Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

You should learn something new every day.

So I learned something new today.  That, in itself, is not particularly exciting.  What was exciting was that it was a new way of doing something I mastered at the age of about 10.  hahaha  And it worked *really* well.

Topic in question?  Pulling mane.  I don't know what lead me to watch the youtube video; it's certainly not a topic I've ever watched before -- I've taught it enough times *g*.  Perhaps the link said something about it working on nervous horses?  Not sure, but for whatever reason (procrastination maybe?) I did.

And my skepticism radar went wild.  The hairs "just release".  I'm sorry, wtf?  She did make a point of saying it should be done when the horse was warmed up and it would take a long time.  Ok -- I almost always pull mane after the horse is ridden anyways so nbd.

So anyways - at the barn today, rode my horse (who was, btw, a superstar.  We had a couple "oh sh*t" moments *g* -- overjumping an x by more than 4' qualified.  hahaha but mostly she was brilliant).   Anyways, afterwards I had a few mins to kill so I decided to attempt the mane.  And while she's not *horrible* about it (having had one horse who needed to be tranqed to pull, I have since redefined horrible), she's definitely not happy about it.  So decided I may as well give video-lady's magical suggestion a try.  There was nothing but a minute or two to be lost by trying.  And I gave it a fair shot -- I followed the instructions exactly, even though I felt like a complete fool waiting the 30seconds or so it took to release.

And it WORKED.  Holy frig.  Apparently the look on my face was fairly amusing.  Especially as Amy, who I was talking to at the time, had no idea I was doing anything other than pulling mane as I always would :)  But it actually, really, truly, worked.  And Lexi didn't so much as blink.  Tried it again, same result.   Even up by her poll (where even combing is sometimes an issue) she was totally fine with it.  I found it took longer there -- the time seemed to shorten in the middle of the neck to a second or two, and lengthen by the poll and withers, but given that I have a sample set of exactly one horse at this point, I'm not saying that's usual.

So now I'm really curious to know the science behind it.  My grasp of anatomy and physiology of the mane is fairly minimal I admit.  My best guess is that the pores are open from the work out, and the tiny number of hairs mean that there's just less resistance.  It may be that it's the exact same move but since it's done so slowly the horse doesn't resent it as much.  I'm not sure.  But the end result is my horse completely accepted this with no drama.  It does feel different though; a little creepy actually.

Only down side - it takes several times longer than the usual method would.  It's a *slow* process.  Very slow.  I'm aiming for doing a bit after each ride till it's reasonable but it does take a ton of patience.

As I was doing it I had a vague feeling that somebody somewhere taught me this once before, but I don't recall it ever actually working.  I suspect I was probably a teenager and not interested in taking that long *g* And, to be fair, the horse I rode at that age had no objection to having her mane pulled.

So for the curious, I went and re-found the video...


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