To braid or not to braid? [tails!] - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 28 Old 10-27-2013, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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To braid or not to braid? [tails!]

Okay so I have a show next weekend with my young horse. She is a 3yo Thoroughbred, not that her breed is relevant in the classes we're competing in [show hack classes and maaaaaaaaybe hunter hack depending on how overwhelmed we are by then and how big the class is]. Her willingness/ability to stand still for a tail braid is not the issue here. My ability to DO one is!

This is her back end au naturale [edited photo, I played with the colours]:


I am NOT pulling or shaving her dock, I would probably get kicked if I went anywhere near her back end with clippers and she won't stand to have it pulled so I'm not even going to try.

I know HOW to braid a tail, I just have a severe lack of ability to bloody do it! Her mane will be easy, I'm quite good at manes, and I LOVE doing forelocks. Same type of braid for a forelock as it is for a tail so I don't know what's up with that but I just cannot do it in the tail. Not to my satisfaction. I am a massive perfectionist!

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post #2 of 28 Old 10-27-2013, 09:44 PM
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Most show hacks and hunters have clipped or pulled tails. The rest have plaited tails. She will be out of place if left natural.

Get one of the many show preppers around to do her tail for you. Jess Teanby from JT's Show Prep is good and there are a few other good ones around, just search on facebook. (JT's is on facebook too)

Gene Kelly ~ Omdurman <3 my boys

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post #3 of 28 Old 10-27-2013, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like I'm going to have to just live with an imperfect tail braid then :/ I don't have any money available for extras at the moment [don't worry I have budgeted for this show, I just haven't got the money to pay for things that I can do [badly] myself] and a show prepper isn't an essential. I'll be standing around doing nothing for quite a while before classes start for the day and considering makeup and quartermarks only take 5 minutes...

Off I go to sort out my show box and make sure I even have any hoof black left, blahhh hacking is hard work!

Edit; oh yes, one question, approximately where in the tail should a ribbon go? I'm debating putting a red ribbon in her tail because she can be a bit free with her back end, I can control it and keep it away from other horses but if someone isn't looking where they're going and gets up her butt she might let fly. But then it would be their fault, not mine or my girl's.

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Last edited by blue eyed pony; 10-27-2013 at 11:30 PM.
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post #4 of 28 Old 10-28-2013, 12:08 AM
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Either braid the ribbon in or tie it around her dock after her tail is braided.

You might find a nice person at the show who may do it for you.
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post #5 of 28 Old 10-28-2013, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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I meant how high up the tail :)

She worked beautifully today thank god, now I don't feel like I'm going to die, BUT I was on bareback due to forgetting my girth [so not used to not being able to just go inside and grab the bloody thing...] so didn't canter her... this might be our downfall.

That and the fact that I doubt I'll be able to get out to ride her tomorrow but that's a whole different thread.

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post #6 of 28 Old 10-28-2013, 09:04 AM
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Mid way down her dock. Wherever it will stay.
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post #7 of 28 Old 10-28-2013, 09:05 AM
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The key to a good tail braid is lateral pull and do NOT incorporate the inside hairs. Pull from the sides and use the braiding to compress those inside hairs like you were wrapping them in cording. Wish you were here I'd do it for you.
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post #8 of 28 Old 10-28-2013, 10:28 AM
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Lots of practice and lots of YouTube videos. When I first learned to do braiding for shows, I practiced a lot! I was a favorite for braiding after not long and the trainer and owners were happy with the turnout on their horses. The tail took a lot more practice to do well. Every time you're out there, since your horse will stand for it, braid her tail. Figure out what works and what doesn't. Now is the time to make mistakes and hone your skills.
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post #9 of 28 Old 10-28-2013, 01:24 PM
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I would avoid the red ribbon if you at all can. They're not exactly applauded in the hunter rings...

Take pics of the finished product ^^

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #10 of 28 Old 10-28-2013, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys :) I struggle because I feel like I haven't got enough hands, my fine motor control can be a little lacking at times and tails are so heavily fine-motor-skill that it just gets to be too difficult. I also lack the patience but thankfully despite her young age my horse does not! I shall see how I go with her tail next time I can get out to ride/look after her, whether that's today or not I don't know [that's an ongoing argument with the parental authority] but either way I will have to work something out because I can't have my horse on pasture board and not be able to reliably get out to feed her!

A CLEAN SLATE FOR THE FUTURE
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