Yes, I have hacked Rodney’s mane off with scissors. My top hand brilliantly determined that Rodney’s behavior changes bilaterally. On a circle to the left, he would walk as calmly as possible as long as requested. On a circle to the right, he would fly into a trot at the slightest provocation. We decided that his muscles were tight such that trotting with one’s head up is easier than walking about. You’d think that stretching the scar side, i.e. going counter-clockwise, would be the problem, but no.
(Apologies for the lens flare. I was going to reshoot, but chasing perfection is incompatible keeping the blog from taking over my life. The photo is sufficient to see his hairstyle, or lack thereof.)As a result of this, we finally noticed the differential development of Rodney’s neck. I have been so focused on his back that I have been ignoring the muscles he uses to overcompensate.
I cut the mane to better monitor his neck musculature. I couldn’t bring myself to go full three-gaited. If I ever ride, I will trim the rest but grow out a section in the middle. I don’t care how silly one braid looks. I want a handhold.