Originally Posted by Arksly
I always roach my horses manes. I do, however, leave their forelock. I am firmly against pulling a horses mane as I can't imagine what it would be like if someone were to take little chunks of my hair and pull them out. I've also seen horses bleed from it. I think that thinning shears could help. I also don't tend to grab onto a horses mane. I don't think I've ever really done that. If I'm riding bareback I will usually just use a neck rope.
P.S. I do dressage and I'm not sure if there are any rules against it in western.
I heard that it doesn't hurt them as much as you would think. I pull my horse's mane because it was literally impossible to braid, and I can braid some pretty thick manes. It doesn't bother him in the least, but I would avoid using thinning shears because they make the mane choppy and a pain to braid. I charge extra whenever I have to braid manes that have been attacked by the thinning shears..
And I agree, you shouldn't be grabbing onto mane period
. I believe, if you're riding, your legs should be strong enough to where you don't have to grab mane.