A long mane & tail is very often sought after. Whether for the show ring, aesthetic reasons, function, or for pure enjoyment. A horse or pony with flowing hair often depicts exceptional health from the inside out. First we will start with a little science oh now the hair grows: There are 3 stages in hair growth:
Anagen: This is the growing phase! (Hoorah!)
During this time, the hair follicle is actively producing new hair.
This phase can typically last anywhere between 2 – 7 years (occasionally longer!). The length of the hair growth and the time it takes is dependent on many factors; genetics playing a big part.
Catagen: The transitional stage! The hair follicle stops producing new hair and the follicle itself starts to shrink, ready for the final stage.
The catagen phase lasts for a relatively short amount of time, for a matter of weeks.
Telogen: Rest time.
This is the final phase in the hair’s cycle. Hair does not grow in this time and is naturally shed when the new anagen phase starts!
In summary: The three phases are a repeating cycle of growing the hair, resting and shedding – simple!
Stress, illness and improper nutrition
Interestingly, if the body, whether our own, or our horse, is put under tremendous stress it can bring on the telogen (shedding!) phase prematurely. This has been known to cause up to as much as 70% of the hair to be affected which can cause noticeable hair loss. So staying calm, relaxed and happy is definitely a good thing for long, luscious locks!
Nutrition is incredibly important for hair health. For example, biotin (which is also superb for hoof health and our own fingernails!) is great for strong, healthy hair and is readily available as a feed supplement. We highly recommend micronised linseed, brewers yeast, soya and quality proteins to name a few others for a healthy coat bloom.
*Please contact your veterinarian or dietitian for any changes to your horse or pony’s diet if you are unsure of quantities or what to use. Sometimes too much of a supplement can have the opposite effect!
For us humans, it is normal to shed approx 50-100 hairs a day. Our own hair follicles work independently, so they aren’t all in the same phase at once. Thank goodness for that!
So it is also ok for horses to lose a few hairs on a daily basis – no need to panic!
Unlike us, the horse’s coat reacts to the seasons and sunlight – say hello to summer and winter coats! This process is called “photoperiodism”. In a nutshell, the horse can recognize changes in daylight hours, along with the temperature; this sends messages to it’s brain to trigger coat growth for the cooler months and shedding for the warmer seasons.
Although a winter coat is thicker and may not have the same look as a summer coat, it is incredibly important to keep to your grooming plan and ensure that the skin and hair is in great condition year round. The coat hairs will rise and fall depending on the outside temperature, which helps your horse to regulate its own body temperature. Try not to wash too often in the winter months so the hair does not lose these crucial oils. Instead, look to dry grooming and brushing which will help distribute important natural oils, which gives protection and hydration in the harsher months.
“Get a good brush and know how to use it!” (not all brushes are created equal)!
Your grooming regime will play a huge part in your horses’ coat and hair health. Great diet, health and genetics set a good foundation; for the ultimate Show Ready finish, with Manely Long Hair, it takes time and care with your brushing and product choice.
We aim for 10 minutes grooming a day for best results.
This is not only great for your horses’ skin and hair care but is also an exceptional bonding exercise – WIN WIN!
Manely Long Hair grooming system is as follows:
-DEEP CLEANSE CURRY
Get a good curry! We recommend a curry which is durable, i.e. MLH curr; firm and deep. NOT soft and flexible, for it will not get the job done properly. The deeper the better it will pick up the dead skin/hair dirt etc. For sensitive horses curry with a lighter pressure. Not only does it clean well but gives a massage, which helps in circulation and healthier coat. This can encourage healthy hair growth, natural oil production in the coat itself which gives great natural protection and hydration to the hair. Regular use will also achieve a more brilliant shine too!
– BLUE FLICKER BRUSH
MLH recommends following with our stiff Blue Flicker Brush. This is to remove the excess dirt and dander the curry loosened and brought up to the surface.
-APPLICATION OF HYDRATE 24; coat conditoner and protecter
Once the dust and dirt is removed from the coat, we can now apply a coat conditioning treatment; Hydrate 24 with the hydrate 24 application brush. This is to help pick up the extra dust and dirt that was left behind. The applicator brush with pick up the dust while depositing a coat of Hydrate 24 onto the hair.
-MLH BUFFER BRUSH
After applying Hydrate 24 the next very IMPORTANT STEP IS TO BUFF OUT THE ENTIRE COAT. By buffing we are blending the Hydrate 24 into the hair this now provides the protection part… providing a high gloss shine and invisible shield. The shield prevents dirt from sticking deeper into the coat and into the individual cuticles of the hair. This shield prevents deep staining too.
Hydrate 24 is working 24/7 for you, protecting and dissolving staining and dirt through hydration and its buffed out shield!!
For more info and product usage is written under each product in full detail in the store.
*Thank you Show Ready, the Manely Long Hair distributor for your article contributions.
www.Showready.co.uk for U.k and Europe