Why Braiding Horse Hair is Beneficial to Their Health
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.
Speaking of shows.....don't forget the Carousel Park Student Horse Show on May 19, 2012! Hope to see you there!
Lots of Love and Carrots,
Bucky, The King of Carousel