Mak is a chestnut horse with a fairly long mane, and a pretty average sized neck. It's an open show, we are showing english (hunter) and western, as well as halter. If the braiding takes less than about 15-20 minutes to undo and redo, I can do a different type of braid for halter than for the riding part of the show. Any suggestions? Also, I know that if you braid the tail, you must braid the mane, but do you have to braid the tail if you braid the mane?
If the show is open usually the hunter won't have a braided mane. If you are doing both western and English I wouldnt even braid, if you choose to do something I suggest banding. It is a more western style, but is also not rare in the hunter ring. For showmanship and hunter I have always used a peanut braid. Whic is just braiding the mane and tuckign it up. If you braid the mane you will not have to braid the tail. Hope this helps!
I've seen long banded manes, but I think for it to look nice, the mane can't be thick.
As for braiding the mane and not the tail, that (in general) seems to be acceptable.. if not preferred to a messy tail braid! If you have some time to practice, I'd suggest learning to do a running braid. I can do a nice, tight, show ready running braid in 10 minutes, if my horse stands still.
Here is an example - yes her head is turned so it bubbled a bit. Please note that I didn't use gel or hairspray, so there are wispy flyaways.
Straight side shot.
And the length of her mane, right after pulling the braid out..
And another example, on a horse that isn't black, lol.
You want it to be TIGHT to the neck for showing. Tight tight tight. And you'll probably want to use hair gel, hair spray, or a combination of the two. It's easiest to get tight if you leave the mane dirty. When it is clean, the hairs tend to slip. Obviously brush it etc, but don't wash it for a few days before the show. It can get wet etc, but no shampoo or conditioner.