Felix has a rediculously thick mane, and when I bought him it was SO dirty and tangled that I just roached it rather then trying to detangle and then pull it.
Problem is, I'm a rusty rider that NEEDS a mane to grab from time to time, and the neck strap just doesn't cut it for me.
Anyways, I let it grow out over the winter - it's now about 8" long and I'm attempting to pull/thin it. Problem I'm having is the "long" hairs I'm supposed to pull more often then not break off instead of coming out by the roots.
Anyone made this transition before, and do you have any tips? I really don't want to go the Solo Comb route if I don't have to.
I have done it before and it is hard and time consuming! It took me about 2 weeks to finish pulling my haflinger's mane after it grew out from being roached. I worked on very small sections at a time, about an inch, pulling just a few hairs at a time and doing it by hand. It took forever but it did look pretty good when I was done. I let her mane grow out again over the winter and this time I am just going to roach it and leave about 4-5 inches for a "grab handle" by her withers. If she ever makes it to xc schooling this year, I will put a neck strap on her that fits about mid-neck. Good luck!
Annabelle Mayr, Arcadia Farm
Home of Fitz, Daeo & Austria
Now over the Rainbow Bridge: Max, Finn, Jake, Seamus & Pleasure
I've found that wrapping the hairs around my finger and jerking up (close to straight up from the neck) pulls the hairs more than breaks them.
One thing - if you intend to keep the mane in the pulled condition, you may want to go at it slowly. If you pull it to length now, the hairs will grow back at about the same time and you'll have an extremely thick base when the hairs are too short to touch. I did it once - fortunately in a year I wasn't showing. The next time I worked at it over months, taking it down about an inch every six weeks (the original plan was every four weeks, but I kept forgetting).
Wear rubber gloves when you pull, you can just grab and pull hairs out easily. Really though I would just cut with scissors and then get a pair of thinning scissors to take the thickness out. Such a time saver, easier on you AND your horse. I do the roach-mane-roach-mane transition once or twice every year.