Let's continue the Mane Pulling discussion. I have already outlined some basics and tips for pulling manes...See this article, Pulling Manes.
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 it and secondly to shorten 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 (if any).
To pull a mane, I like to "ratt up" the mane. What remains are the longest hairs, and even then there are very few of them.
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.
Now we get into the scissor question. I have seen lots of manes that are trimmed with scissors and they look just great. I have also seen the complete and total opposite. Here is what I like to do if the mane is thin (pulling would make it thinner) or if it's so long it needs a trim.
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 youself 2 more inches.
Then, you can work on the ends to make them more natural. This is my tool of choice:
This mane blade will shorten a mane, but not create even thickness throughout.
I have had this hybrid switchblade/clipper/knife/scissor contraption (shown above) for about 8 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!
How do you care for your horse's mane?