This is a direct artical out of pratical horseman on mane pulling hope it helps!
How do I pull my horses mane, and how short do I pull it?
How you pull your horse's mane depends on weather or not you plan to braid it. Your methods and mesuremnets need to be more presise if you hope to make neat, consistenly sized braids. The mane must be an even length and thickness from the poll to the withers (naturally, manes are thickest in the middle) and short, broken hairs- that will stick up out of the briads unattractivly- need to be kept at a minimum.
Different braiders have differnet length and thickness prefrencies; the more braiding you do the better idea you'll get for what works for you. I like to work with thinner manes with about the length of the width of my hand when I press it down on the neck (four to five inches- some peaople prefer 6 inches) For the few horses who have extremly thick manes- which usually menas they have thick creats too- leave the mane slightly longer. ( the wide crests takes up some of the mane length, making your briads shorter.) A final tip- Always pull the mane from the side you plan to braid it. That way the shorter hairs will end up underneath, rather on top, of the mane, making it easier to createtidy braids.
If you know your horse stands tied quietly and doesn't mind mane pulling, crosstie him. Otherwise ask a helper to hold him.
Here's the pulling method that works best for me:(I recomend doing this right after working your horse)
- Stand on a mounting block postiened at about the center of your horse's neck, Where you'll start pulling. (I find it easier to the middle and then even out the poll and wither ends to match, rather than pulling the ends first and risking pulling and thinning them more than you planned too.) Comb out the tangels with a metal toothed comb.
- Next, with your thumb and one or two fingers,grasp a section of hair- about an inch wide- by the ends from the underside of the mane.
- Wiht your other hand, tease out the shorter hairs in the section by combing upwars several times.
- This will leave just the longest hairs in your fingers. Wrap these hairs around the comb several times and yank down firmily to pull them out from there roots. The more swiftly you pull the less it hurts your horse.
- Repeat this two or three times on the adjacent sections of long hair. Then comb out the tangles than check out the resulting length by pressing down the hair from the roots with your hand parrellel to the hairline.
- Contiue pulling this area until its desired length and thickness.
- Repeat the same steps above, working in one direction- toward the withers or poll- until you've finshed pulling half the mane and you're satisfied with the length and thcikness. Than return to the center and woirk your way in the other direction.
If your horse is very sensitive and won't stand still while you pull his mane, pull fewer hairs out at a time with your fingers, instead of wrapping them around a comb. This will break more hairs making your braids not quite as neat, but it will hurt him less. If he's very diffacult consider twitching him or consolt your vet about tranquiling him. If your horse's mane is significantly thinner near the poll or withers- or his entire mane is on the thin side- instead of pulling, tease the hairs up just as you did above and then trim the longer hairs with a pair of scissors. Hold the scissors horizontly, closing them only partically, and rub the "V" of the blades up and down against the hairs to cut them, as you would do with a knife or a razor blade, to create a more natural-looking edge rather than a straight edge with blunt ends.
For a mane you don't plan to braid, choose the length and thickness that you think looks most attractive on your horse(4-5 inches is a fairly standered length for most disaplines- although, the A-Circute looks for jumpers is 10-12 inches long, bluntly cut, not pulled.) If your horse is extremly sensitive, use the scissors method described above rather than pulling, to spare him the discomfort.
Whatever your purpose for pulling mane, treast it like you do with your own hair cut, repeating every 6-8 weeks to keep it a managable lengths. Try to pull the entire mane in one session so you can get it over with quickly. Horses tend less tolerant of pulling if you do a little bit, every day, for days on end. Don't worry if you overdue the amne pulling. Just like a too- short hair cut, it always grow back!