Tips on how to cut the mane properly? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-19-2011, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Location: North Bay
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Tips on how to cut the mane properly?

Hey guys!
I made an awful mistake and cut my mare's mane all by myself ... it was my first time and let's just say it looks as though another horse did it blindfolded with the scissors in it's mouth. It was fairly choppy and shorter in different places than most... however my coach reassured me that it will grow out long enough for show season.

Anyways, I realize I won't be cutting manes anytime soon .. at least not during the summer. However, I was wondering if anybody had any tips on how to cut the mane properly for when next time I try it. (under adult supervision of course)

Any advice would help! (: Thanks!

"People have always cared me a bit, you see - they're too complicated. I suppose that's why I prefer horses." -- From the movie Separate Tables
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-19-2011, 09:44 PM
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i don't have any tips, but don't feel bad because i did the same thing a few months ago and i'm a dog groomer lmao, i was a bad mommy and let Blue's mane get all matted so i had to cut it to get the mats out and it ended up being all funky looking, his mane is INSANELY thick so it's very hard to get all the layers even...from what i have heard you aren't supposed to cut a horses mane anyway, you are supposed to "pull" it, but i am not sure how to do it since i've always just let my horses grow out
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-19-2011, 10:16 PM
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You comb it to one side, snip. Comb it over to the other side, and snip. Comb it straight up from the neck and snip. It's kind of like hairdressers cut your hair -- they hold it in their fingers and cut it while it's bent this way and that way around their fingers, so that it doesn't end up blunt and straight. It has kind of feathered, neat edges.

Another way to get that look is to cut into the end of the hair, not across the end. You would get it to the right length and then use very sharp scissors to cut the very ends of a few hairs, or use thinning shears to cut up into the ends of the mane hairs. In other words, when the mane hair is pointing straight down, the scissors would be pointing straight up, just at the very ends of the mane.

I've done this before, especially with the thinning shears (it's faster) and it maybe wasn't show perfect but it looked really good to me. A friend of mine rides dressage and that's what she does, too, instead of pulling.
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-19-2011, 10:25 PM
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I don't do anything fancy when I cut Nelson's mane.

I just brush it out as well as I can, making sure there are no knots in the underlaying layers and I just cut. I start from the Poll and go to the Withers. I do a lot of combing though, I will cut, comb, cut, comb.

What I do though, is not only do I cut the mane horizontally, but I also take bits of his mane inbetween my findex and middle finger and I will cut the hair vertically.

This is what it looks like when I am done:

And :) I am a certified dog groomer :)

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post #5 of 12 Old 02-22-2011, 08:09 PM
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Since I don't have to worry about Siaga and shows, I don't really mind if it looks weird. I cut his mane almost every year, near the beginning of summer, to prevent it from keeping too much heat. His mane grows out long and thick, and a year later, it's grown long enough to hang down to his shoulders.

Anyways. I have someone hold the halter so that his head is on the same level as his shoulders and cut it a little longer than I want it. This way it's pretty straight, if not even yet. Then I trim it closer to the mark on the right side (where it naturally lays) and flip it over and trim it on the left.

I don't plan on cutting it this year. Going to just braid it up on hot days.

Also, pulling the mane is how you get the finer mane that lays smooth and flat, and the shorter, thinner mane gives better to the close, folded up braid styles.

Wherever man has left his footprint in the long ascent from barbarism to civilization we will find the hoofprint of the horse beside it. ~John Moore
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-23-2011, 01:41 PM
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I tried to pull yesterday and ended up cutting it on my qh. She can't stand pulling. I cut it first along the neck, then cut straight up the edges to make it look "natural". I think it looks pretty good (have to take pics though).
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-23-2011, 03:31 PM
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Go to a beauty supply store and get the "thinning sheers" they are a pair of sissors that have bits out of the sissor. Then you don't cut horizionally but cut up into the mane. you alway cut about an inch longer than you "think" you want... that way you don't mess it up too bad... I hate pulling and think it is horrible to pull the mane like that..(even tho I've been told it doesn't hurt them that bad) especially since you can get the thinning sheers and do the job.

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post #8 of 12 Old 02-24-2011, 02:09 PM
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Last summer was the last time I tried to do anything with my guys mane...I started off pulling, but after a while it just seemed like I was going nowhere (he has a really thick and long mane from sitting for a long long time before I got him), so I pulled out the scissors and did a little snipping, stepped back, and it was awful..I've never seen such a choppy mane. I was so embarrassed for him that I couldn't bear to do any more damage.

Luckily, we weren't going off property for anything so it didn't really matter..but as soon as it warms up, I am going to take your advice, Rhonda, about the thinning shears...and hope I don't screw up this time! This spring we are actually going to some gaming shows and I don't want us to look too foolish! haha
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-24-2011, 03:56 PM
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If I have one with a thin mane that can't be pulled, I cut it the same way I pull it. I comb the shorter hair up and then snip the longer hair at the length I want, then comb the other hair back down. The trick is not to pull it tight, and to only trim a little at a time, the same as if you were pulling. It ends up looking very natural if you do it right, but it takes some practice.

MIE, I have never seen a strictly scissored mane so neat. I'm impressed!

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-25-2011, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by apachiedragon View Post
MIE, I have never seen a strictly scissored mane so neat. I'm impressed!
It has taken me a while to "perfect" the look

Here are pics of him with a sgraggly mane

And here is another shot of his mane after I cut it with sissors

I'll be out at the barn today, I will try to get pics of me doing his mane. It's a mess right now and I wanted to clean it up. I'll try to show how I do it.

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