Cutting vs Pulling? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-02-2013, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Cutting vs Pulling?

I am starting to show my boy and I don't know whether to cut or pull his mane. I'm a bit wary about pulling it as it is rather thin, and I don't want it to become horribly wispy. I tried braiding it the other day for a comp and it was an absolute disaster, so what should I do? Pros and cons of both? Here is a photo of him and his mane :)

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post #2 of 15 Old 11-02-2013, 09:45 PM
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pulling helps it to thin the mane and help it lay flat - but if your horse's mane is already thin - may I suggest "thinning" shears... they are scissors with teeth, so they don't get all the hair at once. You have to make a few passes over one section - but I find that you get a much more natural look than straight shears, which leave you with a very blunt end. My horses mane is very thick, so I pin the top half up, shear the underside a bit shorter, and then do the top half a bit longer. You can also look at "humane" pullers, which are basically a hybrid between a pulling comb and thinning shears.

Good luck! Your horse is beautiful!
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-02-2013, 09:45 PM
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My horse's mane is also on the thin side...I bought a set of thinning shears, brushed the mane over to the opposite side of the neck, and shortened with the shears, then brushed it back over. It shortened without giving the clean edged scissor cut look and braided up beautifully.
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-03-2013, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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thank you! where could I buy thinning shears?

you can trot and cry at the same time. and if you can't, this sport isn't for you.
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-03-2013, 07:17 AM
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I've never used thinning shears and the idea makes me thing you will have uneven lengths of mane using them.... to braid well you need the mane all one length so the braid doesn't have "wispies" sticking out.

I have used a "folding mane stripping comb"..

You can use it to just shorten the mane length to all one length if it is thin enough already.
Use it by going underneath and "cutting" outward with a flick of the wrist. Never ever cut from the front {what you see} to the back with any scissor or "blade".

Please remember what you cut off in a second does not re-grow for quite some time, so your accidents are very apparent for a long time.

These 'devices" are located most every tack shop or catalog/internet but here is a link to where that folding comb is located and they also have the shears you are interested in.
Folding Mane Stripping Comb -

Honestly though, although you think his mane is wispy it doesn't appear that way. Long yes, thin no, wispy no...I think you could do a "pulling" and not have a undesired look to your horse.
It is easier to braid a shorter mane that is thinner, and once you pull it you only need to "snap" the bottom of the hairs to maintain the length. If you do it right, it need not get "thin" to a point of nothingness.

Good luck in your braiding and shows...
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-03-2013, 08:31 AM
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If you comb the mane to the opposite side prior to shortening with thinning shears you don't get "wisps" and the uneven length isn't enough to affect a braid. In my case I went back over the longer wisps and took those off as well. You can buy thinning shears in a decent retail location/department store or hair cutting specialty equipment store.

As for the mane stripping comb, here is a site that helped me figure out how to shorten without pulling..they demonstrate the mane comb.

Pro Equine Grooms - Shortening Manes

Last edited by tlkng1; 11-03-2013 at 08:34 AM.
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-03-2013, 10:47 AM
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we have a gelding with an incredibly thin mane. I keep it cut short, with scissors. And it looks great. I also have a mare with an incredibly thick mane that I cut with scissors, and it looks very "natural"...You have to have the right technique when using scissors.

With his mane, if I was using scissors, I'd cut across a little longer then the length I really want. Straight across. And then turn the scissors vertically and snip the ends on an angle. This will give the ends that jagged appearance and make it look natural.

II'd never had a hack job with scissors due to this technique and I like to cut hair.

Dont forget to comb through it a couple of times, different ways to catch any hairs that you have missed. Then just trim them up and your good to go.
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-03-2013, 11:04 AM
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That mane doesn't look particularly thin to me. Depending on how short you want it to be my recommendation would be to cut it down to about 5 inches, or use a mane stripping comb to cut it down to that length. Then pull to your desired length. This way you don't have so much length to worry about, and you can still get the more natural pulled look. Even the people that I've seen who claim to have a wonderful scissoring technique with manes always seem to look choppy to me. That may not be the case with everyone, but it's what I notice ;) If after cutting the thickness of the mane is where you want it to be, then I'd use the stripping comb to get down to your desired length. This is me assuming that you want it to be a few inches long, but adjust for you desired length. I've only braided a few times, but I've always been told that it is much easier to braid a shorter and moderately thin mane.
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-03-2013, 11:22 AM
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My gelding has a very thin mane, and I use thinning shears as well. Has worked well for me, and he braids up well!

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-03-2013, 11:28 AM
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I remember reading that certain classes, not sure if English or Dressage, you were required to have ?? number of braids.
I know there were different numbers for stallion or mare/gelding.
I'm not sure of this is "breed" show associated either...

I don't know if there are any requirements depending upon the level you show at in dressage.

Something else for you to investigate...
horselovinguy is offline  

dressage , mane , plaiting , showing , tail

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