What should I do with the mane
First, the picture. Please ignore the fact that the angle makes his head look enormous. It's really not. :wink:
Someone took scissors to it at some point, and now it's just funny looking. His bridle path is also longer than I would normally go for, has grown out a bit and needs to be retrimmed since this photo as it's doing the 1" mohawk thing right now. I am not really into any particular discipline right now, just working on basics like using his body well and doing trail rides and arena work to strengthen him. No potential shows of any kind on the horizon, so not too concerned about any hypothetical judge's opinion.
I really like roached manes on bay horses, but not so much on red ones, so I don't think I want to go there, though it would even out the bridle path issue. Aside from that, what should I do? Just pull to an even length? What length? Scissors? His mane is not really that thick, so I'm hesitant to pull too much for fear of making it too thin. Does that make sense?
How fast does an average quarter horse's mane grow? Anyone have any idea what the scissor wielding human who did this was going for?
Scissors, cut it even. Become OCD about it like I do with Levis :) LOL! I love Levi's thick mane and tail, so I don't pull. I just trim it at an even length.
Well, I guess it depends upon where you think you want to be in the end. Personally, I would straighten it out and let it grow a bit. THey take a long time to grow (I have no idea how fast, just seems slow when you are waiting to grow one out.) It is easy to make it shorter. Longer takes time.:wink:
I was told by a western show barn last spring that they actually (**GASP**) cut the mane and it makes it grow faster and thicker. It seems like it helps with the 2 horses I personally have experience with. So, using the shortest part for reference (back by the withers) I would cut to that length, then use a scissors to "roughen" the straight cut. To do that you sort of use short snips almost in a zig zag random way to soften the cut edge a bit.
I was always taught to pull manes, with my H/J background, and frankly my guys have quite a bit of hair, so I never had to worry about having too little. Scissors is definitely easier!
If you want to grow out the bridle path or part of it I'd suggest cutting the mane only 3-4 inches and keep trimming it untill the hair is all the same length. But once you get it all the same length and managed you can have it grow to whichever length you want. I have never trimmed my horses manes except trimming a bridle path in one of my mares. My horses manage not to rub out their mane nor have I ever cut them.
Shortening vs. Pulling
I use the term “pulling” as a blanket term. Sometimes we actually pull the hair out. Other times it just
needs to be shortened. If the mane or part of it is too thick, then pulling from the roots is best. If the
mane or part of it needs to be shortened, then there is still a trick to it.
You don’t want the mane blunt or falling in unnatural-looking clumps. So, scissors do not suit our
purposes. To shorten, I use a large clipper blade (Oster 84 AU) to comb, tease and cut the mane.
This tool, even if it needs to be sharpened, works far better than any other. The bottom of the mane
needs to be tapered to fall, band or braid well. I taper the last couple inches of the mane so it falls to
create a clean bottom line.
To shorten, grab a few pieces across a broad area, tease above the desired bottom of the mane and
push the large clipper blade toward the floor to cut the mane. It is very straight-forward. [From top turnout tips]
You could try just shortening it-not pulling, I have also heard of western pleasure people cutting it with scissors, but I'm not really a fan of the look.
I personally would cut it short. 3-5 inches or so. He has the conformation for it, and would wear a short mane well.
Cut it straight across at about 7 inches, then flip it over on the other side, cut it straight across, and flip it back over. Do it again, if you don't like the length. I've found flipping it and cutting it on the opposite side, layers the mane so it looks more natural. Just pull the stragglers to even it out after that.
Thank you all! Here's his new haircut before any further shortening, which will have to wait until this cold wind dies down so I can feel my fingers again.
Oh Sharpie...I am sorry, I have no idea why someone would do that! lol. That has to be one of the worst haircuts I have ever seen. He looks way better after you fixed it. Shapleys MTG is your friend....
Definitely looks much better!!
It's funny that your trainer does the same thing! Here I was, thinking I invented a new technique.:lol:
My geldings mane lays on the left, and my old trainer told me to flip it to the right for hunters, so I cut it lying on the right. After the show, I let it fall back over to the left and discovered it looked really natural back on it's normal side. Sooooo, I found my new cutting technique at that moment.
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