It’s a few weeks before a show and you’re asking yourself, do I really need to pull my horse’s mane? Well that depends on a couple of different things. Your job is to represent your horse to the best of your ability. You’ll want to follow breed and discipline standards. The good news is most horses don’t mind having their mane pulled and for those that do there’s a bunch of ways to get them to settle down.
Some disciplines call for a short, finished look. They normally include showmanship, halter, and western pleasure. Others like reining and cutting prefer a long, flowing mane.
Certain breeds like Arabians and Andalusians sport a natural, free-flowing mane, while Thoroughbreds and many Quarter Horses like the short, tidy look.
Depending on the thickness of your horse’s hair, he might only need it shortened rather than pulled. Thin manes are better shortened with a blade, rather than a pulling comb. Thick ones will laid flatter if the hair is actually pulled out from the base. And some horses will need a mix of both pulling and cutting, as thicker areas are normally in the middle of the neck and thinner toward the sides.
If you don’t show your horse, than the choice is up to you. Other than for looks, a pulled mane makes grooming easier and helps a horse to cool down quicker. Check back soon for a tutorial on how to pull your horse’s mane easily.
Photo credit: egrego2 at Flickr