mane pulling is optional

How to pull your horse’s mane – It’s optional.


  • For thick manes, I think pulling them is appropriate if the horse can tolerate it or even like it. The purpose of pulling a mane is to thin the mane, and secondly to shorten it. No horse should be forced to have a mane pull if they don’t like it.


  • There are loads of ways to shorten a mane without pulling, like using scissors, an old clipper blade, or even a mane blade. But – the mane will still be uneven in thickness if you just trim the ends. This might be ok – depends on your preferences and what style of braids you use.


Steps to pulling a mane:


  • To pull a mane, I like to “rat up” the mane. What remains are the longest hairs, and even then there are very few of them.


back combing the mane to pull it


  • Then I take those few hairs and wrap them around the comb and pull them out downwards. You also have the option of standing over your horse and pulling the mane hairs straight up. Or even out. For most of us, it really depends on what works for our horses and our arms.


pulling a mane with a comb

If the mane is already thin and long, you can trim the ends.


  • I start by using the scissors straight across the dry mane about 2 inches LONGER than I want the finished product. Easy enough, right? Well – have you ever tried to cut bangs? That’s why you should give yourself 2 more inches.


  • Then, you can work on the ends to make them more natural. This is my tool of choice:


fold up mane blade on chestnut horse

This mane blade will shorten a mane, but won’t do a thing for making a mane evenly thin throughout.


  • I have had this hybrid switchblade/clipper/knife/scissor contraption (shown above) for about 10 years – never let me down. The metal edge is designed like a clipper blade, but without any moving parts. You can “ratt up” the mane hairs without breaking them, and then use the same edge to cut the tips off to create a more natural-looking mane. Ratt up and trim the whole mane, and since you will vary how much of the tips are cut off as you work, the result is natural.


Check out the videos below for ideas on how to pull your horse’s mane!

go shopping button for horse products


I can say that the mane blade is my favorite grooming tool for the mane. You can pick one up here. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, and this means there is no extra charge to you. Thank you for your support!

JT Tough-1 Fold Up Thinning Knife

The Solo Comb thins the mane without pulling hair.

This is a rake that works similarly.