Its lovely seeing a beautiful flowing mane and tail, or a neatly tidied one ready for plaiting and braiding, but it does come down to regular maintenance and ensuring the hair is kept in good condition on an all-year-round basis, rather than doing a rushed job a few days ahead of going to an event.
If you choose to keep the mane and tail long and with a more natural look, this will take more management and time, but will look stunning.
If you choose the shorter look for manes, this makes it easier to plait up as needed for shows and competitions but will also need to be managed carefully so that the mane has the same length and thickness all the way down. This will make plaiting easier and help to achieve even sized plaits down to the wither area.
Tidied tails rather than plaited or braided tails are often favoured in the show or competition arena, but these need to be managed, so that the tail maintains a good shape at the top as well as giving fullness at the bottom of the tail.
Keeping manes and tails washed and conditioned on a weekly basis will help to minimise hair loss, particularly when looking after long and full manes and tails. Brushing out will become effortless rather than becoming a mammoth job!