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tim 01-23-2008 08:47 PM

How do you shorten your horse's mane?
Inspired by tayahswirl's topic on pulling, I decided to start this topic. How do you shorten your horse's mane?

It always seems to be a question on my lips whenever show season comes around but everyone I talk to has a different answer. Some people just tell me to pull it, some people say band then scissors, and other people tell me to use scissors, then band, then use the edge of a bot knife or an old blade from a pair of clippers. It never gets resolved and every year I'm back at the show wondering how to approach it.

What I really need is for people experienced in large shows and all-nighter grooming marathons to give me advice. I usually end up with some combination of the techniques mentioned above but the mane never really reaches that "win picture perfect" look. You all know what I'm talking about, when the mane just blends perfectly wherever your horses head is at, and it doesn't have that dreaded cut look.

I do ride western so I need someone who has done this with banding. I know banding takes less time than braiding but you english people might not know the hell of trying to make the mane even down the neck so that it's both natural looking and short.

Thanks everyone.

JustDressageIt 01-23-2008 08:52 PM

My old trainer would have shot me if I had used scissors specifically to shorten the mane. When braiding I had to, to make the ends managable when putting them up, but the mane always looked messy and gross once the braids were pulled out.

So I have always pulled my horses' manes to keep them short and well kempt. (For the technique, see my last post regarding this.) I find that pulling the manes not only ensures a natural look, but when done properly keeps the mane even all the way throughout.

I Love Lane 01-23-2008 09:27 PM

I always use scissors. My manes are world show material and i have spent meny a night in the barn with 15-30 horses to show in the morning.

I always band the day before the show and put gel and a mane tamer on. If the horse has a long or thick mane - pull it before you start banding (you will never get a pretty overall picture if there is too much hair). I usually cut them in the morning before they go in the pen...... a trick to keep it straight is to have someone hold the head of your horse down so that the poll and whither are even, it is hard to get a straight line if you are cutting uphill.

Also, the shorter you make the mane, the easier it is to achieve that picture perfect result.

tim 01-23-2008 09:32 PM

Great advice guys! Thanks!

I guess I should go find a new pulling comb and some strengthening conditioner.

Never used gel under the slinky, sounds useful.

Cheval 01-24-2008 12:00 AM

I usally pull it.

sandsarita 01-24-2008 10:51 AM

I have gone to the QH world and have always done my own manes. First I pull the mane to the desired thickness, band it, then use those serrated scissors (you can get them from like Beauty Co or someplace similar) to get it to the correct length. They don't leave as blunt of an edge as the straight scissors, and you can also turn them to a 45 degree angle to the mane and do one or two cuts just to make it look more natural (do this sparingly, though). Have fun - I'm fixing to start this project for the year and I HATE pulling.

averyhmko 02-06-2013 10:13 AM

If you don't want to thin it use scissors instead of pulling, snip vertically to make it more natural.

wetrain17 02-06-2013 10:42 AM

I usually pull it. If I'm dealing with a horse that has a problem with it, I usually do the same steps as I would to pull it, but use scissors and cut the hair at an angel. Can't tell the difference when done correctly. But my go to is pulling. I have to do my horse's mane this weekend

farmpony84 02-06-2013 10:58 AM

I pull and pull and pull... I try to pull everytime I ride and then I use the razor scissors.... and his mane is still pony thick.....

katec1991 02-06-2013 11:09 AM

How do you shorten a mane that's almost 2 feet long? I've been wondering this lately because my gelding's mane is that long and I don't think I want it any longer, but it just keeps growing.

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