Miniature Horse - Grooming & Showmanship

Asked January 24, 2013, 8:50 PM EST

Our 4-H club is new to showing miniature horses. For grooming and showmanship, what is expected for the horse's mane for western and English? Should it be braided or banded or just left long and free?

Chester County Pennsylvania

3 Responses

You need to check with the rules of the miniature division in the 4-H Horse Program Pennsylvania, if that's where you will be showing. If they follow American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) rules, you can also get those questions answered by checking out their rule book. You are allowed to braid the mane and tail in some classes, but not others.

Here is the the set of rules from AMHA: Hope that helps!

I appreciate your help, but this answer was not helpful. I printed and read the 100 pages of rules. On page 129 CL-080 Showmanship, it says under 3 b. Grooming: 15 pts, Mane & tail, free of tangles and clean. That was the only mention of manes in the whole rule book. I've also read the 4-H rule book and can't find the answer.

For 4-H, are we expected to button braid for hunters and band for western, or should the mane be left long? I would prefer not to braid but don't want to be penalized if we don't. I know in grooming and showmanship (for riding horses), it's expected that manes be braided in the same style that you are showing (western, saddle seat, or hunt seat). I guess what I need to know is, is it the same for miniature horses, or do we leave the manes long and unbraided? I can't seem to find the answer to this anywhere.

Thank you for your question for eXtension. The topic area in which you've made a request is not yet fully staffed by eXtension experts and therefore we cannot provide you with a timely answer. Instead, please consider contacting the Cooperative Extension office closest to you. If you are from Chester County PA, the website of Penn State Extension in Chester County is, and it includes contact information. We apologize that we can't help you right now, but please come back to eXtension to check in as we grow and add experts.