how to pull mane when horse shakes so much??!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-04-2010, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy how to pull mane when horse shakes so much??!!

so aren't horses not supposed to have nerves in their mane?? well whenever i touch even a strand of his mane, he'll shake his head. like alot. sometimes he'll shake his whole body!! I can't pull his mane.

His mane is super long and I do hunter/jumper so his mane is supposed to be really short, but how do i make it shorter?? I know you're not supposed to cut horse's manes with scissors, especially since my horse's mane is thick and curly. he also spooks from clippers (it once took us 2 hours to trim a 3 in. bridle path!). What can i do?
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-05-2010, 01:19 AM
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Well he could have something out of place and when you go to touch his neck he shakes to avoid it... or he is really ticklish ...
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-05-2010, 07:51 PM
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I agree. Maybe try a chiropractor with him. Something in his neck or his poll may be out and the chiro could make him all better :)
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-05-2010, 08:19 PM
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Does he let you comb his mane? Many horses have had their manes pulled too aggressively and they learn the shaking trick. With patience, I have found that often I can overcome the resistance by lots of petting and desensitizing. When I can comb the mane easily with no reaction, then I will pull no more than 3 or 4 hairs. Then I stop and go back to brushing and petting. It helps to do this after you work the horse and his body is warm, the hairs pull out more easily--and he'll be more relaxed. There is an old trick to shortening the mane that works great, it's fast and you don't get the scissor cut look. Take a clipper blade---the top blade from a Clipmaster is what I use (I think it's the top, it's the longer of the 2 blades.) Just shear down through the mane at about 4" to 6" from the neck like you're combing it with the blade. Work up and down the mane. You won't be thinning it but it can look OK if the mane is not super thick. I do this to shorten the long manes and finish with pulling them. To make sure your horse stays OK with mane pulling, never pull more than a few hairs with each tug and work up and down the length of the neck instead of staying in one area. And, if the horse is just being a butthead, I have resorted to giving him a smack with the flat edge of a plastic sweatscraper, but that was before I was enlightened by all of the politically correct people that now run our lives.
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-05-2010, 08:54 PM
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Who told you that horses don't have nerves in their mane?
I have shown many horses who HATE having their mane pulled. A couple actually had to be sedated to do it. One had such tight hair she would bleed when I pulled her hair.
On a new horse, I will use a razor knife to get the mane close to the length I need. Then I will pull to thin and complete the shortening. After that, I will pull ten pulls every time I groom and tack up to maintain the mane AND teach the horse to tolerate something that lasts just a moment. It helps to train them to take it.

The stallion in my avatar would toss his head every time I started to pull more than the normal ten tiny pulls.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-05-2010, 09:17 PM
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I ride first, when the horse is sweaty the pores open and the mane comes out quicker and easier. I actually will pull his mane while I am still in the saddle, I just reach down and pull for about 5 minutes after I ride, almost every time. Another thing I'll do is ride him and then hand graze him, in the cross ties he'll shake and bob his head when i do the part nearest his bridle path but when he is grazing and he's been worked, I can yank it and he won't even notice. I only do it for about 5 minutes at a time, but since I do it so often, the only thing I have to do come show time is trim it w/ the razor scissors.

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-06-2010, 04:08 AM
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I've found that the Solo Comb works great with horses that do the head shaking/tossing. They were much happier when I used it.
Solo Comb (Equine - Grooming - Grooming Aids - Combs Brushes)

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post #8 of 8 Old 05-06-2010, 06:27 AM
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Don't pull out thick chunks. I do the same as Allison Finch and razor it to a reasonable length, then pull from there over a course of usually every time I groom. Usually I'll pull during a groom after my ride, or when he's eating his dinner at night I'll take a few small sections.

Hugo tosses his head too when you pull, especially if I accidentally grab too thick a piece. So make sure the pieces of mane that you're pulling are only small. It's much easier to pull if you're only pulling thin sections out ;) Liken it to pulling your own hair out, if you pull a whole chunk it aches and not much comes out, where as if you only pull a few strands they come out much easier.

it is an old wives tale that horses don't have nerve endings along their crest. Some horses just tolerate it more than others.
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