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DraftyAiresMum 06-01-2011 12:36 AM

Mane and tail help
I just purchased a two-year-old black and white tobiano Percheron/spotted draft cross colt. I honestly don't think he's every been groomed, but he absolutely loves it. He'll stand in his stall without needing to be tied and just let me brush him to my heart's content. I do have a concern, though. I haven't had a chance to work on his mane or tail yet and, quite frankly, I'm a bit reticent to. I know it needs to be done, but I also know it's going to be a major main to do. His tail probably won't be too horrible. However, his mane is a mess. There are pieces that are longer than others and it is very tangled. I have been "reprimanded" in the past for trimming a horse's mane with a pair of scissors (had no idea it was a "no-no"...good thing he was my horse :P), but I'm at a loss as to how to get Aires' mane even without pulling it (I don't know if he'd stand for that at this point...we're still getting the hang of leading and tying). Any suggestions on what I should do?

Here's a pic of how his mane looks now. This is just one side of it. There are a couple of stray chunks that fall to the other side (very "skater" looking, to be honest lol).

His coat is all nice and shiny and beautiful, but I feel like his mane and tail are keeping him from being as gorgeous as he could be.

Indigosblue 06-01-2011 01:46 AM

well, you can safely cut off the chunks that hang down with scissors! I have done both scissor and mane pulling, and as long as you don't cut it straight it'll both look fine. If your guy is relatively new you might not want to "earn his trust" by ripping out his some horses really don't like it, and you probably want him to like you =) If you really want to pull his mane, then work him a little bit first, or do it after he's run around.... the hairs will come out easier and he'll be happier! You could also roach it... they you'll be guaranteed an even mane. Depending on what you want to use him for you can do various things. If your doing english it would probably be best to get him used to pulling. If not, i think he would look lovely with a long mane, so just cut it even and be done with it! It's up to you though =) Good Luck!

DraftyAiresMum 06-01-2011 02:00 AM

Right now he's going to be a trail horse, with maybe some flat arena work thrown in since he's so new. In fact, he isn't even broke yet. I really wanted to avoid pulling his mane if I could for a while, to be honest. I did it with the eight-year-old arab/saddlebred gelding that I "owned" and it annoyed him, but he didn't hate it. I don't want Aires to hate having his mane worked on.

Since it's "safe" to use scissors on him (just to even things up a bit), I think I'll go that route. I was wary about them because after evening out my old gelding's mane (he was notorious for rubbing the middle of it out, so when my friend asked one of the barn helpers to "even his mane out," for some reason they took that to mean "shave everything from where he rubs back down to the skin" and his mane ended up growing out all weird [long in front then short in back, so it formed kind of a squared off look]), my friend made me pull his mane (took me about three hours...didn't do it all at once) and then braid it into 1/2" braids (and he had A LOT of mane to work with). Everyone called him "Rasta Boy" after that because his mane was in braids for a good two months and he looked like a Jamaican. :P

Anyway! Any suggestions on a good detangler that can be used on a horse's mane/tail when it's dry? He doesn't bathe yet (SO much to work on!).

aforred 06-01-2011 03:04 PM

When you use scissors on a mane, it looks like you've used scissors. I don't see any problem with that if you're not showing a horse. As long as he'll stand quietly while you cut his mane, I don't see any reason why you couldn't.

DraftyAiresMum 06-01-2011 03:07 PM

I'm pretty sure he'll be fine with me cutting his mane. I don't even have to tie him or have someone hold him to groom him. He just stands there and lets me do just about anything to him (even brushing all the way down his legs and brushing his face...he is a bit "meh" about having his ears touched, though).

Indigosblue 06-02-2011 12:15 AM

you can buy horse mane detangler at the tack shop... there are so many verities, but they all prettymuch do the same thing. You can also use conditioner once you get to bathing him. Show sheen works well if you need to get tangles out too, but is not good for everyday use. Also, don't ever use it before you ride..... if you need to grab hold of the mane your hands will slip right off! Show us a pic when your done cutting his mane!

aforred 06-02-2011 12:17 AM

I did discover that show sheen is good for keeping ticks out of manes and tails. Who knew?
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To ride the sky 06-14-2011 06:45 PM

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When I got my mare her mane was super thin and uneven and tangled. I just cut it with sizzors so it was all healthy, same with tail btw and started feeding a really good basic vitamin mineral supplement, lots of turn out and excersize and left the mane and tail alone! I don't brush/comb/or use any product on it just leave it au natural and I seriously have to cut her bridle path and trim her tail every week! Her tail was dragging three inches on the ground and she was stepping on it. Now I keep it at fetlock level. Here are some pics of your guys' look alike ;)

smrobs 06-14-2011 06:57 PM

I like baby oil as a de-tangler, cheap and you don't have to worry about rinsing it out. As for trimming his mane, you can either do it with scissors and then touch it up to give it a more natural look by trimming vertically into sections of the mane (like a human hairdresser will do)

Or you can use thinning shears or a thinning razor to give it a less blunt look.

DraftyAiresMum 06-15-2011 04:03 AM

Well, I brushed through his mane and tail and it wasn't nearly the ordeal I thought it was going to be. He stood quietly (as usual) and even let me brush out his forelock and almost pushed his face into the brush because it felt so good (had the "ooooosa" face going on big time). It didn't take long to work through all the tangles and they weren't nearly as bad as they looked (in some places it looked like he had dreads). Because his mane is so thick, I have to brush it daily or it tangles again and looks blah.

Here's what his mane looks like brushed out (not a great pic...only had my cell phone with me that day):
HUGE difference from what it least I think so.

I found some thinning shears on the tack wall at the stable and decided to give them a go. They were an epic fail because of how thick (and surprisingly coarse) his mane is. lol His mane is still all uneven, but I haven't had a chance to use my friend's regular scissors to trim it (no regular scissors at the stable and she keeps forgetting to bring them with her when she comes out). I should really just go buy my own pair. :-P

Ride To The Sky, I love how Aires and your mare have almost the same facial markings! That's actually how Aires got his name. Someone pointed out that his blaze was in the shape of South America and said "Hey! You should name him something South American, like Buenos Aires, or Brazil or something." Well, Aires fit, so Aires he is (although someone the other day said he should have been named Tank).

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