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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you all pull your horses mane or cut it?

I use a scissors, (which is horrible I know, my trainer almost freaked out but said she’s never complimented a mane that’s been cut with a scissors because usually it looks bad but she said it looked amazing)
but I spend like an hour to two hours (I split it up between two days 🤣) on it so it looks pulled, but I really hate to spend that much time on it..
plus my trainer recommended pulling his
mane, but I literally hate pulling manes, it just seems really painful for the horse.
I told her I hated pulling manes but I’ll do it if I have too and she understood, so recommended a thinning scissors with a blade, a just cut the mane but it would have a natural look, like what I’m shooting for, I looked up some videos but none of them really helped, and the one looked like just as much work, I always do the hunter look too.

what have y’all found to work? Scissors?
plastic thinners with a blade or a metal thinning scissors with one side a blade or just a metal thinning scissors?

Is pulling all that painful for the horse?

I’m totally lost here 😅
 

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Some horses really dislike mane pulling, and others don't mind that much. I don't personally pull/thin my horse's manes, just trim them to keep them neat. Are you thinning for competition?
 

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I've always pulled.

I've never used thinning scissors and I generally only cut to take out the occasional few hairs, to tidy forelocks and to take off mane at the saddle and bridle path. I've only done 'emergency' full cuts on horses that wouldn't stand and had really long manes that needed plaiting for shows.

Pulling is painful if you select too many hairs or pull back slowly. Some never get used to the sensation others have had enough bad experiences that they won't stand for it.

You can exercise the horse first to open the pores. Comb the mane, select a small amount of longer hairs - the fewer the better, back comb the shorter hair towards the neck, wrap the longer hairs around a comb or your fingers - I always use my fingers - then jerk them quicky downwards away from the horse.

The whole process works better if you get a rhythm going and quickly work along the neck; the slower and more hesitant you are the more time the horse has to think about what is happening.

Eventually, cutting a thick mane will make it stand up and you need it thinned out for plaiting. It also encourages a strange shape along the base. Cutting upwards and/or on an angle rather than straight along might help to prevent that look.

Ultimately, he's your horse and if scissors are working and you and your horse prefer that method, then why change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Some horses really dislike mane pulling, and others don't mind that much. I don't personally pull/thin my horse's manes, just trim them to keep them neat. Are you thinning for competition?
Thank you! Right now we aren’t showing, hopefully December or spring of next year we’ll be showing in the hunters.
I don’t really want to thin because I like how his mane is, just not the length.
 

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I don't do anything with my mane. Not even a bridle path but when I was showing HUS with Riley, I pulled his mane. I hated to do it because he had such a pretty mane. With Pistol I used to take my clippers and I would hold it upright and run the clippers down but I kept his thick and short so that it stood up. Not really a roach but probably 3 inches long. He looked darling like that. When he got older I let his mane grow and would just do a tight French braid along the side.
 
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I've been pulling manes for years and years (it was what I was originally taught eons ago), and will usually go that route if the horse doesn't mind it. It's best to do after the horse has been worked, as the hair comes out more easily. It's also important to take small sections at a time, as I find that most horses get irritated when people take too large of chunks and therefore have to pull really hard.

However, some horses truly hate pulling and so there are some alternatives that are good to have. You can back comb as if you're pulling, then cut the hairs rather than pull them, use thinning shears, flip the mane to the other side and cut upwards into the mane if it doesn't need to be thinned/after thinning, etc. I've never used a Solocomb, but have heard mixed things. I've also heard of people using an old clipper blade to "pull" the mane, but have never tried it, myself.

I think if you can manage to create the look you want with scissors and that is what your horse is happiest with, there's no issue in continuing with that method! Like your trainer, I've seen a lot of "bowl cuts" as the result of people cutting the mane and don't care for that look, but some people can do such a great job that you can't tell the mane wasn't pulled.
 

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View attachment 1135911
here’s the look I go for, and this was how I did it last month!

lol I’ve seen some terrible cuts done with scissors, I’m always afraid I’m going to mess something up 😂

Thanks all!
@baysfordays Is this your horse? If so theres nothing wrong with that, looks good, in fact I do the same thing, I dont like pulling I use a not to sharp of a knife on my manes so you dont get that boxy look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@baysfordays Is this your horse? If so theres nothing wrong with that, looks good, in fact I do the same thing, I dont like pulling I use a not to sharp of a knife on my manes so you dont get that boxy look.
Yes that’s my guy! Thank you! Yeah I don’t like the boxy look! I did cut his mane once last year straight across & not natural looking at all and it looked a little funny😂
 

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I was taught to pull and it's all I've done.
My girl seems to love it... even when I'll pulling hard just getting the brush through it she seems to love that part of grooming the most.
I keep my girl's mane super long so it works well for me.
I suppose if I ever had a horse that seemed to really dislike it I'd cut.
 

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Cut with scissors; always have for my western AQHA gelding. I cut the bridle path the length of his ear and the but the mane to the length of the bridal path. It's pretty short and everyone else in the barn is horrified. Looks great to me and my horse doesn't care one bit. hahaha
 
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Do you all pull your horses mane or cut it?

I use a scissors, (which is horrible I know, my trainer almost freaked out but said she’s never complimented a mane that’s been cut with a scissors because usually it looks bad but she said it looked amazing)
but I spend like an hour to two hours (I split it up between two days 🤣) on it so it looks pulled, but I really hate to spend that much time on it..
plus my trainer recommended pulling his
mane, but I literally hate pulling manes, it just seems really painful for the horse.
I told her I hated pulling manes but I’ll do it if I have too and she understood, so recommended a thinning scissors with a blade, a just cut the mane but it would have a natural look, like what I’m shooting for, I looked up some videos but none of them really helped, and the one looked like just as much work, I always do the hunter look too.

what have y’all found to work? Scissors?
plastic thinners with a blade or a metal thinning scissors with one side a blade or just a metal thinning scissors?

Is pulling all that painful for the horse?

I’m totally lost here 😅
what I do is I go like I'm going to pull the mane. then before you yank down and pull the hair out you instead cut the hair. This gives the pulled mane look and does the same job as pulling a mane too. I also hate pulling manes and this is what my trainer showed me and it works! i sometimes use thinning scissors to thin out an area and only use them for that.
 
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I use a straight razor, the type the barber used to shave men with. I just take bits of the long hairs and hack them off with the razor. Gives a more jagged cut
I would never use scissors and cut a straight line
I do bang his tail with scissors and cut it straight off but not the mane
I tend to run a short tail for the burrs in the bush
Looks more like a polo pony at times
 

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This though if you are going to show and braid is to thick. It might be to long too...my gut feeling is is it is to thick & long to make nice hunter braids.
They are going to be to thick in appearance and the classes you refer to compete in are very based on appearances....
If you really get into the showing your "trainer/instructor" should also know there is a designated number of braids and when and where that number is tweaked...not sure anymore but it used to be in the actual rule books this kind of information.
Few un-rated local shows do appointment classes for hunters and this is where strict follow this rule is a must...
If you plan to do "model" classes the braids may be a must too...
Real grooms, those who prepare animals professionally know those small things that good judges with some experience on them also know...
I prefer to use mane matching colored yarn, some match riders jacket color...so a black mane would have black yarn or thread like button thread but using yarn can help to lay the braid flat and hold it because it is just thicker.
I did thread for the top rated shows and never did I rubberband. I would braid down, cover with a neck sleazy and come in early in the morning to pull the braids up and secure them and return the sleazy so no bits of hay would gather in the mane and be needed picked out. Tweezers, embroidery scissor or seam ripper was part of my braiding kit...
There is also a knack to clipping, where and how to emphasize the horses good and hide the undesirable better...
So....
Most horses have 2 areas of real sensitivity...the poll and at the wither.
Both are areas you as the owner can desensitize by routinely just pulling his mane randomly anywhere and everywhere.
If you pull after exercise when he is warm, just a few hairs at a time they can release a heck of a lot easier than large clumps and dragging his mane crest to the floor kind of thing.
I actually don't need a pulling comb but just used my fingers which were calloused and real strong a grip and popped loose a few hairs at a time and the horses did not react nor object. Bad experiences from those who not devote the time and tried to rush or cut corners is what makes a reactive animal imo.
If you are going to scissor a mane, use any thinning blades or razor straight edge you can do a heck of a botch job in one hack....so be really careful.
Always use any blade from the underneath side never apply pressure from top down.
Hand Finger Liver Nail Eyelash



Your mane actually has a boxy look to it because it is so thick....
The top example is what you have...the bottom is what you need to truly have nice hunter braids.
Liver Working animal Wood Fur Eyelash

I myself did hunter braids or button braids never the pretty running braid varieties seen today on many.... I have no experience in that.
Tails, understand how to pull a tail top and what to do to the bottom of a tail and with appropriate length to complement your horse...it does make a difference. If you know how to really french braid you're well on the way to tail braiding... You are actually looking for a "fish-tail braid" think it is called and that specific because it will lay flatter to the horses butt, but also allow the animal to arch its tail in movement and show off the beauty of motion and movement the hunter horse is known for.
Practice, practice and more practice starting months ahead of time of showing if you are going to prepare your horse for the hunter ring...it makes a difference!
Hair Eye Eyelash Vertebrate Human body
This is the danger of using a scissor or blade of any type....do be very careful cause in one swipe you can have a nightmare looking back at you...
Sadly, in my years of working in the barns I saw to many do this then cry...
This is barely able to be saved...the shortest part is on the edge of to short and still to thick to hold a nice braid.

These are hunter braids and as evidenced in the picture with reins seen, laced reins are used in the hunter ring.
The third picture is button braids, something I did occasionally and most often on the ponies of various heights.
Horse Working animal Liver Horse tack Horse supplies
Grey Twig Wood Wire fencing Rope

Water Wood Working animal Fawn Terrestrial animal

Start now to thin that mane if your plan is to really show, compete come spring and practice braiding during the winter...put them in and take them out as some horses rub braids and remove hunks of mane at the same time...not good.
30 - 40/45 braids is what you want for the hunter ring depending upon what best suits and complements the horses build, length of neck. Braids start with the width of it being about 1 1/2" - 2" wide depending on how thick that mane is..hence all this is so important.
Your horse is a Thoroughbred and that in itself dictates some of what is expected in and for the show ring in appearance of the animal.
If you take the time to do the mane maintenance now it is very easy to maintain with just a few minutes a week spent...
Otherwise, it is that 2 day minimum job you faced and will again in a few months time of doing nothing.
If you are just doing "local" you might not need to braid, but...for me...I would rather go to a show being a bit over the top than the one not having done and look very out of place.:cautious:
The higher and better the competition the better the turnout of horse and rider is needed....
If your plan is to do a show circuit hoping for year end accolades, it matters... truth and fact. ;)
Research and more research, then apply what you learn with someone who truly knows what they are doing supervising so it not get messed up. That is how I learned....;)
🐴...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
View attachment 1136185
This though if you are going to show and braid is to thick. It might be to long too...my gut feeling is is it is to thick & long to make nice hunter braids.
They are going to be to thick in appearance and the classes you refer to compete in are very based on appearances....
If you really get into the showing your "trainer/instructor" should also know there is a designated number of braids and when and where that number is tweaked...not sure anymore but it used to be in the actual rule books this kind of information.
Few un-rated local shows do appointment classes for hunters and this is where strict follow this rule is a must...
If you plan to do "model" classes the braids may be a must too...
Real grooms, those who prepare animals professionally know those small things that good judges with some experience on them also know...
I prefer to use mane matching colored yarn, some match riders jacket color...so a black mane would have black yarn or thread like button thread but using yarn can help to lay the braid flat and hold it because it is just thicker.
I did thread for the top rated shows and never did I rubberband. I would braid down, cover with a neck sleazy and come in early in the morning to pull the braids up and secure them and return the sleazy so no bits of hay would gather in the mane and be needed picked out. Tweezers, embroidery scissor or seam ripper was part of my braiding kit...
There is also a knack to clipping, where and how to emphasize the horses good and hide the undesirable better...
So....
Most horses have 2 areas of real sensitivity...the poll and at the wither.
Both are areas you as the owner can desensitize by routinely just pulling his mane randomly anywhere and everywhere.
If you pull after exercise when he is warm, just a few hairs at a time they can release a heck of a lot easier than large clumps and dragging his mane crest to the floor kind of thing.
I actually don't need a pulling comb but just used my fingers which were calloused and real strong a grip and popped loose a few hairs at a time and the horses did not react nor object. Bad experiences from those who not devote the time and tried to rush or cut corners is what makes a reactive animal imo.
If you are going to scissor a mane, use any thinning blades or razor straight edge you can do a heck of a botch job in one hack....so be really careful.
Always use any blade from the underneath side never apply pressure from top down.
View attachment 1136227


Your mane actually has a boxy look to it because it is so thick....
The top example is what you have...the bottom is what you need to truly have nice hunter braids.
View attachment 1136199
I myself did hunter braids or button braids never the pretty running braid varieties seen today on many.... I have no experience in that.
Tails, understand how to pull a tail top and what to do to the bottom of a tail and with appropriate length to complement your horse...it does make a difference. If you know how to really french braid you're well on the way to tail braiding... You are actually looking for a "fish-tail braid" think it is called and that specific because it will lay flatter to the horses butt, but also allow the animal to arch its tail in movement and show off the beauty of motion and movement the hunter horse is known for.
Practice, practice and more practice starting months ahead of time of showing if you are going to prepare your horse for the hunter ring...it makes a difference!
View attachment 1136202 This is the danger of using a scissor or blade of any type....do be very careful cause in one swipe you can have a nightmare looking back at you...
Sadly, in my years of working in the barns I saw to many do this then cry...
This is barely able to be saved...the shortest part is on the edge of to short and still to thick to hold a nice braid.

These are hunter braids and as evidenced in the picture with reins seen, laced reins are used in the hunter ring.
The third picture is button braids, something I did occasionally and most often on the ponies of various heights.
View attachment 1136204 View attachment 1136225
View attachment 1136214
Start now to thin that mane if your plan is to really show, compete come spring and practice braiding during the winter...put them in and take them out as some horses rub braids and remove hunks of mane at the same time...not good.
30 - 40/45 braids is what you want for the hunter ring depending upon what best suits and complements the horses build, length of neck. Braids start with the width of it being about 1 1/2" - 2" wide depending on how thick that mane is..hence all this is so important.
Your horse is a Thoroughbred and that in itself dictates some of what is expected in and for the show ring in appearance of the animal.
If you take the time to do the mane maintenance now it is very easy to maintain with just a few minutes a week spent...
Otherwise, it is that 2 day minimum job you faced and will again in a few months time of doing nothing.
If you are just doing "local" you might not need to braid, but...for me...I would rather go to a show being a bit over the top than the one not having done and look very out of place.:cautious:
The higher and better the competition the better the turnout of horse and rider is needed....
If your plan is to do a show circuit hoping for year end accolades, it matters... truth and fact. ;)
Research and more research, then apply what you learn with someone who truly knows what they are doing supervising so it not get messed up. That is how I learned....;)
🐴...
Thank you so much.
Also, I just plan to do schooling shows in the area for awhile. (my area no longer has nice shows, and the schooling shows aren’t fancy at all, there’s only one to two nice hunter barns in the area, a lot of them are selling :(
most people don’t even get their show clothes on..)
Anyway, I like when he looks the best he can look and like you said, I’d rather look over the top too rather then looking out of place. I do agree that the mane is too thick and long, I plan on cutting it this week and doing what you and everyone else suggested.
we weren’t going to braid for schooling shows unless I take him to a bigger show, we’re planning on traveling some once he’s trained, and then I would braid his mane etc. but my trainer said she did have to look at the H/J regulations, so i may still braid his mane for schooling shows, I like the look and don’t mind braiding. But I do feel like there’s a higher expectation when showing an ottb, hopefully all goes well, I’m a tad worried about if he’s going to turn out to be a good hunter, most judges around the area dislike ottbs. :(
also a plus, my trainer actually does a class or will come to your barn for people to go to and learn hands on how to do hunter braids for manes and do the fish braid for the tail.😅
 

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None of them....

Get the "real" thing...
Eye Eyelash Rectangle Art Font

That is a mane pulling comb.
It takes practice, a bit of effort and work to use it and use it for optimum results but it does a lot less damage than any of those gimmicks you showed will do in a instant.
And, it is the length you need as a measuring tool to keep the mane you're working with a uniform length when your ruler is in your hand all the time...amazing.
You have a lot of control of just taking out the longer hairs and not slicing off what you should not of...
Your hands are in continual contact you feel the mane where it is thicker or thinner and where those parts are when you use a pulling comb you miss with those other things.
I can pull a mane faster with a pulling comb than most can using any of those gimmicks that separate you from your money.

All of what you showed have a purpose and a reason to use if the horse has a issue...but your horse doesn't seem to have many issues but never being exposed to a lot of proper training and acceptable responses in truth.

So thinning shears....they take out uneven amounts....Have you never had a haircut where they blend your hair to lay pretty by taking out thicker areas? Now how do you braid when the mane is different lengths and will look a wreck with untidy ends sticking out...
A razoring comb {folding}...you realize you never ever go from top down but underside out....if you don't truly know how and what piece of equipment will give what for a end result, don't...just don't. I near guarantee you will also cut your finger by applying to much pressure not needed nor desired...ouch.
That solocomb just cuts like a scissor ....holds the hair and slices through it.
If the mane was very long, past the neck and hanging those would be a place you could start, but where you are and at the length already at to use those may butcher the mane as you experiment...

A pulling comb, some time and tutelage will have you getting a finished product you want easily. Your trainer if they are at all what you say has experience using a pulling comb if she has been in the show ring....ask that trainer how to do and watch then do with her watching to show you again and hand over hand so you learn the technique...will take about 5 minutes out of the lesson/schooling and do it at lesson end when the horse is warm, the pores of the animal are open and easier to do for you as you learn.

So me, I've taught the old-fashioned way to others.... a pulling comb and time spent.
🐴... jmo...
 

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@baysfordays - when you say your trainer is going to look up H/J braiding regulations, there are none in the USEF rulebook. Braiding is definitely tradition for Hunters and Equitation but there is no rule. Jumpers are usually not braided until the higher levels or for special classes like classics, but many are unbraided. I believe the only mandatory braiding is for Ladies Sidesaddle. As for schooling shows, that is show by show and location.

As for pulling a mane, if you have not pulled a mane before, please don’t pull your horse’s mane for the first time days before you go to your first show. Sometimes it takes practice. Ask me how I know 🫣
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@baysfordays - when you say your trainer is going to look up H/J braiding regulations, there are none in the USEF rulebook. Braiding is definitely tradition for Hunters and Equitation but there is no rule. Jumpers are usually not braided until the higher levels or for special classes like classics, but many are unbraided. I believe the only mandatory braiding is for Ladies Sidesaddle. As for schooling shows, that is show by show and location.

As for pulling a mane, if you have not pulled a mane before, please don’t pull your horse’s mane for the first time days before you go to your first show. Sometimes it takes practice. Ask me how I know 🫣
Trust me I would never pull my horses mane the first time before a show!😅
Lol oops, we both talk really fast so I get confused, two different convos will get smushed into one 😅😂
 
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