What color of yard/bands to use when braiding?
So, I've been learning how to braid my mare's mane for shows, and all of the tutorials I've seen say to use yard or hairbands (depending on the braid) the same color as the horse's mane.
Which makes sense, really, because it makes the braid look more natural; except....she's a red dun :-P so her mane has a middle layer of coppery-chestnut, a top layer of gold, and a bottom layer of dark red (not very noticable in my profile picture, but very obvious in person).
Which I think will make for a pretty impressive braid, except for the fact that no single color of yarn/bands with match exactly. :lol:
Should I try to find a color that matches as closely as possible, or use "Her color" which is blue (Her saddle pad, reins, halters, and girth are all blue because she looks good in it :-))
So if I use blue yarn/bands, it will match her tack, but will it look tacky in her mane?
I've really been wanting to do scallop braids or continental braids (though she doesn't quite have enough mane for that yet :-P)
Depends on what your showing I guess. I don't know much about the Western side, but every English discipline I can think of requires more reserved coloration. Ie, white or black saddle pad, black or brown tack. In which case, you'd want to braid with a natural colour. I would probably just go with a light brown elastic or yarn.
In cross-country or show jumping or other events where for the most part looking perfect is not as important like fun shows and stuff I think it would look pretty good at least in lower levels.
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Chestnut bands will should match close enough. I ride a flaxen chestnut and use either chestnut bands, or black since she has different colours in her mane. But once it's in there, the button ends up hiding it pretty well and both colours blend in because she has the different colours in there.
I'd try a bunch of different colors and braid them next to each other to see which looks best.
Most definitely try to match the color of the hair. TBH, using colored yarn/bands looks really, really tacky. I'd try to take a picture of the mane up close, getting as accurate a color as possible, and take the picture to the store with you to compare yarns, since that'd be the cheapest way. If what you gets doesn't end up looking quite right, you can always exchange it for a different color.
We have had braiders use maroon yarn in the chestnuts manes.
I would select rubber bands that are a shade darker than your horse's mane, or the same color. It's a lot like matching thread to fabric when you buy both for a sewing project.
It's tempting to buy neon, but if you buy on sale, like me, I prefer to have the right color for showing, in case I want to do so, and it would be one less thing for me to buy right before a show. Just MHO.
I would go with whatever color blends in best with her mane. So whichever band or yarn color looks less visible when braided in.
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I use clear bands, they go with everything! Ultra® Invisa Bands in Horse Care at Schneider Saddlery
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