See a video below of me pulling Lincoln's mane!
- Comb the mane to the right hand side of the neck. You can pull either a damp or dry mane.
- With a metal pulling comb (available at tack stores) back-comb a small section of hair until you are holding only a few strands in your hand.
- Wrap the strands around the pulling comb and pull directly down in one quick sharp motion. This should take out the hair strands by the root.
- Work your way down the mane, repeating the back combing, wrapping and pulling process. You might have to work up and down the mane several times or even in multiple sessions for a very long or thick mane. Do not work on one section of mane for long periods of time as it might be annoying or uncomfortable to the horse.
Most horses tolerate mane pulling well since the mane is attached to a layer of fat on the top of the neck called the crest. However, mane pulling is uncomfortable for some horses. If your horse isn’t cooperating, be patient and reassure him. Getting frustrated or angry doesn’t help, especially if the horse isn’t used to the mane pulling procedure. Make sure you are only pulling out a few strands at one time, don’t pull out too much hair at once. Pull in multiple sessions to give the horse a break. If the horse still will not cooperate, you can consider having a trained person give the horse an oral or intramuscular tranquilizer to help them relax, or consider pulling the mane after a veterinary procedure in which the horse needed a tranquilizer anyway.
If you plan to braid your horse for an event, don’t leave mane pulling until the last moment. Pull your mane several days in advance to ensure you can do a good job and leave time for multiple pulling sessions if you need them.
I do not recommend cutting horses’ manes. Cutting shortens the mane without thinning it. It usually leaves the mane looking choppy and makes it uneven and difficult to braid.