After a week of attempting to pull my boys mane and getting no where fast (he's definitely not a fan); I decided to try the braids with his mane longish. It is about 7 inches long so the braids are definitely too long but I tried to compensate for that by making the bump a bit bigger. So all in all I think for haveing a less than ideal mane length and it being my first go, I think I did not too bad :) We have our first show this weekend so I will be braiding his whole mane soon.
I guess I should have put this in the first post, but do you guys think the large button part looks ridiculous? I'm going to try Button braids tonight as I figure they might look a bit neater with the long mane but I would rather have hunter braids.
I can't quite get the size and scale from that photo, but they look a little big to me. They could also be tighter, but I understand you're practicing and the tightness will come with time. You do have the technique of the bump and the knot down, good for you.
A 7" mane is way too long to braid quickly or well, anything longer than about 4 - 5" I would pull.
How fancy is the show you're going to, and what type is it? I am not a big fan on button braids on hunters, but it really depends on what's typical for the show you're going to.
This is the best photo I could find of what hunter braids should look like -
They are definitely too big. He is very uncooperative for mane pulling so I am waiting until he gets his dental work done so we can finish pulling while he is sedated.
The show we are going to is a schooling show so we can get away with a little bit; although hunter braids are definitely preferable. That's what I think I'm going to do for the show itself. The braids in my picture are likely about 1.5-2x the size of the ones in your photo. I'm going to try and get them a bit tighter and compact when I braid saturday morning. I didn't use any product when I was practising so maybe that will improve the tightness as well.
I watched a demo at Equine Affair on the new wire braiding product Braideez. It's very easy to use and for those of us who aren't pros it helps me get a more professional look. It's very forgiving and if my braid isn't perfect then the wire helps me cover up my imperfections.
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.