My horse's mane is getting thinner

This topic contains 11 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Dano 2 years, 7 months ago.

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  • hgpaladin Original Poster hgpaladin
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 1

    So my horse used to have a very long, thick mane. I haven’t been brushing it much for the last year because whenever I do, it pulls out at least a fistful of his mane! It’s gotten shorter and thinner over the last year. Does anyone have any ideas as to what is causing this/how to fix it?

    (As far as I know he’s not rubbing it out or irritating it in any way)

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Is this also happening to his tail? Have you asked your vet for possible causes? MTG can help with regrowth, but you would first want to find the cause. My boy rubbed out half his mane last summer because (so he said) the hood on his fly sheet was itchy. Another thing to consider is whether it is clean – dirty manes are itchy also. It does sound more like some physical issue than just itchiness, but my first suggestion is always to consult a vet for something so important. No one here has seen your horse, and we can only guess.

    It is never the horse's fault

    love2ridebrandy love2ridebrandy
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    When I first read your problem, I just was wondering; How are you brushing his mane or tail?
    Are you starting from the bottom and slowly working upward? or using any cowboy magic or detangler?
    Mnay people when brushing manes, tails, or even their own hair…they start from the top and drag it all the way down. This causes a lot of hairs that are tangled to come out, thin out, and shorten.
    If you have been starting from the top. I would suggest that you start from the bottom and work your way up for a few months (depending how fast your horses hair grows) to see if this was the problem.
    Also if this is not. I know they make supplements to enhance their hair growth; so this may be another option for you as well. 🙂
    Hope this helps

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    Have you made any alteration in diet? living conditions? grooming supplies? Where does the breakage occur – on the shaft of the hair or at the root?

    Have you tried adding omega 3 supplements or biotin to his diet? I would resist using a comb or brush and just use fingers and baby oil to detangle. And I’d try using a brush just at the root of the mane to stimulate oils.

    Unless he was losing hair in his tail, it is probably not systemic, but you can improve hair condition with supplements and regular grooming. Avoiding it isn’t going to help it.

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    sandy_garretson
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    Your horse may have too much selenium in his diet. Check with your vet to learn how much is too much and consider all sources so it can be controlled.

    pflady
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 25

    If your horse formerly had a lush mane, and it is falling out now, I’d ask a vet about it. Otherwise, I think manes and tails are a genetic thing – and what is good for the mane may not be good for the tail. My gelding has a lovely lush long tail and a very scraggly mane, and my mare has a lush heavy mane and a long scraggly tail. It can’t be diet because they both eat the same thing. Go figure.

    Towermania
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I adopted an OTTB 2 yrs ago. People compliment his mane and tail all the time. I gave him a Vit E supplement. I then forgot he was getting this upon his return from 2 month of training. His mane was thinning he dropped some weight and his coat was looking dull. Vet drew blood for Vit E levels and they were very low. Back on Vit E elevate he went and all is looking amazing again.
    Also use MTG for nicks works amazing

    basshawg
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Had to mohawk one of ours….basically starting over regarding grooming. And then started applying MGT mane groom an tail product just as joe joe mentioned above….her main is feel’n in just fine.

    jjsummer
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 1

    age can be a factor too.
    my 20yo ssh’s mane has thinned quite a bit, but his tail is lush. i dont do much brushing in winter. just hand detangling till i can give him a proper bath.

    i will be using mtg again in spring..;it works but i hate it.i believe here that its the dryness, he gets good vits. and we are mostly selenium deficient.
    i am however, looking for a good moisturizer that is’nt sticky
    suggestions????

    Danny
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    I had a similar problem with our Arabian horses, who had very long mane and tails, then suddenly the hair began to break off until they had very little of any left. What I discovered was the loose horse salt we were feeding from a particular company, had excessive amount of selenium at 50 ppm. The ration for a horse’s TOTAL in take per day, in all your feed, should not exceed 1.0 ppm. Once we changed brands to the correct level, the manes and tails came back within a year. A foal born during that toxic period was our clue, her physical appearance was classic for selenium toxicity in-utero. We now use a good product to help maintain those healthy long mane and tail condition is called MTG (stands for Mane and Tail Growth). found most anywhere equine products are sold in stores. Use it every week to once every 2 weeks and it will make a huge difference. It smells of sulpher, but it works.

    One more thing, selenium toxicity will also show up in the hooves, unusual rings or ridges on the hoof walls come out from the coronet band and in our case extending 3/4 of the way down the entire hoof. In the worst cases, the hoof can actually detach completely off.

    Danny
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    It can actually be diet. Each horse is affected by diet differently, due to it’s own unique chemistry and how they absorb the nutrients. Age, sex, use, health, breed and environment can affect a horse. Same as people who can utilize a vitamin from natural sources and other’s who require supplements.

    Dano
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 21

    There are so many good suggestions above and you have much to look into. The only thing I wondered is if there has been a big stressor and/or feed change? I would check with your vet, but stress, possible Cushing’s disease and/or low thyroid levels can all cause hair loss. If those are all negative, be certain you are feeding the recommended amount of good hay for bodyweight, a multivitamin that is designed to balance what is in grass hay or a low-sugar/starch pelleted feed in the amount needed for your horse’s weight, body condition and activity. We all need adequate protein and amino acids to build healthy muscle, skin and hair. I am assuming he/she gets outside almost daily for turnout and sunshine too. It is hard to get our vitamin D this time of year!

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