Monday, August 20, 2012

A Mane Decision & Chrome's Monthly Progress Report

 I'll get to the progress report in a minute.  First I want to share with you an excruciating decision I've been trying to make for a while now and the results of that decision...... to pull or not to pull??  Yes!!  I pulled Chrome's mane!  I finally got tired of how he was rubbing it out and how crappy it looked and decided to pull it.  It was so hard to do!  I'm so happy I did it though.  He looks so handsome.  I love how it turned out.  Here are the pictures.

 Here is his mane before I did anything to it.  See how short it was by his withers and how long up front.  It's hard to see because it's wispy, but it was several inches past his neck.  Because of his sweet itch (which is why his neck/shoulder is so scabby and scarred) he's been rubbing his mane a lot and it just looked damaged, dry and nasty.  I figured hair will always grow back so if I hated it then there would be no harm done.  It was still so hard to make that first cut!!  

 To ease into the idea of cutting his mane I did a bridle path first.  I've been wanting to do his bridle path for a long time because it's such a pain to straighten it every time I halter him, but that's how much I didn't want to cut it lol.  Above is with the bridle path cut.  :)  Oh and this was the very first time he's ever had scissors up by his ears and he practically fell asleep while I was trimming it!!!  The sound of the hair cutting didn't bother him at all.

 So I cut off the long hair and almost cried!!!!  Look how hideous it is!!!  The awkward way he's holding his neck in this picture doesn't help, but at this point I was seriously doubting my decision and considering hair extensions or trying to glue his hair back on LOL!  This is after I blunt cut it with the scissors before I pulled it.

And the final result.....  well it will need some touching up, but I figured it was like painting, it's good to walk away for a bit and come back to it.  So here it is!

Ta-da!  Keep in mind I haven't pulled a mane in around five to seven years!  And I've never taken a mane from full length to pulled by myself (I've only ever done touch ups on an already pulled mane), so I'm pretty proud of it.  It needs some touching up because it's a bit uneven, but it's not like we're going to a show or anything.  I just wish his shoulders weren't so nasty from his sweet itch.  I'll do a post soon about the sweet itch. I think I've found something that might prevent it from happening next year, hopefully. 

I also wanted to mention I LOVED pulling his mane once I got into it.  He stood perfectly quiet (well he was trying to scratch constantly which was annoying, but he wasn't fighting me at all) and his mane pulls SO easily!!!!!!!!!!  I can pull it out with my fingers (instead of wrapping it around the comb), which is probably why it comes out so easy when he rubs it lol.  Maybe he was just meant to be a dressage horse with a pulled mane!!  He wasn't bothered by the process at all and he would have stood while I completely finished the job, but I was worried if I didn't take a break that he would end up bald lol.

The color was all messed up so I put this one in black and white.  Isn't he sooooo adorable?!

Now on to his progress report.


My pictures didn't turn out great.  A combination of lighting and the lens problem I'm having with my camera, so this is the best one I got, even though he's facing downhill.  He is a bit butt high though. 

Date: 8-20-12
Age: 3 Years 3 Month
Height: 15.2hh (he actually measured shorter than last month, but probably because he got his hooves done yesterday.  :/  I'm going to say he's the same though.  Without a totally flat surface and an actual measuring device it will never be 100% accurate.  Oh well!)
Height Gain: None.
Weight: Same as last month.  Measurements of 70 for his heart girth and his length measurement of 72, so according to the Equine Weight Calculator he weighs 1069lbs.
Weight Gain: None.

Progress: The weather finally broke!!!  It's been so nice.  However we're having issues at work so I've been having the open the store (getting up at 5am) and I'm so exhausted I haven't really done anything.  I rode him on my birthday (in a saddle, yay!), but that's about it.  We're just going to focus on his sweet itch and enjoying each other for now.  I still want him to keep growing.  :D

 Goals: I want to try something new for his sweet itch, since this is about all he does anymore....

I'm going to use MTG to make sure he doesn't get a secondary fungal/bacterial infection, but I can't put it on until dark because the sun will burn him.  I also need something for the itching.  Any suggestions for maybe something I can bathe him in?  It makes me so sad to see how miserably itchy he is.  He was such a pain getting his hooves done because he just couldn't stand still.  All he wanted to do was scratch.  Sweet itch is so miserable and such a pain in the butt.  I've dealt with it in the past with my Appaloosa mare and I'm not happy that Chrome has the same problem.  Maybe it's me?  Maybe I'm just doomed to have horses with sweet itch.  :(  It's not rain rot and Faran and donkey have no problems at all.  So yeah, suggestions are welcome.

I'm going to try something called Neem Oil for preventing this next year and preventing it from getting worse this year.  It's all natural and works on the midges by messing up their ability to function (eating, breeding, flying, etc.).  It's not a poison so it doesn't kill them like fly spray does (although it does kill them by them not eating eventually), but it keeps them from biting too.  All they have to do is touch it.  Anyway I'll have to do more research, but I have hopes!  It's great for the garden too, so maybe we won't have a pumpkin bug problem next year.

Other than that I want to enjoy the nice weather by doing some clicker training and going for walks, but we will see how long it takes to sort out the situation at work.  At this point all I want to do is sleep lol.  Here's some more pictures.

 Doesn't he look so cute?  He looks all grown up now.  :D

Here are our yearly pictures.


Wow I didn't even get a conformation shot for Aug. 2010!  Oops!


And the one for Aug. 2011 sucked lol!!


At least they make this one look a LOT better hehe.  I guess my setting up and picture taking abilities have improved.  :D

Well that's all for today folks.  I look forward to hearing what you guys think of his new hairdo and any suggestions on battling the itchy problem.  Thanks guys!!!


  1. Well, my knee jerk reaction to the title was "NOOOO, don't mess with his mane!". But, it looks great short! He's such a beautiful boy, and the short mane really sets off his lovely neck. He's such a pretty boy!

    I don't have a horse with sweet itch, but I do have a dog with skin allergies. I use a tea tree oil shampoo on him, followed by a cortisone conditioner. It really helps with his itchies.

  2. As a Friesian person, I pretty much had Shannon's reaction. I think it helps balance his neck and looks great on him though. I've got a couple of suggestions for the sweet itch - Baron suffers through it quite badly. First off, Corona cream smeared liberally on him will help heal the scars and relieve the itching. Baron goes through the summer with liberal doses on his face, shoulders and front legs but it really does help. 2nd, when you rinse him after a bath put a little bit of vinegar in the rinse water. It isn't a permanent solution, but it gives temporary relief against the no-see-ums that cause the problem.

    Good luck with it!


  3. He really looks fabulous, you did a great job on the mane! I had to Google sweet itch, because once again, I had never heard of it. I came across this article that may be of some help maybe.
    it has a couple of different remedies you might try. Poor guy, what a bummer.

  4. He looks so handsome with his mane pulled. Such a grown up show pony! Can't help with the sweet itch, I've never had to deal with it. However, I only use vetrolin medicated shampoo & conditioner and love it. It also has sunblock in it which is great for grey horses.

  5. His mane looks great, really good job I wouldn't have been brave enough to know where to start!!
    I've used neem on Star, she doesn't have sweet itch but I've found it useful for lots of other things like scrapes, fly bites. The smell is odd and takes some getting used to though!

  6. His mane looks really nice, good job!

  7. I think his mane looks good, it shows off his lovely neck.

    Is he really that gray/black/brown color? It's gorgeous, he looks like marble.

  8. Love the pulled mane! Makes his neck look so elegant!

  9. Well... I like a long mane on an Arab and Friesian, sorry. It looks to my mind, a bit too thin. I would suggest getting thinning shears ... those scissors hair dressers use. I've been nipping away at Oberon's mane for about a year and it is full and looking pretty healthy. Sebastian is no longer my horse, but I could never cut it.... Your boy is still pretty, but I wouldn't cut it again... it doesn't suit his breed profile in my opinion.


  10. I mean, I wouldn't cut it short or pull it. I trim away with my shears at the ends, nipping them all the time. Just wanted to clarify. :)


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