So, Callaway really hates having his mane pulled! It's worse at the top of his neck, but still not great at the bottom. He's broken a tie, by pulling back and he will rear and freak out.. and it's just not fun! Does anyone have any suggestions?
In general I just don't like long manes. Plus I show (english) and I have to braid and stuff for certain classes. I'm not a fan of thinning scissors, never had good luck with them and if I cut his mane before I pull it, it wont lay flat :s He'd have like a half mohawk thing.
SocietyJoe: I'll give that a try! Anything to stop him from being so mad about it!
If his mane is fairly thin, you can absolutely use a thinning comb. There's some skill to using a thinning comb and having the mane still look right, I like to draw the comb through the mane at a 45 degree angle, doing very small sections of mane at a time. I have often used an old bottom clipper blade and that works very well too.
Pulling it after a hard work out is a great suggestion.
If you really *have* to pull it in order for it to lay over or braid properly, you've got a couple of options. 1.) Twitch him for the mane pulling. (You'll have to break this up in 15 - 20 minute sections.) 2.) Get a topical anesthetic sprary, either from your vet, or something over the counter like Solarcaine, and spray the heck out of the section of the mane right before you pull. 3.) Sedate him. If you're comfortable doing this yourself, great. A few cc's of ace IV will do the trick, you'll just need to work fast.
I like to pull only a few hairs out at a time, and when the horses relaxes/puts their head down, give them a small break and maybe a treat. This way they learn to be calm instead of fight and mane pulling will be a lot easier.
Every time I groom a horse I will make around 10 pulls from all over the neck. If the horse doesn't like it I will use either ambusal (sp?) or spray chloroseptic anesthetic to help deaden the hair roots. After every pull I will rub and praise the horse. Eventually, all horses I have learn to accept those 10 pulls without a fight. If I have to do a massive pull on a horse who objects (RARE occurrence), I will have a vet sedate the horse. Other than that, those 10 pulls per session maintains a nicely pulled mane forever.