Pulling the mane
So my gelding absolutely hates when I pull his mane. Is there another way to shorten his mane while it still looks like it has been pulled?
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I'm wondering the same thing. Rusty pitches a fit when I do, no matter if it's after he's exercised or not.
I "cheat" at pulling manes all the time - we never go to big enough shows that require braiding.
The method is the same as the "real" way, but instead of pulling out the hair, cut it instead. So, you'd grab the long ends of a section, tease back the rest, and then just cut the pieces you would have pulled (up as close to the neck as you are able). Brush that section back straight, and repeat. It keeps a natural looking edge because the cut hairs are hidden up inside the rest of the mane. I use a mane pulling comb to do the teasing, and a scissors.
I can do a mane in 10 minutes or less this way, and the horses are much happier. It turns out looking just fine - the only watch-out is that for horses with super thin scraggly manes you can sometimes tell where it was cut, so I cut the hairs a lot longer (close to the finished length I want).
I use a mane pulling knife like this one I linked, its like a comb and a knife together so it gives a much more natural look than scissors, but 'cuts' the hair so its not so much pulling.
mane pulling knife - Bing Images
I use some physical object (like the handle) that's about 4" and use that to measure how far down to 'cut' so it stays even. So, I measure four inches down using the handle, cut\pull, measure some more, etc. It works pretty great.
If you're VERY good with scissors, you can cut it to look like it is pulled, but you will need to do lots of thinning. You could get a Solocomb, or you could back comb and cut instead of pull. I have tried thinning blades and HATE them. They just break off the hair and make it look really fuzzy, and leave an unnatural "bowl cut" look. Thinning shears would probably work.
If I have a horse with a very thin mane I usually don't want to pull it because it'll make it VERY thin! So I use either a razer or thinning shears (or even a few times, scissors). Comb it down and grab the longest locks, comb the rest back just like you'd be pulling it... then instead of pulling it out trim the long hairs to the length you want the mane. Be very careful not to just cut straight a cross or you get "The Curtain", a solid sheet of mane that's cut straight across. Particularly hideous if your horse's mane is very thick. If I'm using a razor I kind of make ragged up down motions (kind of like I'm teasing it) so I get different lengths. If you use scissors point the blades straight up and make a lot of very small snips. The thing about not pulling a mane is that while you can shorten the length, the thickness will remain and it can get very poofy. So if you have a thick mane you'll have to doctor the underside as well. And in the meantime desensitize your horse to getting his mane pulled. Small locks pulled daily, lots of reward.
Thinning shears! Or with skill and patience, you can use scissors, pointed up, snipping a wee bit at a time.
Use a solocomb, that is what they are made for and they do a very good job (my TB also hates her mane being pulled)
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