March 5, 2010

18" mane no more...

Once I got Rose to bathe, I decided to tackle her 18" long filly mane. Never having owned a horse with a full mane, I took a moment to appreciate her long flowing locks, complete with the blond tips from when she was a foal (all of my western pleasure friends are now going to cringe) and then I decided that it abruptly had to go! The hunter/jumper in me can't stand a mane that is beyond an acceptably pulled 4" length. Since I knew that she'd never had her mane pulled, I didn't want to traumatize her by going straight to my pulling comb. I also couldn't bare to take scissors to those thick locks either. What was one to do? I went to one of our local tack shop, Glisan Street Saddlery, in search of a thinning comb but found something even better. The Solo Comb! This little diddy has a built in cutting blade that comes down when you pull the trigger. It won't thin the mane, but I figured that could wait, I just wanted it to be the right length for now and not look abruptly cut. So I tied up Rose to the hitching post, and went about it. She was completely fine about the Solo Comb and stood quiet for the 20 minutes or so that it took me to finish the job, and she had no issues with her head and ears being messed with. The result was fully acceptable, although to the discerning eye it was clearly not pulled. She now looked like a growing 2-year old, and less like the baby that walked off the trailer only a week or so earlier.

Since our first experience with the solo comb, I have actually pulled her mane twice. The first time took course periodically over a couple of weeks. She took it in stride, and last week I was able to put her in the cross ties and pull her entire mane in one setting. It is now a perfect thickness for flat braids, and I look forward to running her through a set of those in the not so distant future.

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