addition, ensure it’s clean and conditioned.
Be cautious while brushing, particularly during the dry season. Avoid using a metallic brush or comb. Instead, use a brush resembling a human bristle brush as the sharp points of the metal brush will pull the hair out. However, if looking to maintain a healthy and robust mane, proper diet and sufficient care are the best options.