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Haffie Mane. To Pull or Not To Pull...UPDATE: Pulled it!

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  • Haffie Mane. To Pull or Not To Pull...UPDATE: Pulled it!

    I brought our “modern” 5 year old Haflinger mare, Claire, in from the pasture today and combed a winter’s worth of tangles and dreadlocks out of her mane, now the question is, do I pull it or leave it long as called for in the Haflinger breed standard? She’s about 14.0hh-14.1hh and is getting ready to be started under saddle, she was physically and mentally immature until now and I don’t have anyone really small to ride her. The plan is (after she gets started) for my 16-year-old daughter to ride and show her lower level dressage and eventing as her High School Senior Project and as a sales project (nothing like killing two birds with one stone). If Claire would have gotten bigger (as was hoped) we probably would keep her but I don’t think she’s going to get much bigger and my daughter is 5’3” and I’m 5’4”.

    So here are the pictures, I attached some from each side so you can see what she looks like with and without all the hair (I’ll work on detangling her tail next time!).

    Thanks for all your opinions!
    Last edited by Miichelle; Sep. 5, 2012, 11:30 PM. Reason: Updated
    "It's never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot

  • #2
    If you aren't going to breed shows, than you can pull it. It will be easier to braid for dressage if its pulled to a tidy length.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


    • #3
      I just can't do it to mine, his mane is part of his personality but I have no idea what I am going to do with it when I start eventing him, guess I will have learn how to do a running braid.


      • #4
        I love long manes!

        I used to show dressage with my mare done in long loop braids. Don't know the technical term -- sectioned and braided, with the tail end of each braid being tied into the root of the third braid down.

        I judged a dressage show this past weekend, and several horses, including a Haflinger, wore running braids. When I'm judging, I'm judging the horse's rhythm, suppleness, movement, etc., not braiding technique.

        If you like long manes, leave it long.
        My Equestrian Art Photography page


        • Original Poster

          Personally, I LOVE a pulled and neatly braided mane but, as manes go, Claire has a nice mane. Is a long mane a selling point? I always see pics posted with everyone oh-ing and aw-ing over "beautiful long manes"...
          "It's never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot


          • #6
            If you are going to event her, I think you'll probably HAVE to pull it. Braids aren't allowed on XC, and all that mane could really get in the way when it's loose. If you are just doing dressage and jumpers or CTs with her, I might keep it long. It is true that some people just luuuuuuurve long manes, and since you plan to sell her and it's a breed standard... plus a running braid isn't that hard to do and really does come out looking very nice.
            "Sometimes the fear won't go away... so you just have to do it afraid."

            Trolls be trollin'! -DH


            • #7
              Pull, it's got to be hot! And as mentioned previously a long mane is terribly dangerous when you're jumping. I know, I was lazy and didn't pull one of my horses mane until later on summer, I had a couple times of hands and reins all twisted up before I got the message.


              • #8
                Originally posted by CatPS View Post
                If you are going to event her, I think you'll probably HAVE to pull it. Braids aren't allowed on XC, and all that mane could really get in the way when it's loose. If you are just doing dressage and jumpers or CTs with her, I might keep it long. It is true that some people just luuuuuuurve long manes, and since you plan to sell her and it's a breed standard... plus a running braid isn't that hard to do and really does come out looking very nice.
                I don't think that's a rule. I'm pretty sure I've seen people do x-country in braids before. I couldn't find ANYTHING about braids in the USEA rule book


                • #9
                  I used to do a running braid on a Haffie for shows -- those manes look nice in a close-to-crest running braid, but they are SO thick. One year she rubbed it out really ragged so we roached it and that was cute too. The running braids can be done so quickly that you can easily braid it up on hot days too (cumulative work of hot day braiding over a summer is much less than a single mane pulling session).

                  I couldn't face pulling such a thick mane (for my fingers' sake), especially because it was such a part of that horse's personality. Your Haffie looks to have a much more manageable mane and a lighter physique, though.

                  It sounds like you'd have plenty of time to grow out the mane before selling her if you did pull it -- I suspect that a long mane would appeal to more buyers of Haffies than a pulled mane, so that might factor into your decisions at some point.
                  Evolutionary science by day; keeping a certain red mare from winning a Darwin award the rest of the time!


                  • Original Poster

                    Claire’s mane is thick and grows like crazy; it’s at least 2” wide. It’s much thinner than when I started on it because I didn’t carefully comb tangles out of it, what ever was tangled just got pulled out. Summer before last my daughter got tired of dealing with it and cut it off to about 4” long. Not a good look but it was cooler and out of the way! We roach my daughter’s Haffie gelding’s mane (he’s a drafty little guy) and trim it like a Fjord but we’re not looking at selling him, he’s a family pet.

                    Here’s Claire’s mane, in all her winter glory, as a yearling (coming two).

                    If we braided it and took care of it I’m sure she could be one of those horses with her mane to her knees, but why? Then it really would be a hazzard on cross country.
                    "It's never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot


                    • #11
                      I have seen people clip/shave underneath a thick mane like that to make it thinner and then pull it. They had to clip it fairly regularly though.


                      • #12
                        Pull, nice neck


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CatPS View Post
                          If you are going to event her, I think you'll probably HAVE to pull it. Braids aren't allowed on XC, and all that mane could really get in the way when it's loose.
                          Definitely NOT a rule that you can't have braids for XC. In fact, I often leave braids in because A. it looks nice in pictures, and B. I hate hate hate the post-braid afro mane look.

                          OP, I personally don't care for the look of a long mane and really cannot *stand* to deal with a big wad of hair in my hands while riding, but if you plan to market her at all to breed folks who will want the long mane, I would just keep it in long plaits and do a running braid for shows. I've found that banding small sections first, at about the length that you'd want your running braid, makes it really easy to put up *and* to re-do if they pull it out.


                          • #14
                            Pull, nice neck X2.

                            IME, long manes are just "photo op" things. They look great for a second or in some still. But the rest of the time, they just create work/

                            Oh, and I get skeevy working around a horse whose eye I can't see. JMO and some experience with a dangerous Fresian.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat


                            • #15
                              My friend roached her Halfie's mane and it is fabulous looking. Her neck is gorgeous and huge and she is much cooler! I know people just love long manes but this really seemed to allow her other qualities to stand out.
                              "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"


                              • Original Poster

                                For now I have her mane in a few "pasture braids" to keep it out of the way. I'd like to pull it to show off her neck but the time I pulled my daughter's Haffie's mane it looke awful after about 2 wks because there were so many little hairs sticking up...
                                "It's never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot


                                • Original Poster

                                  Draftdriver, I love the idea of doing "loop braids" but doesn't her mane have to be all one length to get even loops? Do you have pictures of your horse braided? I've never seen the loop braids except in my Grooming To Win book that I've had forever.
                                  "It's never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot


                                  • #18
                                    I vote pull although she sure does have a pretty mane.
                                    Pull don't cut. Cut manes NEVER look right.

                                    I have to ask, too, why you think she is too small for your daughter and you?
                                    I am five one and went from riding sixteen plus hand tb to riding fourteen hand guys and I love it. Discovered where my legs are actually supposed to be.
                                    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Claire is very much a horse type pony not a draft or pony type pony. We'll see how it goes today, we're headed out the door to back her for the first time. My daughter is at max weight IMO for her so we'll see how she handles it. She may be a keeper yet.
                                      "It's never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot


                                      • #20
                                        Miichelle - My haflinger mare is very similar in build to yours. What's her breeding? Honey is 14.3h and has never had a problem carrying me at 5'5" 170lbs for 20 mile trail rides, or my daughter (who jumps and does low level dressage with her) at 5'7" 170lbs.

                                        I personally prefer the long breed trait mane, but last year we pulled it because it was so ungodly hot here. Didn't look too bad, but since it's so thick it just kinda' "fluffed" everywhere and didn't lay like a normal horses mane.

                                        If you do sell her plan on enough time to let her mane grow out.