To Pull or Not to Pull...?
I have attached a picture of my QH Roo.
As long as I have had her, she has had a long mane. Before she was mine, she was a cutting horse. I focus more on English events, so do you think I should pull her mane? It isn't exactly unhealthy looking. It has a little bit of frizz but is pretty thick. My instructor told me if I didn't want to pull it, but still wanted to show, that I could try braiding it.
What do you guys think?
Also- if I were to pull, what is the best way to start, since it has some length?
She has a beautiful mane! I don't think she needs a pulled mane... If you are doing english shows however, you can always try a running braid. You can youtube it to find videos.
I wouldn't pull it, if I were you I'd just braid it, I think braided manes look better than pulled. I like hairy horses so I always say no to pulling lol
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I wouldn't pull it, her mane looks pretty, but you could cut it with scissors if you want it shorter. Pulling a horses mane will make it a little shorter, but it will also thin it out a lot, and her mane looks fine.
I wouldn't pull it either, its just the right length for braids....there are actually braiding books for mane and tail that are really helpful for show horses. you can google it and a few come up. One of the horses in my pasture is a timed event horse, she has a super long mane so i do a running braid on it and looove the way it looks!!
She would look lovely with a pulled mane - but the decision is yours.
To pull such a long mane you wouold want to spend several weeks doing it as she would be uncomfortably sore if you do it all in one go.
The aim of a pulled mane it to get the mane the same length and thickness from top to wither. So you work on a mix of scissors and a pulling comb. I use a dog comb with a handle on it as I find it is less likely to break the mane off. Thinning scissors and hair scissors.
Start by looking at the hair by the withers, noting the thickness of the mane here, often I just shorten this with scissors. Take a few long hairs, and with the comb back comb the rest of the hairs out of the way. Cut the remaining hair at an angle to the length that you want the mane to finish. Keep doing this until all the hairs are the right length.
Now work on the rest of the mane - best done when the horse comes back from work and the pores are open - hair comes out more easily. Grasp a few of the longest hairs and back comb the rest out of the way, wrap these hairs around the comb and pul quickly to remove the hairs. Rub the horses neck quickly to ease the discomfort. Some horses hate having their manes pulled but generally get used to it and tolerate it if you don't do to much in one session.
Work your way along the mane randomly removing long hairs. Repeat this every few days until either the mane is the length you want or the thickness you want.
If the mane reaches the thickness you want before being short enough - you will need to finish it as you did the area near the mane. If it is short enough but still thick then you will need to use the thinning scissors.
Work mostly from the underside of the mane with the thinning scissors back combing some hair out of the way and cutting across at an angle with the thinning scissors.
To help reduce the discomfort you can try rubbing oil of cloves into the skin, this numbs the skin slightly and makes it less painful.
Take your time pulling the mane - a little every day is best and then keep it tidy by pulling a few hairs every few days.
A picture after would be nice. I like my manes about 3 - 4" in length - I do small English plaits for shows and I like them small and neat.
She has rubbing at the top, may or may not be visible after you put a nice running braid in her mane for English. If you are just showing English, I would cut, thin, pull. Much easier to work with & looks great short after it's been flattened out by slinky & you are not braiding.
I wouldn't pull it, but trim it so it's shorter for the English events. Then, if it's too thick at the top and looks kind of ridiculous, then you can pull it. That's just what I would do :) pretty mare!
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Thanks guys! She is my baby... I am still very indecisive. I think she would look cute with a pulled mane, and it would be easier to manage. At the same time, we get lots of summertime pests and she gets some relief from her long mane. Decisions, decisions!!
IF the mane is in good condition, I agree with the others that you can use a running braid. If you aren't familiar with it, it is essentially a french braid down the length of the neck, close to the crest at the top and angling downward as you get towards the withers. If you do decide to shorten for regular braids, use scissors to cut to about 6 inches and then pull from there down to the desired length. Some people like a shorter mane to braid, others a little longer. I stick to about the 4" length. To pull without thinning pull from the center rather than underneath and as noted, if there is a lot, do the pulling in more than one session. It helps if you don't "yank" the mane but just hold pressure and allow the skin to naturally release the hair. It takes a little longer but it seems to avoid a lot of tenderness later.
My first horse was a Morgan/Welsh cross and he had a long mane that was incredibly thick. Just out of sheer desperation I used the running braid since individual braids took hours due to the thickness. He ended up getting roached later on but that is another story :)
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