A horses mane and tail grow all year round. To make them neater in appearance we tend to pull both. By pulling/thinning the mane we make it easier for us to plait or groom for competitions. This technique we use to both shorten and thin out the mane is called PULLING.
Why do we pull our horses manes?
You can pull a mane for a variety of reasons; to make it easier to plait, to encourage it to lie flat, to help keep horses cool in the summer or to give it a general tidy up and to look smart. The best time to pull a horse’s mane is after exercise (as the skin will be warm and the pores open) making it easier and less uncomfortable for the horse. The mane is there to help protect the horse from the elements and flies in the summer for example, so consideration should be taken with grass kept horses that their mane is not pulled too short. Not all horses tolerate pulling! Some like a hay net tied up for them to nibble on whilst you work.
The Pulling Process
1. Tie your horse up using a quick release knot attached to a piece of twine. It is helpful to stand on a box or block if you can’t reach the top of your horse’s mane.
2. Brush your horse’s mane out thoroughly. Just with a comb, making sure not to use any products that might make it slippery and difficult to hold, i.e conditioner.
3. Start at one end, either the poll or the withers and work your way up or down.
4. Take hold of a few strands of the longest hair from underneath the mane and gently comb back (like back-combing) along the strand to the crest. This should leave you with a thin segment.
5. Place your comb near the top of the hair. Right at the crest and wrap the strands of hair around the comb and pull downwards in one brisk movement. You should therefore find that the hair comes out easily from the roots.
6. Keep going like this along the neck until even and the same thickness.(Keep stepping back and looking at the mane to make sure it is being done evenly)
7. The forelock can be done in the same way.
1. We would advise pulling your horses mane after exercise because the skin will be warm and the pores open, making the hair easier to pull out and it more comfortable for your horse.
2. Most importantly, DO NOT pull out lots of hair in one go as this will result in skin sores.
3. If it has not been pulled in a while, do it gradually as it may take a few days to achieve required results.