Horse Sleazies: Tips for a Good Fit

Horse Sleazies: Tips for a Good Fit

Using a sleazy is great for show horses, but the mane tamer has to fit correctly.


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Horse sleazies, or slinkies, pack plenty of purpose for horse show exhibitors. 

“I like to band my horses’ manes the night before I show so I’m not so rushed the next morning,” says AQHA Professional Horsewoman Margo Ball, who has decades of experience putting sleazies to good use. “But that strategy only works if you can keep those bands protected. A big part of keeping the bands in place is having a sleazy that fits and is comfortable to your horse. The most common mistake I see people make is using a sleazy that is too large."

Horse Sleazy Fitting Do's and Don'ts

Nose band: When the sleazy is too long for the horse’s head, it goes too far down the muzzle and is usually not snug against the face. The rule of thumb is that you should be able to fit your fingers under the nose band. The wider the elastic, the more comfortable it will be for your horse.

Eye Holes: Eye holes should be large so that they don’t rub the horse’s eyes. Likewise, the ear holes should be large enough that they are not pulling on the horse’s ears. If the sleazy is too large or too long for the head, the ear holes will tend to pull on the backs of the horse’s ears.

Throatlatch: Check the throatlatch. The sleazy should fit snugly against the horse. If you can see loose fabric or large, floppy wrinkles below the throatlatch, your sleazy is too large.

Neck: Wrinkles in the sleazy on the horse’s neck tell you that the sleazy is not going to do its job. It won’t hold your bands in place because the fabric is not snug enough. A good-fitting sleazy will have no wrinkles over the crest, and it will be nice and smooth down the sides of the neck.

Girth: The band around the girth should be nice and wide. You want the band to be snug enough to stay in place, but not so tight that it leaves a mark. When you take off the sleazy right before a class, you want to leave a good impression with the judge. He doesn’t want to see residual sleazy marks around the girth.

Shoulder: The sleazy should stay up about mid-way on the shoulder. A sleazy that comes down too far on the shoulder is another clue that the sleazy is too large for the horse. Margo prefers using a sleazy with a zipper because of the benefits the zipper provides.

Sleazies With Zippers?

“A sleazy that doesn’t have a zipper is fine,” Margo says. “But when your sleazy does have a zipper, it can be less of a hassle when you’re headed to show. You can unzip the sleazy from around your horse’s face, put on your show halter, and leave the sleazy around the mane until you’re ready to show. It especially helps if your horse has a problem mane; you can leave it on until the last second.”

How to Put a Sleazy on Your Horse