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Mane Pulling Nightmare

Posted by Nicole Nauss on February 12, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Q.  

Help needed please. My warmblood gelding has had his main pulled a couple of times since I bought him 6 months ago now. He has been fine until today when he was not having any of it. He is always double tied and stands beautifully for everything but today he would not let us pull his main. He was throwing his head up and trying to turn his back legs on us as we struggled to tidy up his thick main. I was hoping that he would calm down as the endorphins began to flow as we progressed but no, he get more and more upset until we decided to stop for the day. I am now worried he has won a battle and am not sure how to proceed. Any ideas??


A. 

If you think about it, why does any horse stand there and let us pull out their mane in handfuls – it must hurt like hell! I find it painful plucking my eyebrows and am very grateful that my hairdresser uses scissors, not a mane comb.

 

You can make it a lot less painful for your horse by making mane pulling a daily affair with a few hairs being taken out every time he is groomed rather than waiting until it has grown and he looks like a moth eaten lion and then ripping out all his mane. It is also easier if he is warm when you pull the hairs as that means the pores are open and the hairs come out more easily.

 

In fact these days I quite often use a solo comb or mane rake to thin the mane – with a bit of practice you can do the job just as well and it looks just as good as an expertly pulled mane. Not only that it is quicker and pain free for your horse and your fingers.

 

OK, you may feel you lost a battle today and that your horse failed to stand still uncomplaining whilst you pulled out his hair, but would you stand there and let someone do it to you without objecting? Be fair to him and tackle the job over the next few weeks, taking just a bit of hair each time you groom him – and if you have to get it done for a special event tomorrow, then use a tool that is not going to hurt him.


Categories: Q. & A.

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