Pulling a horse's mane can be a daunting task at first, but once you get started, it really isn't that bad. I'm not going to lie to you, it will take some time at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will go a lot quicker. In this post, I'll be going over whether or not you should pull your horse's mane and how to do it!
What is mane pulling?
When you pull your horse's mane, you are shortening it and thinning it. It is physically pulling hairs out of their mane with a pulling comb, hence the term "mane pulling." Most horses don't have feeling in their mane along their crest.
Should you pull your horse's mane?
If you have a horse with a thick mane and are about to show, then yes. If your horse's mane is super thin, I don't recommend pulling it because when you pull the mane, you are actually thinning it a lot as well. Most braiders prefer horses to have shorter manes as this will make braiding easier.
Step 1: Get the supplies
There are several different types of mane pulling combs (shown below), but I personally use the one on the left. I use it to brush out the mane as well as do the actual pulling.
Step 2: Where to start
I find that pulling a "dirty" mane is much easier than pulling a mane that is freshly conditioned or wet. The extra friction of a "dirty" mane will help you out a lot. I also like to start in the middle of the mane and move towards the head then go back and move towards the withers.
Step 3: Comb up
This is the part where you actually get started with the pulling. For the "comb up" step, grab a small chunk of mane and you comb upwards. It may feel like you are destroying the hairs, but don't worry, you can brush it out when you are all done.
Step 4: Wrap
After combing the hairs up, take the remaining hair and wrap it around the pulling comb. Make sure to hold the wrapped hair down with your thumb.
Step 5: Pull
With the hair wrapped around the comb and the hair pinched between your thumb and the comb, pull downwards to pull the hair out. This shouldn't bother the horse too much, and if it does, just go for a smaller chunk of hair next time. If you have a sensitive horse, just putting pressure on the comb with the hair wrapped around it will work. For more information on pulling a sensitive horse's mane check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB-YaSujPa8
Step 6: Getting it done
I like to start in the middle and work towards the head. I then go back to the middle and work towards the withers. This is because I find a lot of horses will lose patience throughout the process and it is nice to have the upper neck done when they do. Once you are done just brush out the mane and make adjustments as needed!
The main purpose of pulling a mane is to make the mane easier to braid. The bigger the braid, the longer the mane can be. For example, dressage button braids tend to be bigger than hunter/ equitation braids, so the mane length varies accordingly.
I hope you guys were able to find some use in today's post! Pulling a mane is super easy once you get the hang of it. If you found this article confusing at all and want to learn visually, check out this basic tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdUll3fCuSo