Mane Pulling and Standing
So Maddy won't stand still to save her life for me to pull her mane. She moves all around and shakes her head and HATES it- but it has to be done because it is SO thick. I have tried lunging her before but that doesn't seem to help. I don't want to use a blade because it needs to be thinned out.
I have the same issue with two of my three horses. Lamia cannot stand it and knocks me off of the stool I have to stand on to reach her mane several times now. It makes me soo frustrated so I began to twitch her. If you don't know what it is you grab the upper lip of the horse and twist slightly. You can have a friend do it or buy one of the twitch's. It seems cruel, but it doesn't hurt them.
There's a lot of nerves in the upper lip of a horse and so it makes them harder to move around when it is being controlled. My horse Lamia will still move around while being twitched but she can't knock me off the stool when I do this.
I'd still lunge before doing it since it body heat opens up the follicles and makes pulling a heck of a lot easier and faster!
My horse doesn't stand still either (I think it pretty much is a symptom of OTTB) I usually twitch him and he's fine after that. If I don't twitch I just allocate a ridiculous amount of time on a saturday or sunday to do it all in one go or I break it up into 2 or 3 days. :)
Have you hobbled her before? helps some horses... not really mine lol
Thanks .. yeah I know lunging helps to open the follicles so ill stick with that- i guess i need to just need to be ready to go for the long haul with it lol!
Try going very slowly, taking several days if you need to. If your horse likes treats, I like to treat when they go for a particularly good stretch without dancing about. If you don't like to treat then try giving her "breaks" at least- pull a little then walk around a little then go back to pulling.
Can also try pulling fewer hairs than one normally would (agree with allocating much time for this adventure) and offering a good scratch right after each pull, along with frequent breaks. I know it doesn't hurt them but I bet it itches!
I have heard many times of spritzing Listerine or equivalent into the mane and massaging, too. My own horses will tolerate pulling with a good scratch here and there during the process. I count myself as fortunate : )
Good luck with this!
Oh yes, the listerine, forgot to mention that- it is a good idea! Also, the gal at my barn who showed me how to pull said her boy was a beast when it came to the back combing, but didn't mind the pull, so she would pull very few hairs and not back comb. Yes a pain, but got the job done over few sessions.
make sure you are pulling straight up, not towards yourself. when you pull towards yourself it can bother them a lot because i moves/pulls their neck all over the place. i also prefer to pull for a very short amount of time [5-10 pulls] over a longer period of time then to do it once for an hour.
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