Do horses really not have feeling in their mane?

It’s long been thought that horses don’t have nerve follicles at the roots of their manes, but a recent study has demonstrated an increase in the heart rate of horses having their manes pulled – a clear sign of stress. That said, some horses stand willingly while others show obvious signs of discomfort, such as tossing their heads and swishing their tails. To make the process easier, it’s recommended that you:

  • pull the mane after exercise when your horse is warm.
  • start at the withers and work upwards.
  • pull in an upward direction.
  • take small sections at a time.

A pulled mane looks smart and is more manageable, but if your horse is very sensitive and finds it all too stressful, there are grooming tools available to thin the mane and provide a neat finish without the trauma. Alternatively, you could also trim it with scissors.

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