Mane and Tail Pulling

Discussion in 'Horse Grooming' started by Quarter Girl, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. Quarter Girl

    Quarter Girl Senior Member

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    65200CE1-106E-400A-8447-26179798D2E7.jpeg So I bought William my Canadian Warmblood. He hadn’t had much for maintenance so his mane was probably a solid 16 inches long and a lump of his tail right under his dock was matted about the size of a soft ball but had a chunk at the top of his tail he must had rubbed out in the trailer. So I loosened the whole matt and spared most of the hair. So for tail pulling. What length do you get the hairs to? And how far down the dock do you pull like this? I pulled the mane so it was 10 inches straight across. I know that I need the hair to a even thickness. So how thick do I want this?? Cause of course now the middle of his crest will be a bit shorter that towards his withers. I think (I’m completely assuming) that he has more of a thin/medium hair. So I don’t want to over pull, but I still need it another 3 inches off in the center and about 5 inches off toward his wither. How thick/thin do I want the mane to get? I want to be able to plait it.

    Excuse the terrible photo lol but it give you an idea hopefully! Thanks!
     
  2. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    Haven't pulled a tail in many years...and Fergie never needs pulling.

    What are you showing in?
     
  3. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Don't pull his tail, cut it. You taper it, if you want, by trimming it the same as you would taper a human hair cut. I prefer to cut it straight across a mid fetlock level, myself, though.
     
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  4. GotaDunQH

    GotaDunQH Senior Member

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    I never pull ANYTHING! Be it mane or tail. No need to do so as there are other ways if you are looking to thin a mane or tail.
     
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  5. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

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    Exactly. No reason to pull anything
     
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  6. greenpaintpony

    greenpaintpony Senior Member

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    Are you talking about pulling the hairs at his dock and along the tailbone? That's really only done for serious eventers and dressage horses, and even then not as common as it used to be. I'd for sure leave those hairs. If you're turning him out for a show and want him to look polished, just braid those instead.

    If you're showing English and need to plait his mane, pulling generally is the way to go. For the following, HUGE disclaimer: I grew up showing H/J and eventing, and have a lot of practice cutting manes! If you're going for the English pulled/natural (not straight across like you see in western banded turn out) and you do it wrong, it can look terrible. When you're starting with a long mane, I've had best luck cutting it first, and then pulling the last 1-2 inches, otherwise, especially with a dull pulling comb, you can lose too much of the thickness. When you cut a horse's mane, ALWAYS cut up into it, instead of bluntly across. I flip it over onto the side the mane doesn't normally lie on, cut it (be sure you leave it a little longer that you think), and then flip it back over to it's normal side and brush it out. You want it to be a bit uneven, so it works better for pulling (and looks more natural). Then use your pulling comb to even it up and take the last bit of length off.

    I'll see if I can find a picture of a mane I cut to add here.

    ETA: here's my old mare's mane. It was very thin, so I'd always cut it to keep enough thickness to braid for shows.
    IMG_6903.JPG IMG_6904.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
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  7. Quarter Girl

    Quarter Girl Senior Member

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    Thanks so much!

    She is a cutie!
     
  8. bobo and horses

    bobo and horses Senior Member

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    The op's horse looks like the mane is already on the thin side, so I wouldn't thin it anymore. Just even it up.
    Cute horse.
     
  9. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

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    I don't pull tails. So I can't suggest that.

    I do pull manes if it's really thick. I'm with @greenpaintpony - for a long mane cut then pull. I have e had great success with cutting straight. It just requires you so it over and over and over. And then I looks very presentable. Given my lack of time & 3 names to care for, I use scissors a lot. Once you get good at it, it's much faster easier and looks just as good. I do pull if I need the mane thinned and the horse will tolerate it. Of course the thickest mane in the barn the mare will have nothing to do with pulling......

    For your specific horse - mane is thin enough as it is. Don't pull anymore out. YouTube how to back comb and cut to shorten the rest and that should serve you well.

    For tails - mine are cut at about the pasture, with someone holding their tail up just as they do when ridden. I cut straight across bluntly. Outside of that finger picking tails is done before shows & periodically outside of that - haven't done it in a year given conditions and my schedule and no showing......and it won't happen now till likely spring given the snow & mud (yuck!)
     
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  10. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I don't pull hairs of a tail for dressage. They feel it too much.

    I take the clippers or scissors with blunt ends and holding the scissors or clippers 'straight up' (vertical blades), clip the sides of the tail(the trimmed part is about 8 inches long and has a curved upper line, starting at the end of the dock near the body, the cut area starts low, arches up to the upper line of the dock, and then curves back down toward the lower line of the dock), I could not find even one good example online, 'everyone does it wrong', lol), and neaten up the top very slightly, and cut the bottom straight across while holding the tail out away from the body(get someone to put their arm between the tail and rump and lift it to where ever the horse holds it when he's in motion), so the bottom of the tail will have a straight line to it when the horse is in motion.

    This picture doesn't clearly show the trimmed areas on the sides of the dock, and the tail is also cut off near the hocks, and dressage people tend to leave the tail so it hangs to the fetlocks when the horse is standing still. It would be kind of weird to cut it off this short.

    Top Tips For A Truly Beautiful Tail

    Most people who try to trim the tail with clippers or scissors for dressage, trim too much(then the dock winds up looking way too thin), trim too far down the dock, don't carefully blend the trimmed with untrimmed area, or they let it grow out so it's all spikey and nasty.

    The idea of a trimmed tail is that it doesn't look real extremely trimmed, but it allows the judge to see the hindquarters, each hind leg moving, and it allows the judge to see the tail swing from side to side in a good rhythm.

    The mane is often pulled, though these days my hands aren't up to it. Pulled or cut and thinned, the mane is supposed to be left longer and thicker than is usual for the tiny 50-a-mane hunter sewn-in braids. The dressage horse is usually done up in button braids these days, not more than 9-11 even for a horse with a fairly long neck, and they look much better if the mane is fairly thick and a bit longer. The key is not to thin the mane greatly or even to get it all to the same thickness, the key is to really not thin or shorten it too much.

    And...for dressage, it's traditional in some places to leave the forelock of a stallion unbraided.

    By the way, braiding is not required by the rules, but most people like to do it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017

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