|Scruffy, unkempt, and way too long!|
I've been doing a little mane research, hoping to find that one little trick that would work wonders on her yak mane. I refuse to pull it because it clearly makes her uncomfortable. Yeah, yeah, horses don't have nerve endings in there, it doesn't hurt them, blah blah blah. One day, many years ago, when I pulled my gelding's mane, he bled. I haven't pulled a mane since that day. Sorry... I just can't do it. I've tried all kinds of tools, combs, and tricks, and last year I even did a half roach... I clipped the bottom half of her mane so it was half as thick. I might resort to that again this year, but I still have to shorten it, and I find the easiest way to do that is to use my scissors. I cut upwards into her mane and it usually turns out looking pretty good, especially after it has been banded. The problem with that is her mane doesn't actually get thinned (unless I employ my clippers). The ends of her mane are thinner, but it's still really thick up by her crest, so I'm still never really happy with it.
A couple days ago, I was cruising around on YouTube and saw a video posted by Lynn Palm. She was pulling her horse's mane the traditional way, but she was using a different method to actually pull the hair out. She claimed that it wasn't the hair being pulled out that the horses didn't like, it was how we yank and rip. So if we do it her way, the horse doesn't get upset and everyone is happy. She said instead of teasing up the hair, wrapping it around the comb, and yanking, you just apply steady, downward pressure to the comb, along the horse's neck, and the crest will naturally let go of the hair. I watched the video in amazement, thinking I would be absolutely okay with trying that on Lilly. She said the method works best if you do it when it's warm, or after you've exercised the horse for 10 minutes because their pores will open up and it'll be easier to pull out the hair.
So I went to the barn today to give it a try. There was nowhere to exercise Lilly, and it wasn't anywhere close to being warm, but I thought it should still work, although maybe not as well. I wasn't planning to do her entire mane today anyway, so I could start it, and finish it up on warmer days. I did some major chopping with the scissors first, to get rid of some of the length, but I couldn't find my pulling comb. I probably threw it away thinking I'd never use the darn thing. So that might have been part of my problem, but I couldn't get Lilly to "release" any of her mane hair. Not one single strand. Maybe I wasn't pulling down hard enough, maybe it was too cold, maybe my comb was too flexible, or maybe I don't know what the heck I'm doing. It was a major fail, but I haven't given up on the idea yet. I'll find a comb to buy from somewhere and try again when it's warmer.
Determined to still accomplish something, I busted out the clippers, scissors, and thinning shears and worked on her bridle path and a portion of her mane. I always start in the lower middle area and work my way out from there. It seems I'm able to keep a better line that way for some reason. The thinning shears worked fairly well, but it makes more of a mess when the hair grows back in compared to pulling. The pulled hair is removed in a more random pattern. For now, though, it looks pretty good in that one very small spot.
|It has to get worse before it can get better...|
|So much work left!|