I have a young quarter horse that I need to do something with her mane for the show this weekend. She has a long mane :7-10 inches and I don't WANT TO CUT OR THIN IT. The thing is i'm showing english flat classes, dressage, trail, western, and games and won't have time to change her mane. How should I do it. I've traditionally left it, only nicely groomed for her western shows or banded it into small, long bands. I've never shown English, so don't know what to do with her. I will be willing to try or look at any sugestions.
I only show in local open shows but I am planning to braid my fillies mane in a running braid. If we get more advanced I'll probably have to make the choice to pull it since she's a QH and it's not traditional....but I wanna try not to do that for a while.
That^ takes MILLIONS of bands though! (and local to me, is not considered to be braided... hunter braids or running braids, or apparently it doesn't count. That's LOCAL TO ME though, might well be different in your area)
My filly has a really thick mane, maybe 5 inches long so not ridiculous, but THICK. And I'm like you, I won't thin it or cut it, so she'll be shown in a running braid. I'm primarily a jumping/eventing rider and therefore don't really HAVE to braid, except in dressage. Monty gets a running braid for dressage/in-hand and his mane goes loose for jumping/xc. My filly's mane is in training braids 90% of the time and a running braid for shows.
I practiced running braid and was going to do that, because it looked good and was easy for me. I then got to the show and hardly anyone braided their manes,(it was a casual, team show over 2 days) the only ones who did were those with the fake tails and those are illegal in 4h so they don't count. I decided not to braid her mane and she looked good. We only got points off over not clipping her ears.
Always amazes me when they don't care about braiding but if you don't clip your horse's ears you are the devil incarnate and SOOOOOO disrespectful. Not braiding is IMO more disrespectful to the judge than leaving the ears hairy. A horse can be clean, groomed, and presented to the nines, and still have whiskers and hairy ears.
That being said though, I myself very rarely braid. Only if it's for in-hand or dressage - I don't compete in show hack classes.
I discovered a different method of running braid than the one that's been described in this thread! It's REALLY hard to do though, you have to be above the horse - I was sitting on Monty's wither in front of his saddle experimenting - and you take mane from both sides, braiding it along the top of the neck. As I said. REALLY difficult! And it's got to be tight enough that it sits on the top of the neck but not so tight that your horse can't stretch down ad forwards. But it's fun and it looks awesome!