We’re talking horse manes. Seriously. Last summer, 63 horses in Wyoming got their manes and tail hair cut mysteriously. According to this report in the Billings Gazette, three more horses were victimized in February, again near Casper. Horse hair is used for musical bows, hat bands, paintbrushes, bridles, and even jewelry.
This Toronto Star account says there’s also a growing trade in horse hair used to make show horses tails and manes appear fuller. Thefts have been reported in Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, and British Columbia, but likely also occur elsewhere. Regrowing the hair can take years.
If you’re inclined to make such a purchase, consider asking for assurance that the horse hair was collected legally and humanely.
Go ahead. Use that in fiction. I dare you.