Is my mare's mane really sensitive or am I imagining things?
   

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Is my mare's mane really sensitive or am I imagining things?

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  • Horse weird about brushing mane all of sudden

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    02-26-2014, 04:54 PM
  #1
Yearling
Is my mare's mane really sensitive or am I imagining things?

During my lessons, when my instructor wants me to go into 2-pt position, she tells me to grab the horse's mane to steady myself (I'm still learning my balance).

When I did this on the lesson horse, he didn't bat an eye.

When I did it on my new-to-me mare on Monday during our lesson, she obviously felt it and didn't appreciate it. It's like she suddenly woke up and said, "What in the H.E. Double hockey sticks do you think you're doing?! Get off me!" So I started just resting my hands on either side of it and that solved the problem.

She also doesn't like it when I brush it. I can tell it hurts or something because she starts dancing around and trying to move away from me when normally she's a snuggler.

I thought manes were without feeling. Was I misinformed? Is there something else going on here?
     
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    02-26-2014, 05:17 PM
  #2
Yearling
Manes have feeling!!

Her mane is no different than the hair on your head.
Your scalp has nerves...on her that is where her mane grows out of her neck...she can "feel" it when you pull her hair.

That said, she may also be overly sensitive it sounds like.
Some work to desensitize the area might be a good thing to work on starting now.
Brush her mane, handle her mane, gently tug and pull at her mane from top to bottom of it...
Eventually if you show English (you're doing 2-point, that's English) you are going to need to pull her mane to braid it. Unless you plan on tranquilizing your horse to do this you need to work with her now, every day a little at a time, imo. Even braiding her mane will entail small tugs and tight hairs worked together in your hands...

Expect her to be more sensitive in the top area near her ears and the bottom close to her wither...this is common but can also be worked with...
She could also be ticklish...hard to know....but rest assured she feels you when you grab and pull it!

Persistence pays off and will afford you to not get dirty looks from your horse or a nasty reaction when you do "grab mane".

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    02-26-2014, 05:23 PM
  #3
Yearling
Thank you for your response. It makes complete sense. I have been avoiding brushing her mane, but I'll not do that anymore. The desensitization shall officially commence tomorrow!

I take lessons from an English jumping instructor, but I am now using a western saddle and plan to teach my horse to neck rein. So I'm kind of a hybrid rider, I guess you could say. I figure it'll help out on the trail to know how to jump properly anyway. You never know when a log or a ditch will get in your way. :)
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    02-26-2014, 05:36 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
Horses and manes re. Sensitivity seems to be an odd thing because at one end I have one that will stand and go to sleep when you pull her mane to thin it and at the other one that's normally very long suffering that will threaten to crush you up against the nearest wall at the slightest hint of doing the same thing
     
    02-26-2014, 05:47 PM
  #5
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee    
Horses and manes re. Sensitivity seems to be an odd thing because at one end I have one that will stand and go to sleep when you pull her mane to thin it and at the other one that's normally very long suffering that will threaten to crush you up against the nearest wall at the slightest hint of doing the same thing
Maybe they're like people in that way. I have a very hard head, but my daughter? Man, it's like the brush is a weapon being used against her or something.
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    02-26-2014, 05:56 PM
  #6
Green Broke
I think Jaydee has a point - it does make sense. I don't pull the manes of my horses, but my bay Morgan seems to be more sensitive while brushing. BTW, I've never heard of anyone but myself and a Naturalist I used to work with use the term, "H.E. Double Hockey Sticks!" Welcome to the 'Cool Club' haha :)
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    02-26-2014, 07:15 PM
  #7
Super Moderator
My sister used to scream herself blue when she had to have any knots combed out of her hair - so I guess horses can have lower pain thresholds too - like some make a lot more fuss about being ill than others do.
     
    02-26-2014, 09:01 PM
  #8
Yearling
Sounds like she is just a little more sensitive to the tugs and pulls.

I would, as other member have mentioned, start to comb and play with her mane just to get her used to the idea of it being messed with.
     
    02-26-2014, 09:35 PM
  #9
Super Moderator
I think they feel it, but not necessarily pain, more like pressure/pull. I've never has a horse get really upset by grabbing mane . Could your balance have changed, or rotated you heel in, or some other change in body postiion that coincided with taking a handful of mane?
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    02-26-2014, 09:38 PM
  #10
Yearling
Did you just grab some mane to help keep your hands steady? Or did you actually put weight against her hair and pull her hair? You're just supposed to grab some mane to help mark your spot, you shouldn't lean on it. Maybe you got a little left behind and pulled her mane instead of just grabbing.
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