I've been reading a few of the threads going on and had a few questions about different kinds of 'mane' grooming, here goes.
Mane pulling: What is the purpose of doing this? And when I looked it up I was actually sitting there horrified thinking 'oh poor little things' and then I saw someone defending their mane pulling tutorial by saying that horses have no nerve endings in their mane and tail so they don't feel it the way it would feel to us - is this true?
Mane roaching: What is this? What is the purpose of doing this?
Are there others?
Thanks everyone!! Lots of learning going on here! Please be as detailed as you like, I'm very interesting in knowing more.
I have heard that mane pulling can be painful for some horses, but I have not personally worked on a horse for whom it was painful. More often than not if a horse does not like his mane being pulled it is because he does not like the feeling of his neck being yanked to the side, but it doesn't actually hurt or even really do that very much unless you're ripping out a giant chunk every time.
I have had multiple horses who would go into a mini panic if you did any tiny thing that accidentally hurt them who would stand completely relaxed for a pulling job.
It may sound like a brutal process, but it really isn't. Personally, as an animal rights supporter and passionate horse lover, I would never purposely cause my horses undue pain. A well-done pulling job done patiently, pulling the correct amount of strands at one time, does not hurt the average horse.
The purpose of roaching..there are a lot of purposes. For some horses, such as the Norwegian Fjord, it is tradition
It is also often done to get the mane out of the way of the riders hands, equipment, etc., to revive a mane that has been so damaged by other horses, rubbing, etc. that it no longer looks presentable, simply for looks, to keep the mane off of the neck to avoid extra heat, to accent a good neck (cutting it to a certain pattern makes the neck appear much thicker), or any other imaginable reason.
Mane pulling: The purpose is basically to shorten/thin a mane to keep it neat and tidy. I'm not sure if it does hurt the horses but I'm personally against it. Even if it doesn't cause pain, the tugging would probably be uncomfortable.
Mane roaching: My purpose for roaching the mane is that it makes it way easier to keep clean and I don't have to braid. However, I only roach of the actual mane and leave the forelock. Also, I let it grow out a little then I make them into little bump things. It's hard to explain but it sort of looks like how a braided mane looks.
You can also just cut a mane with scissors. I know that you always hear "Never use scissors on a horses mane". But if you do it right it still looks nive. I recently cut my mares mane so I'll go and get a picture the next time I go out.
When I pull my horses mane, I go through the whole process of "pulling" it, I just cut the hairs instead of pulling. & I have a neat little tool you can use all in one motion that pushes the hairs up and cuts it. My horse could care less about the pulling, it just bothers me :)
I gave up trying to pull my geldings mane a long time ago. It's a nightmare, he is way overly sensitive. I have figured out how to get a fairly decent mane using thinning sheers. Since he is in recovery from an injury I roached his mane this year so I don't have to bother with it!
I have never had any problem pulling any other horses mane. One of my old jumpers used to fall asleep while I did it.
Is the expression to not use scissors on a mane just because 'it might end up looking ugly' or something else?
Basically. Or it doesn't look "natural" enough with a ruler straight bottom. Also, it's very easy to accidentally hack off too much on one section. Usually I end up cutting the mane holding the scissors vertically. It does take a little while longer but I think that the end result is nicer.
I don't like cutting my horses mane because my old mare was very fidgety and wouldn't stand still to be trimmed with scissors, I was always afraid that either me or her would end up with a puncture somewhere, her mane was also very thick so even though it was short the plaits still looked like big fat sausages. But I had to cut it anyway because at that time I wasn't able to roach it, and I didn't know how to pull.
Mitchell however, I pulled half his mane yesterday and to be honest I have never seen him stand that still, it was almost like it was relaxing him. His mane comes out fairly easily so I don't have to really yank on it, just steadily pulling down and it pops out easy. I know some horses don't like it, but usually the ones that don't aren't to bad with the slow pulling, usually it's the yanking motion that they don't like.
-Although in saying this I had lunged mitch just beforehand so he was very warmed up all over, so that could have been why the hair come out so easily.
I know some people pull tails too but I can't imagine doing that, they have no nerve endings in their mane it's true, I couldn't imagine grabbing onto mane for support while riding if they did, they would likely go mental if it hurt.
When i'm doing the tails I trim them between fetlock and hock level, depending on what I'm doing for the season and what season it is... eg longer in summer shorter in winter. I use scissors and make the tails squared off at the bottom, I think it looks nice, some people might disagree but I think it's tidy.
When i'm doing the tails I trim them between fetlock and hock level, depending on what I'm doing for the season and what season it is... eg longer in summer shorter in winter. I use scissors and make the tails squared off at the bottom, I think it looks nice, some people might disagree but I think it's tidy.[/quote]