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I have a theory--feel free to shoot it down or corroborate: white-maned horses

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  • I have a theory--feel free to shoot it down or corroborate: white-maned horses

    It isn't MUCH of a theory, I'll admit, as theories go . . . but here it is:

    My new horse, a pinto, has a mane that is all white other than a teeny tuft of black/bay up by his poll. He's a young horse, a good egg but really not exceptionally stoic about most things. Normal reactions to stuff in general. But he is the MOST amazingly angelic boy about having his mane pulled. Seriously--best I've ever come across. Stands rock still, no fuss, no wiggling, no twitching his skin--NADA. I can pull him all day. His hair is perhaps slightly easier to pull than that of other horses, and maybe that's part of the theory . . .

    Do white-haired animals (specifically, white-maned) have less sensitivity in their hair roots? Making them more tolerant of ane pulling and/or easier to pull? I can float a probably far-fetched explanation that pigment (or lack thereof) is a product of the same embryonic cell layer that develops eventually into nerve tissue and other bits, but that's pretty out there. So maybe it's just this one horse. Anyone with white-maned beasts, or better yet multi-color-maned beasts notice a difference in how they tolerate pulling?
    Click here before you buy.

  • #2
    Well you know one isn't even close to a significant sample size! I have no idea if it's accurate or not but my guess is he is just a good egg about everything because that is the way he is. I can do just about anything to my good guy as well and his mane is black.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      Hell NO! My white mained mare is my worst when it comes to main pulling! And technically white is a mixture of all colors and black is the absence of color....
      I wish this was the case-but she's also my worst with everything except for jumping


      • #4
        I had a palomino with a white mane that had to be sedated to have her mane pulled...and she bled!
        "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"


        • #5
          My grey's mane is much easier to pull than my bay's, the hair seems to come out a lot easier and he behaves much better, however he still bleeds a bit sometimes


          • #6
            My friend has a white-maned mare who is AWFUL to have her mane pulled and has to be sedated to pull. He usually just does it another way rather than drug her.

            I will say, however, that a paint I used to have was fantastic about having his mane pulled. His is very easy to pull, also. Then again, he was a saint about everything.

            My gray mare's mane is very easy to pull put she's a little fussy about it. My big bay boy's mane is a pain in the neck to pull (think thick, tough, warmbloody mane) and he's a little naughty once you get up near his poll.
            Last edited by lucyeq; Oct. 20, 2011, 11:58 PM. Reason: more info
            "Many are riders; many are craftsmen; but few are artists on horseback."
            ~George Morris


            • #7
              Leopard appoloosa with white mane and tail, had been a stallion for thirteen years (very thick mane like a pony plus the stallion crest). You couldn;t pull three hairs without him flying backwards out of the barn and then rearing if you even thought about getting near his crest for the next eight hour day. He had an incredibly thick huge mane and a tail that dragged on the ground. It would bleed.

              I suspect someone tried to pull his entire mane all in one time slot and he never forgot it.


              • #8
                Like mroades I had a palomino mare who who was not angelic about having her mane pulled and it also bled. I have wondered since if horses with dark manes also bled but we just can't see it. Her mane hairs seemed more firmly attached than most, FWIW. I have pulled a LOT of manes over the years.
                The Evil Chem Prof


                • #9
                  I too had a leopard app who was all hell-to-the-no when it came to mane pulling. He was pretty much a saint in all other respects.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
                    Leopard appoloosa with white mane and tail, had been a stallion for thirteen years (very thick mane like a pony plus the stallion crest). You couldn;t pull three hairs without him flying backwards out of the barn and then rearing if you even thought about getting near his crest for the next eight hour day. He had an incredibly thick huge mane and a tail that dragged on the ground. It would bleed.

                    I suspect someone tried to pull his entire mane all in one time slot and he never forgot it.
                    I always pull my horse's mane all at once. Never caused an issue. Sure if you take massive handfuls at a time but if you take an amount that the horse can handle it shouldn't cause anymore of an issue than pulling it bit by bit over a long period of time.


                    • #11
                      My DD's pony has an all white mane except for near her poll and forelock which is black. To thin it I actually clip the top portion of the mane off and then cut it with scissors. She panics if I even attempt to pull on it slightly. I have actually perfected the technique and it looks like a regularly pulled mane. Clipping helps tame her 3" thick mane into a more manageable 1"


                      • #12
                        I've owned and shown quite a few registered paints and pintos in the past and in general I found that they were very sensitive to having their manes pulled. Because the white hair grows out of pink skin I could get a really good look at the skin in their manes and I found that there was tiny drop of blood where each hair had been pulled out. OUCH! Also happened to one bay TB that I used to own. Over time and repeated pulling that bleeding and sensitivity seems to go away. Eventually I quite pulling manes on horses who's mane hair is so "tight" that it is painful to pull. I just thin and shorten with blades and scissors instead.



                        • #13
                          I had 2 pintos with mostly white manes, the small amt of black mane at the poll and forelock. Both were as sensitive as my one chestnut and one grey and two bay horses.

                          My present pinto, white mane with a small amt of grey at poll and forelock, is uber sensitive about everything, mane and skin alike.

                          OP, you might have the rare exception.


                          • #14
                            My horse has half white and half black. She barely notices the white half being pulled, but mildly resists the black half. However, the black half is the top half closer to her head, so I assumed that was why. Interestingly, the mane parts at exactly the color change line and the black half lays on the right and the white half lays on the left. I can train it all I want, but it always goes back to split right at the line. I always thought that was interesting. She also grows and sheds her brown body hair and white body hair at different rates.


                            • #15
                              I've only pulled two horses with white manes with any regularity (I'm sure I've done others over the years, but those are the only two that I can remember the behavior for), and both were absolutely wretched about it. One was so bad we just gave up. We tried twitches, tranquilizers, clicker training, and everything else we could think of and nothing worked. I swear he could recognize the little pulling comb and he'd get upset as soon as you started, before you even managed to pull any hair.
                              exploring the relationship between horse and human


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by TheOtherHorse View Post
                                She also grows and sheds her brown body hair and white body hair at different rates.
                                This happens to most horses with two-toned coats. It gets really interesting when it happens to be a leopard appaloosa. You can run your hand across them and feel all the texture changes. It's pretty funny.


                                • #17
                                  You lucked out!

                                  My mother daughter (greys/white horses) are both impossible and I've tried since they were babies to do it. Now I just trim with thinning scissors and do a so-so job.
                                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                                  • #18
                                    I think it just depends on the horse. My grey was always easy to pull. I have 3 black manes now (2 black horses and a bay) and have 1 easy, 1 hard and 1 somewhere in between.

                                    I try to hold a little tension and let the mane release on its own, the sensitive ones seem to do better. It takes longer but no bleeding that way. I do it all at once if I have time, never caused any mental trauma. The easy horses get larger chunks out, the hard one gets a few hairs at a time. I try to keep it comfy for the horse but as efficient as possible.


                                    • #19
                                      oh I always pull it all at once.
                                      In fact, I use a pulling comb and it rips out huge chunks all at once!!

                                      The only horse that I can't use the pulling comb with is....
                                      you got it,
                                      the one with the white mane.
                                      I have to take just a few hairs at a time and pull them with my fingers only or he thinks I'm trying to kill him.

                                      I'll give him credit though...his mane was roached for 6 years so now it's thicker and the hairs don't come out as welll.

                                      I find black manes stiffer and easier to pull than white or red.
                                      Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                                      • #20
                                        Dear DW:
                                        you think too much

                                        I was all set to post that my bay TWH who had a severe ponymane (thick as all getout!) was the easiest to pull.
                                        But then I read all the other posts...

                                        Sounds like your white-maned guy is just a Good Boy

                                        ETA - purpl:
                                        I beg to differ.
                                        My bay TB had the silkiest mane ever - soooooo easy to pull.
                                        The braider I paid to do him at H/J shows once asked if she could use him in a video to show how to braid.
                                        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015