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Pony Mane Nightmare!!! Help! Please??!!

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  • Pony Mane Nightmare!!! Help! Please??!!

    So, I have a beautiful small pony hunter prospect that I am getting ready to start taking to some shows. I had her mane under control for a while all last summer and fall, and then I went to FL and she stayed home...now her mane is CRAZY!!! It is 3x as thick as it used to be and falls on both sides of her neck. What is the best way to tackle this? Terrible thing to ask, but does any one shave half of the mane on the underside?...It really is that thick. Should I button braid her on the correct side and leave the braids in for a while? BTW she is talented at getting regular braids undone and she is outside for part of the day. I've never had to deal with a mane like this before. Any and all suggestions appreciated! TIA

  • #2
    Hi! I have a similar situation, only with a 17 hh TB who hates to be pulled Do NOT NOT NOT shave half the mane. That will make matters worse. I learned that this hair will all grow back in at the same time, will be super stiff, and will make the mane even worse. It also makes it very difficult to braid correctly.

    Carefully pull to the correct length & if necessary pull some shorter hairs to thin w/o shortening any more. I braid my guy into training braids by crossing the hairs underneath eachother (instead of the typical crossing each of the 3 sections over each other) & I tie with yarn. The "upsidedown" braids lie flatter to the neck. I don't tie them up; just leave them hanging. I braid while the mane is vert wet & leave them in for several days, checking each day & rewetting the hair. My trainer said that when she was in school, they would tie fishing weights into the yarn, but I haven't tried that.

    When I take them out, I wet and comb the mane, then put horse into a mesh "slicker" hood, making sure the mane is lying on the correct side.

    I am a bit compulsive about manes (as if you couldn't tell!)

    Good luck!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks! I may try the fishing weights. I'll try to get some pics of her mane tomorrow! I've been lucky to have horses and ponies with easy manes, this one is just out of control at the moment. I'll def try doing the underside braid, I haven't tried that before. Last summer she lived in training braids and I had to pul her mane all the time to keep it at bay and it was okay...though it has never wanted to stay on the right side of her neck lol. Promise, i won't shave it off, it's just so forboding to think about all of the time it takes to keep it in check.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have always used old nuts, as in nuts and bolts. Tie them in with heavy yarn on a braided mane. Let them hang for a few days. And then the force be with you.
        www.midatlanticeq.com
        Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
        November 11-13, 2016

        Comment


        • #5
          Don't shave the underside!

          Pull, pull, pull. If you had her mane under control before, do what you did then.

          I'm assuming you're not going to braid at these shows? If you are, it doesn't matter what the mane looks like unbraided. A good braider will make it look perfect.

          If you're trying to get the mane to lie on one side unbraided, then you can braid it in several large, loose braids and leave it for a few days. Don't braid tightly, or the hair can get pulled out. Even worse, pony will be itchy and rub the mane out. Then you'll have missing chunks.


          My opinion doesn't matter here, but I think fluffy pony manes are cute.

          Comment


          • #6
            CrossWinds81, I just want to say I feel your pain!!! lol My pony has a crazy fro, and it grows faster than I've ever seen on any other horses. I have no solution for you, just empathy. I'm aiming my pony for trail riding and maybe pony jumpers! No braiding necessary! lol Good luck with this!!!
            Bigeq.com First in Hunter/Jumper Sales Online

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks French twist!! I just look at it and cringe...it took me 6.5 months to get it semi-managable before! she was out on lease over the winter as a little lesson pony and everything went to He!! Now her mane is about 3" wide...and I am not joking! You'll see, I'll try to get the pictures tomorrow. But at least she has the cuteness factor going...she's a liver chestnut with a tad bit of roaning in her flank, blaze 3 white sox and a flaxen mane and tail...screams hunters...and the shows she'll do this summer she will need to be braided...I'm in Lexington, KY so she'll go to the Horse Park soon. I neeeeed a great pony rider though! Anyway, I have gotten a bit off track, but in order to get to those shows her mane needs to be perfect

              Comment


              • #8
                We had a medium pony hunter who had a huge thick mane and was one of the horses who does have nerves in their mane so we couldn't pull it to thin it out because it turned into one unpleasant mess for all those involved. Any way we finally got smart and shaved a section out of the middle haha. It braided over much nicer than shaving the underside (we did that also). Good luck!

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Talk of the Town View Post
                  We had a medium pony hunter who had a huge thick mane and was one of the horses who does have nerves in their mane so we couldn't pull it to thin it out because it turned into one unpleasant mess for all those involved. Any way we finally got smart and shaved a section out of the middle haha. It braided over much nicer than shaving the underside (we did that also). Good luck!
                  I know it sounds just awful to do, but that was kind of what I was thinking...use the really small clipper blades, clip in the middle, and just keep it clipped all the time...it sure would save a ton of time. The thing I hated about pulling her mane last year was that, because the hair isn't pulled from one general area and soooo much of it was being pulled out in the first place it was really tough when the pulled sections started to grow back out again...whenever I braided it down the new little hairs coming through would stick straight up, and they were too short to pull out again...that's not too attractive either.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Or just take her to a show and pay a braider to pull it. They might charge you for pulling 3 manes but it would be worth it to not have to mess with it at all, and it will be a pro job.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If pony is good about pulling, and you can figure out how to do it well, try pulling hair from the topside of the mane, not the underside. If you pull from the underside, you shorten the mane as well as thin it, resulting in an extremely short, extremely thick mane. If you pull from the top (or you can even try flipping it over to the left side of the neck and pulling from the underside from that side, but then you won't have a very good idea of how the length is going), you reduce thickness without shortening. Length comes from the underside, so as long as you leave the bottom hairs alone, you can avoid the "really really short and STILL thick" pulled mane.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Seven-up View Post
                        I'm assuming you're not going to braid at these shows? If you are, it doesn't matter what the mane looks like unbraided. A good braider will make it look perfect.
                        Gee, thanks. Don't bother making your mane nice, just stick the braider with a big fat mess.

                        The best way to get your mane nice is to pull a little bit, often. Pull it every couple days, but not too much. You don't want to yank it all out at once or it will all grow back at once. If the pony has a wide crest, be careful not to get it too short. The braids start at the right side of the crest, so think about your length of mane from that point, too. Train it over with braids if you want.

                        If it is absolutely impossible to control, you can shave it, but do it from the top side, not the underneath. The braids lock down with the hair at the base. If you shave it off, the braids will be too high on it's crest. Be aware if you start shaving, you cannot stop.
                        *****
                        You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          do a search on Horse Care

                          I recently posted a VERY LONG reply to someone with this same problem.
                          I gave up all my mane shortening secrets in that one novel.

                          First... you've just got to start pulling and braiding and pulling and braiding if you want to do it the traditional way.

                          Second... thinning shears are your friend. You can take out a lot of thickness and make the mane look perfectly "pulled" without killing your fingers or the pony's neck.

                          I recently saw somebody who had braided over and then wrapped electrical tape all the way up and down the individual braids of his yearlings about a week before showing them in a breed show. Good idea, thought I! That way there reallly isn't much to rub out, and it also weights the mane to train it over.

                          But seriously, do the search for all the details.
                          KD

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thinning shears are NOT a braider's friend. If you are going to braid, stay away from the thinning shears.
                            *****
                            You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              angrychinchillas-
                              Sorry, I didn't follow that. Could you please explain again? I just pulled DD's pony's mane for the first time. It was 6" long and very thick but lays all to the right. It is now about 3" long and still thick and kind of sticking up. I tried to pull the underside hairs to decrease thickness but it is still kind of thick. She hates having her mane pulled and we had to tranq and twitch to get this done. How do you make it thinner at this point without making it shorter?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Everybody that is telling you to shave up the middle is right on. I used to be a pony braider. At three in the morning when I was on my 5th incorrectly pulled pony mane, I would pull out my battery shavers and clip a strip right up the middle. The braids never looked better.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Midge View Post
                                  Gee, thanks. Don't bother making your mane nice, just stick the braider with a big fat mess.
                                  I would never dream of sticking a braider with this. I pull my own manes, and I feel like it's my job to make her job as easy as possible.

                                  OP sounded like she didn't want to fix it (perhaps overwhelmed by it all) and just wanted to shave it. I know how crazy it made our braider to have to work on manes that were pulled incorrectly. She'd tell us, "if you can't do it right, let me do it myself. I just need the extra time."


                                  I was actually thinking if OP didn't want to do it herself, (which I suggested at first) she should pay someone to come do it for her, but not knowing where she was located, I didn't know if that was possible, so that's why I suggested doing it at a show. Certainly didn't mean to imply she should spring it on the braider with no advance notice and expect the poor braider to get it done in 15 minutes! That would be evil, indeed!

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    It's not so much the work involved in pulling and 'getting it there' that bothers me..it is the maintainence that becomes an issue and even was an issue when i was keeping it under control...because you have to pull out so much hair; 2/3 of the thickness has to come out..then 2/3 ultimately grows back in spurts. while it is in the growth stage it causes loads of little hairs sticking out everywhere that are too short to pull untill a few months down the line and braiding them in...they wont braid in until they are long enough, so it causes a braiders nightmare....I am still considering shaving a thin strip down the middle and then just keeping it shaved. I'll talk with a few braiders at the show today and see what their ideas are and post it when I find out from them. The braiding with weights idea is fabulous though and I am excited to try that

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by skyy View Post
                                      angrychinchillas-
                                      Sorry, I didn't follow that. Could you please explain again? I just pulled DD's pony's mane for the first time. It was 6" long and very thick but lays all to the right. It is now about 3" long and still thick and kind of sticking up. I tried to pull the underside hairs to decrease thickness but it is still kind of thick. She hates having her mane pulled and we had to tranq and twitch to get this done. How do you make it thinner at this point without making it shorter?
                                      Okay. You're trying to pull hairs from the top side of the mane, not the underside. Stand on the pony's right side, facing the neck, with the mane on the right side. When you normally pull the mane, you take the mane comb (or just your fingers) and find the longest hairs, and pull them out, right? Well, what you're doing is taking hairs from the -underside- of the mane. This shortens the mane. It also thins the mane, but not enough to fix it on a huge pony mane.

                                      What you want to do instead of pulling the longest hairs from the bottom/underside is pick a small hunk from the very top. Another way to think of this is: if you were on the horse's back, looking at the mane, you want the hairs growing from the -left- side of the crest, not the right. They will be shorter hairs, and thus a bit harder to pull (it's just a very different feeling in your hands, really).

                                      Maybe a diagram might help:

                                      removed

                                      It's a tragic diagram, I know. I don't have Photoshop or any goodies on this computer, so I had to make do with MS Paint. =P But does that make sense? Instead of grabbing the longest hairs, you're taking from the outside, or upper side, of the thickness of the mane. Maybe if it still doesn't make sense I can try to make a video of me doing it in about a week when I get back home.

                                      Re: making the braider pull the mane - as a braider, honestly, I don't mind a bit. And sometimes I even prefer to be able to pull the mane myself, if the owner doesn't know how to pull very well, or the horse/pony has a difficult to pull mane. That way I get to pull it to my preferred length and thickness. As was said above, it's easier for a braider to spend 15-20 minutes pulling a mane than it is to spend more time trying to make the braids look okay on a botched pull.
                                      Last edited by angrychinchillas; Aug. 10, 2010, 07:28 AM.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Angrychinchillas-
                                        Got it! I understand! And I loved the diagram. When I was pulling her mane I did consider pulling the top hairs but I was concerned that they would grow back and stick straight up and look stupid (kind of like when you clip and accidentally get into the mane). Most of DD's shows don't require braiding so the mane has to also look decent unbraided. Thanks for your help.

                                        Comment

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