Banding...aahhh, banding. I'll admit, I like banding better than braiding, but it took me awhile to get the hang of it. The first time I did it, I was so proud of my efforts that I asked my trainer how she liked my work. In a droll voice she replied, "I've seen worse." Ouch. LOL.
The best and most important tip I can give you is to PULL THE MANE!!! Your bands will end up looking clumpy and be impossible to space out evenly without
a well prepared mane. Much like braiding, you must have your hair the same consistency all the way down the mane. Thinner is better.
Secondly--and as someone else mentioned--use a banding/braiding comb to help you select the right amount of hair. You'll note the comb is in three sections: you band only ONE of those sections. I think that might go without saying, but I thought I'd mention it just the same.
Third--as you twist the band around the tuft of mane you have the option of twisting over the TOP of the mane, or beneath the mane...twist on the top. The thickness of the criss-crossing band will help to keep the mane flat.
Fourth, I always take a few strands of hair from the BOTTOM of the banded section, some from the left side and some from the right and PULL THESE TO THE COORISPONDING SIDE. This will give you a bit of a bubble above the band that will also help to keep the mane flat. Don't pull too hard, though. You'll end up with too big of a bubble.
I like to use hair gel--the sticky kind that most people use to spike up hair. Just a tiny dab will do you.
Last, but not least, I always trim my banded mane AFTER I'm done. Do NOT cut horizontal to the mane, LOL, you'll end up with a little Dutch boy. Snip the ends while holding the scissors vertical to the mane.
If you need a video, I'd be happy to post one for you. I was actually thinking of doing a showmanship video for my 4-Hers and so I could kill two birds with one stone. Let me know if you're interested and I'll get you a link.
Columnist, American Quarter Horse JQURNAL