Mane pulling can be a tedious and frustrating job if you are the unlucky owner of a horse that doesn't like it. If you have ever seen a mane that has been cut with scissors, you understand why we go to the trouble of pulling instead of cutting.
Why Not Just Give Your Horse a Hair Cut With Scissors?
When we pull our horse's mane, we want it to look tidy and natural. If you use scissors to cut your horse's mane, the result does not look natural at all. You can compare it to a little kid who's mom cut her bangs the night before school pictures. You know the look I'm talking about... and it's not a cute one. It definitely doesn't look natural!
The Traditional Method of Mane Pulling
The traditional method of mane pulling using a comb is a skill that takes time to perfect. Just like everything else with horses, the more you practice it the better.
There are other facts that determine how hard it is to pull your horse's mane. For example, the type of hair they have. If it is thick and course, it can take longer and be harder to pull than a thin fine mane would be. A thin and fine mane can be just as hard to pull, just because it is hard for the comb to grip to. Not to mention, if you have the technique down, it is really easy to pull a thin, fine mane too short and thin because the hair comes out so easily.
How to Pull a Mane
To pull a mane, you will take your comb or brush and untangle your horse's mane. You do not want to put any detangler in the mane before pulling. It will make the pulling comb slip out of the hair too easily.
Once you get the tangles out, the next step is to comb down a small section of mane, and then use the comb to tease it up. Next, you are going to wrap the remaining ends of the mane around the comb and pull it out. Then comb the piece back down smooth and then repeat all the way down the horse's neck.
The length that you pull your horse's mane to is personal preference. Some people just like the way a pulled mane looks and so they keep their horse's mane pulled to look tidy. If you are a show rider that needs to be able to braid your horse's mane, you will need it pulled so that it is short enough to braid.
Hint for New Mane Pullers
If you have never pulled a mane before, know that it is going to take some time to get the technique down. That being said, I would recommend not planning on pulling the whole mane at one time. Your fingers will get sore and you will get frustrated. Plan on just practicing a little bit at a time.
Some Horses Hate It
Some horses don't mind mane pulling at all. Others are very disagreeable about it. You won't know until you try. If your horse is not good for mane pulling, definitely breaking it up and doing it a little bit at a time will make it less painless for both of you.
There is an Easier Solution: the Solocomb
If your horse hates mane pulling, or you just can't seem to get the technique down, I have found a tool that is a great solution! I have been pulling manes for years the old fashion way.
The two thoroughbreds that I have now both really hate having their manes pulled. Even though I'm good at it, and can do it quickly, it was still a fight to get it done.
Knowing what a cut mane looks like I refused to cut their manes with scissors, so I started looking for other options. That's when I found the Solocomb.
The Solocomb is basically a plastic pulling comb with a handle. It is easy and comfortable to hold. The technique with this is the same as the old fashion pulling comb. The only thing that is different, that makes it so much better, is that there is a blade in the comb. So instead of having to wrap the hair around the comb and yank it out, you just squeeze a button and there is a blade that cuts the hair. Since you are still teasing the mane up like you would with a normal pulling comb, the result is a mane that looks just like one pulled with an old fashion comb. It is easier on your fingers and also on your horse's neck. He will feel more comfortable since you are not having to yank out the hair. I have been able to pull my two horses manes that are difficult with an old fashion comb really easily with the Solocomb. It is available on Amazon for just around $20!
I would definitely highly recommend it to anyone!