‘They’re caked in mud on a daily basis’ — Owner shares secrets to keeping coloured ponies’ manes so long and luscious

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  • For owners of traditional show cobs, ensuring your horse’s hair is kept long, silky and conditioned is all part of the game. Arguably, Lacey Smith’s two traditional stallions, 10-year-old elite graded Domino Bad Boy (Tommy) and six-year-old dual graded Stanray Xrated (Tedd, pictured above) possess some of the most luscious hair on the circuit.

    Lacey has owned her two coloured stallions since they were both six-month-old foals and both have tallied up impressive in-hand CVs. As well as their successes in the show ring, they have also garnered plenty of attention from fellow competitors and adoring spectators due to their abundance of quality hair.

    “I get asked about how I maintain their hair, especially their manes, a lot,” explains Lacey. “But what many don’t realise is that a lot of it is down to breeding; the quality of hair comes from the bloodlines.”

    Domino Bad Boy

    At home, Lacey confirms that both the ponies live very normal lives with daily turnout.

    “This surprises a lot of people but at home they are out every day with no rugs and they’re caked in mud like normal ponies the majority of the time. We keep their manes in mane bags when they’re out. The mane is plaited in separate plaits and put in the mane bags. I will un-plait the hair every now and then for a brush, but I am careful not to over brush it.”

    When it comes to care, Lacey opts to use products which don’t promote excess grease.

    “A lot of people use pig oil, but I stay well away from it as it makes the hair greasy. I use a good detangler and a hair serum, but I don’t over-wash the hair; the ponies get washed before a show and the odd time during winter for a deep condition, as most owners would do.

    “We always trim the mane every couple of weeks, too, so it doesn’t drag on the ground.”

    Lacey says that over-washing and brushing of traditionals is commonplace, but is something to be avoided.

    “A lot of people would assume we keep them inside 24/7 but this is not the case at all. I do put a lot of effort in before a show, but on a daily basis they’re out playing and living their lives. We’ve worked with the breed for years, so we really understand how to run them.

    “We’ve had so much interest in them over the past couple of years; we’ve been approached by film companies wanting to use them, and every time we’re at big shows, such as Royal Windsor, we get flocked by people. Some even ask if they can touch it to see if it’s real! They often scare the showjumping horses, who have never seen ponies like them before.”

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