A couple of tips though I might get some wormy apples tossed at me here. If your horse is a pull mane phobic, try cutting to a length of about 6 inches and then pulling from there..Ihad to do that with my previous horse. I wouldn't comb down and then cut straight but would ruffle the mane and gently trim with the clippers. (You don't want to go deep with the trim just sort of swipe the blades at the ends of the hair). Then, I would do a standard pull to get the proper look.
For tightness, try Braid-Aid..I liken this to sprayng on hairspray prior to braiding. I takes the hair a little stickier as well which makes it a little easier to keep your fingers from slipping and losing hold of the hair. My hands are big so trying to hold onto those skinny little sections is a hassle..not too mention my horse is a fiend and waits until I get right to the end and then he shakes his head and yanks the hair right out of my fingers.
On the looks, while standard hunter braids are normally flat, like the pic Maura posted, I have also seen many in several different locations over the years that have the small "button" on top like what you did. When I braid hunter braids I do something similar and a part of my hunter braid will come slightly above the crest but then, I learned braiding techniques 30+ years ago :) and at the time that was the "look." Now I am working on learnig the new button braids for dressage.
Last edited by tlkng1; 05-05-2012 at 08:36 AM.