View Full Version : pulling mane's

22-01-08, 08:36 AM
BEFORE you read on PLEASE know this, This is ONLY about ways to pull manes, so PLEASE dont start crap.

I am looking for another way I can pull my mares mane, I have a pulling comb, but she gets annoyed with me after about 5 min and then i am left with a fair bit to go and she wont let me,

so do you have any suggestions?


22-01-08, 08:42 AM
You could always hog it :P

(sorry couldn't help myself)

But seriously, any horse I've had that's been trouble when mane pulling time comes around... they've ended up with NO mane.


22-01-08, 08:46 AM
bloody hell trampy remind me not to let you around my ponies with a pair of clippers..... or anything sharp for that matter lol

try thinning scizzors, or a razor, its cheating, but sometimes its just easier than pissing them off, if they really hate it!


22-01-08, 08:46 AM
oh no i could hog my horse!! i dont want to go that far :P

Princess Paris
22-01-08, 08:47 AM
Hi Daina,

To make it easier to pull it is a good idea to pull your mare's mane straight after being worked when she is hot and her pores are open. It makes it easier for you and less painful for the horse. (assuming you aren't already doing this) And don't pull it when it is clean, agian harder for both you and the mare. Wait until her mane is dirty and she is hot and then do it. Also if she doesn't like it maybe you could try doing it over a few days, a bit at a time.

My mare protests profusely at having her mane pulled. I gave up. I get a razor now , the ones designed for horses with the teeth on them. I run it lightly through her mane on the underside with the sharp edge of the razor facing up and thin it that way and shorten it too with the razor. Gives a less perfect finish and looks like it has been pulled. But don't start too high up the mane otherwise the short bit stick up when you plait them.Depending on how much pressure you use you will be able to do it gradually so you don't take too much out of the mane at one time and then realise you have over done it! You can also use the same action as pulling by holding the long bits and pushing the shorter bits up and then trimming off the end of the bit you have hold of to the desired length.

I hope this helps. You just need to play around with teh razor to get it to how you want it.

22-01-08, 08:48 AM
Heya D84 :)
I used to pull manes for a living virtually. Some horses really hate it, and others seem to enjoy it. I've tried a lot with horses who are bad, reasonably so - must hurt ( like a bikini wax I guess), some of them can be bribed with carrots to be good, others had to be sedated.
Personally ( oh and I don't want any crap for this one either) I use a twitch. To me it seems the kindest solution - a little bit of pain to cause an endorphin response instead of a lot of pain ( for those sensitive ones) and an angry dangerous horse!

Some of them you can slowly train out of the habit of getting annoyed about it, by doing small amounts and stopping before the crap starts, give it a little time and start up again. WHen they fidgit pull more, as soon as they stop - you stop. Best to do this with a helper. They do learn just take it slowly, and you will be rewarded.

There are some combs out on the market that replicate the pulled look. I think it's callled a solo comb but to be personally honest it makes a monkeys bum of the mane, making it nasty to plait ( messy)

Hope that was a hand, it's a pain I know :(


Cheeky Chappers
22-01-08, 08:51 AM
Hi Daina,

have you tried a solo comb? I used one on my boy as he's the same, chucks his head around after a few minutes.

With a solo comb you basically do the same as you would when pulling a mane normally except you don't pull, you kinda depress a "button" on the comb and it cuts instead.

Takes a while to get used to it but works!


22-01-08, 08:56 AM
You'd be suprised guys, I hogged one of the mares manes last year... its grown back beaudddddiiful! :D

& my old mares mane started to look manky as she got older, too hard to plait so I hogged it.

Check it out.

However when we get the Friesian fillys I sure wont be hogging or pulling their manes!

Princess Paris
22-01-08, 08:58 AM
When I was in the UK working one of the horses was a nightmare to have his mane pulled. Even with a twitch on he would drag us around his stable trying to pull his mane. In the end I got so fed up I tied him hard to the hitching ring in his stable wall so tight that the clip on the leadrope was touching the ring he was tied too. All he could do was spin his butt back and forth, until he realised there wasn't much pushing and pulling he could do he gave in and just stood there while I pulled his mane. It worked a treat! Not saying this is the solution to your problem though. It just worked for him.

Some horses do enjoy it. My broodmare loved it when she was in work. It was like I was scratching her in the right spot when I pulled her mane! Pitty her daughter doesn't feel the same way.

22-01-08, 08:59 AM
hahah please dont hog a fresian,

some horses look great hogged, but my mare would look BAD :(

thanksfor all your help CH's

22-01-08, 09:05 AM

I had to put a twitch on, I didnt want to but she would have looked stupid, i was hot from riding, so i wanted to get it over with, the twitch wasnt tight but just there, she could have wiggled her lip and it would have come off, and i got it done in like 5 min rather then 2 hours of begging.

Cold Comfort
22-01-08, 09:30 AM
When you say you have a pulling comb - do you mean one of those german ones designed for thinning dogs coats? It doesn't look like a comb though? Is more like a rake. Comes in different sizes for different thickness coats.
I have one mare who was an absolute pain (even with twitch) to pull her mane and when I started her with this she was a bit funny at first but suddenly found that she liked it. Was really quick. Got her all done in about 10 minutes.
If it's the same as what you already have I'll say no more because I would probably go with the hogging it off plan.

22-01-08, 09:34 AM
I think Daina is amazing... she asked for help on here, and in half hour, posted again, and rode, then pulled a mane using another posters suggestion....
I wish I had time management skills like that...

Fair Embrace
22-01-08, 09:41 AM
Now, now, she asked us not to start.......

22-01-08, 09:46 AM
True... but is everyone that silly?

22-01-08, 10:17 AM
maybe her horse was geared up, and she rode for 5min between 3.46 and 3.59 and pulled for 5min as well
god knows how, unless her horses mane is about 10cm wide, it takes way longer than 5min unless you cut it :P

22-01-08, 10:38 AM
I absolutely agree about using twitch, used properly it doesn't hurt, just switches their brain into obedience. I use a soft cotton rope loop on one ring of a big old snaffle, thread soft rope through other ring, safe. If you use a wooden baton as many do, you can get hurt if things go wrong and it's swung around by upset horse.

22-01-08, 01:38 PM
Try rubbing oil of cloves on the mane it acts like a numbing agent on the skin and helps, a horse that tends to fiddle around whilst having its mane pulled.
I always find the more you fiddle around the crankier they get. Get in an get the job done quickly. Really 5 minutes should be enough time. Until you get good at it just pull over a period of days for 5minutes at a time and quit before the mare gets annoyed then start again tomorrow.

22-01-08, 01:58 PM
Personally, all I do is brush the mane onto the opposite side of the neck to which it naturally lies, chop off the desired amount with scissors, then using only my fingers, pull a little out each day until mane is thin enough to plait.

Works well even on thick ones.

22-01-08, 04:50 PM
I have 2 horses..a WB and a TB both of which i still and always have pulled their manes the old fashioned way...with a comb and my fingers. I find that horses that have a thicker neck will tolerate it more....otherwise i have a full haynet handy with their favourite hay and it keeps thier mind busy on eating and not worrying about what i am doing LOL and that way it takes me about 30 mins to do each horse.

22-01-08, 11:30 PM
has anyone tried the little smart tails gadget from new zealand? it's advertised in the horse deals. looks a bit like a tiny rake, but the photo is very small. supposed to work on any horse no matter how sensitive they are.

A Vertue
22-01-08, 11:47 PM
I agree with Cheeky Chappers. Best money I ever spent was on a solo comb. Doesn't hurt the horse one little bit and mane looks just like a pulled one. Awesome for thin manes too as you don't have to pull any hair out.

23-01-08, 12:31 AM
hehehe last time my horses mane needed pulling i cheated. the vet came out to dosome work on him and sedated him..so while he was sedated i went on a pulling frenzy!!!

23-01-08, 01:19 AM

PS, i DID NOT say that i did it yesterday!!!


23-01-08, 01:59 AM
Glad to hear your pony was good! Safety and kindness always best 2 options:)

23-01-08, 02:12 AM
LOL! Falklandfarries, I've dont the same thing!

We had bought a beautiful arabian warmblood colt with a horrible mane & a skin condition.
He needed to be sedated to clean his skin, at the same time I managed to clean up his mane.

Ended up hogging it a year later though, I just don't have the patience.


23-01-08, 08:41 AM
Didn't actually start anything..just made a passing comment.

I think you should just be honest... Not that it would matter very much anyway....

23-01-08, 09:02 AM
I would love to learn how to pull a mane, as Oreo has a hideously thick and dry looking mane. Currently it is hogged, but even it looks great and suits TD it doesnt suit me. I need a mane to hold onto when riding bareback and sporting sometimes...lol. Its very disconcerting when you are bareback and she shies (and she does that a lot) or you have to canter or gallop up a hill and you go for a handfull of mane (just in case, of course:-) ) and there is none there! Can anyone suggest any good websites or books on how to do it?

23-01-08, 09:25 AM
Werdun's Tip Of The Day :D

A bot knife is as good as any of the pulling combs on the market. Once you have the knack of using it, your manes will look no different to a pulled mane. Save some money. :)

I will pull the thick bits (middle section) ONLY if I will be plaiting, but use the bot knife for the rest. Great for the thinner manes who would have nothing left if they were traditionally pulled.


23-01-08, 01:44 PM
thanks guys for all your useful tips. I went out for a trail ride earlier and when I got back I did a 10 minute hard schooling session on her, then immediately pulled her mane. Its the first time I've really got stuck into her mane, just do little bits normally or end up cutting it with scissors. I tried the solo comb once but it just seemed to make her mane thick at the base and thin at the ends, her mane is really thick and you can't get the solo comb right into the base to cut it off close to the neck, so you end up with thick bits that stick up at the base. I'm doing some dressage comps and shows soon, so I thought I'd better do it properly so i can actually do nice plaits for a change. Anyway, we had no dramas at all, just the occasional head and neck shake, and she didn't try to kill me either. She is quite a sensitive little mare and its taken her some time to get to trust me, which is why I've put off doing a proper pulling job for so long. So I can breath easy now, I'll be using the 'work' tactic from now on before pulling manes.

Oh and can I ask, would you normally pull their forelock too? hers is quite thick and long so ends up being an even bigger golf ball when I plait it, I've pulled it a bit but wasn't sure how much to pull, and she looks a bit strange now with a shorter, thinner forelock.
ow I just gotta learn how to plait properly, any tips for plaiting?

Thanks, Mandy

23-01-08, 01:46 PM
I knew a Danish gentleman who used to pull his stallion's mane with a pair of pliers. }>

Watched him once and it didn't worry the stallion one bit. And his mane was like wire too. LOL

23-01-08, 01:57 PM
Hee hee Bats-79 - maybe I should just go and find the whippersnipper??

shi_ theed
23-01-08, 02:09 PM
well thats all very well about whipper snippers - lol BUT I THINK THE REQUEST WAS SERIOUS SO LET ME JUST SAY THIS. i HAVE FOUND MANY MANY HORSES HATE THEIR MANES BEING PULLED. So I also found that a good proper HOOD will thin a mane over period of time and much like putting on weight - longer it takes the more long-term the effects.

24-01-08, 01:04 AM
Another hint: Pull the mane only when it's dirty - unbelievably SO much easier! You get better grip on the hair than when soft and silky. I too, use a bot-knife. Has anyone tried that new gadget from NZ that dragonlady asked about? Regards.