what to do with a thick mane

How to take care of your horse’s thick mane!


  • Thick manes are often a grooming challenge – mainly because they tend to act like two or three manes instead of one. They are also a bit trickier to braid, trickier to train to one side, and trickier to keep clean. But there are some things for making a wacky thick mane more manageable.


These are definites when dealing with a thick mane:


  • Bridle path. Any mane is going to create a lump under the crown piece of your horse’s bridle. A thick mane makes an even bigger lump, so clip that bridle path! It’s a lot more comfortable for your horse.


  • Keep the mane as clean and slick as possible. But not so slick that your reins are slippery. A clean and slick mane tends to be more controllable and not so wild by laying a bit flatter.


Some options for managing a thick mane:


  • Roach it. Getting rid of all of it might be the most comfortable thing you can do, especially in summer!


  • Let it grow long. The longer a mane is, the easier it is to tame to one side, if you’re into that sort of thing.


mane braids on a horse with thick hair

Long-ish and loose braids. Very helpful for riding, and taming the mane to one side.


  • Keep it loosely braided. Think mane taming braids, but for mountains of hair. Wide and loose braids are comfortable and keep things contained. You may want to use human hair ties instead of braiding elastics for extra oomph.


wide braids on a horse mane

I like to use human hair ties, if I need more I can check the cat’s stash of them under the furniture.


  • Thin it out. This means pulling. There are TONS of techniques for shortening manes, but only one way to truly thin it out – and that’s by pulling. I owned a horse would fall asleep during a mane pulling sesh. Other horses, not so much. Decide if this is right for you and your horse, and proceed accordingly. Tons of info on mane maintenance here, and check out the videos below for ideas, too.


  • You can also use one of those solo combs to thin the mane without pulling, but I think the base of the mane gets wild with this technique. You are essentially buzzing some of the mane at the base, which leaves a lot of really short hairs. This definitely works for some horses, though!


  • Do nothing. There’s something to be said for a bit of chaos atop your horse’s lovely neck. And, it gives you something to hold onto if you need it.


horse with crazy mane


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I can say that the mane blade is my favorite grooming tool for the mane. You can pick one up here. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, and this means there is no extra charge to you. Thank you for your support!

JT Tough-1 Fold Up Thinning Knife

The Solo Comb thins the mane without pulling hair.

This is a rake that works similarly.