I just got my new horse Johnny, who had has had his mane pulled regularly but now it has grown out quite a bit, and his forelock go's a bit passed his eyes. I would like to pull his mane and forelock but have never done it before, and don't want to mess up.
Any advice would be great!
I'm sure everyone's techniques are different, but this is what I do.
Take a chunk of the mane in your hand and holding with one hand then you back comb a few times.
Then 'I' wrap the hairs left in my hand after back combing around my fingers (I seen this done by wrapping the hair around the comb instead).
Then with the other hand I hold the crest and pull the hair out in a quick jerk. This doesn't hurt the horse and I only do a few hairs at a time (I've seen some people have a hand full of hair and have to pull and pull to get it to come out, it looks uncomfortable to me so I only do a few dozen or something,I don't count ...lol.)
Hopes this helps some.
..you're going to pull his forelock?
I wouldn't do that..
I've never seen anyone pull a forelock. It's a lot more sensitive there. I don't think he would appreciate that so much!
A handy tip is to pick up some thinning shears, like these:
And use those to cut the mane (just a little bit longer than the desired length) before you pull it. Doing this gives you less hair to pull so that it's less work and leaves his mane thicker. It's a little bit hard to get through the mane with these, and don't expect it to look perfect after this step (that's what the pulling will be for), but it gives a much better result than if you were to just go straight to pulling or cut it with scissors (because the lines would be too straight and it would be harder to pick the right ones to pull, etc)
Now onto pulling. This video really helped me learn to pull a mane.
I prefer to do everything by hand so that I have more feel for it and don't hurt the horse (because generally if it hurts you to pull it out it probably hurts him too so you can learn from that and take a smaller amount instead) but you can also pick up a pulling come and do it as the above poster described or as shown in the video. However works best for you and your horse is the best way to go with that.
If your horse's mane has uneven thickness like mine, you will want to pull more in some areas than others. For instance, if it's thick around the middle and thinner towards the withers, you will want to pull a lot from the middle and avoid pulling it much at all near the withers. Instead of pulling there, you can shorten that hair using average scissors, cutting STRAIGHT UP into the hair, holding the scissors totally vertically and cutting just a bit off of the tips at a time. Always avoid cutting horizontally with scissors (except for the thinning shears.)
To check your work, you should be able to squat down at his side next to his shoulder, to the eye level of the tips of his hair, so that you see it all lined up. You should see a straight line all the way up the mane. It also helps to take a few steps back and observe your work from a distance, to be sure that you have the right angle and nothing is uneven.
I wasn't to sure about pulling his forelock myself, but I had been told that you can do it, but thanks a lot for your opinion, im not going to pull it, ill just use the scissors vertically for that part (:
I use the back combing method and then comb in between to make sure it is straight and even...
Theres a thinner bit of mane where the covers rubs so I use scissors but in a razor effect for the last third
Some horse get really sensitive in the top third so you may need to be care when you do that section
Some horses hate it full stop (I twitch my girl to do it)
As for the forelock - don't tend to do them - I have been know to just pull them quickly when I see longish hair just the long bits ad hoc but not as a rule - but the same technichque would be applied without making it straight across
Do it after working the horse as its easier on you both, don't get to over zealous and try to pull to much at once or it wont come out, and the reckon that pulling upwards is easier - but I find that way too tedious