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My AQHA gelding has the thickest black mane, with considerable length! It is absolutely gorgeous but I would love to keep it tidier as he always seems to play in the burrs! Also, since it is black, on the hotter days it causes the poor guy to sweat pretty badly beneath it. I have been told to just cut it straight and follow the angle of his neck, but whenever I see people do this it just looks awful if not done perfectly. I've never had to pull a mane before but that has also been suggested to me.

So what are your tips for dealing with a thick, long mane?
 

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I'm with you on not liking the blunt cut.

I pull just a few hairs at a time. Mostly from the underside. If I want less length, I pull the longest ones. If I simply want to thin the mane, I pull some of the longest, and many of the medium length ones.

It's tedious. And if the mane needs a lot of thinning, I break the task into two sessions in case the horse tires of it.

A couple horses I've done had really "tight" roots. For those I taped my index finger with sports tape. Tried vet wrap/coban, but that did not hold up as well.

Good luck. I bet he looks great after you finish, and feels a lot cooler under all that mane.
 

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When you pull a horse's mane it is best to do it when he is warm after a ride.

I always use a dog comb, the metal kind with a handle and medium set teeth. I cannot pull a mane well with those things so called mane and tail combs!

Comb through the mane and start at one end or the other. Take a few hairs at a time and hold them with your left fingers push the rest of the hair up with the comb and then getting as near to the crest as you can, wrap the hairs around the comb teeth, one twist is enough and pull downwards. This way the comb is going the work and it does not make your fingers sore.
Continue down the mane, or up depending on which end you start.

Take the hair from the underside of the mane and work so the length is even. This might be longer than you want but you can return and take more out a day or so later.

I do have some pictures on photobucket but cannot seem to get them copied from my iPad.
 

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You could buy a thinning comb - you brush the mane with it and it thins the mane slowly by cutting it (not exactly sure how to explain!)

they give a similar end look to pulling, but are very easy to use and aren't as tiring as pulling a mane (which hurts your arms after a while especially with a very thick mane).

You could always use this to thin and then cut the mane with scissors for a straighter finish if you wish.

Equally i know people who plait their horses manes into a running braid when hot to keep them cool during a ride. They are simple to do and you get good in no time! Also should help keep it tidier! (Obviously take the braid out after your ride)
 

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Our Belgian has a super long and thick mane. To keep him cooler in warm weather, I just put it in a lot of braids. It's so gorgeous I don't have the heart to trim it or pull it.
 
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