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lauraa94x 06-24-2009 12:26 PM

Braiding... Help me?!?!?
My friend has got a local dressage competition this weekend, (well its 2 classes at her livery yard) and I'm going up with her, to get her horse ready and be her 'groom' for the day. Does anyone know how to braid mane's and tails? I'm more likely to do his mane, but I would wanna know how to do both as I think it would finish off the look. I've never plaited horses successfully before, so I need help!
Thankyou :)

Vidaloco 06-24-2009 01:12 PM

I know you need some yarn the same color as the mane color. A large darning needle, a comb and some tiny rubber bands again the same color as the mane hair.
You braid the hair in equal parts along the length of the mane. tie a piece of yarn on each braid and start taking the ends up to the base of the neck running the thread through the base hair so its now laying on the opposite side of the neck.
There has to be a video someplace let me look...
here is one they just use rubber bands. it looks easier than the thread
How to braid your horse's mane (hit replay)

Heres one where they use the yarn. I like the way they braid and tie the yarn onto the hair.

Piper182 06-24-2009 01:15 PM

Braiding a horse's mane takes lots and lots of practice. You also need the proper supplies. How to Braid a Horse's Mane for Dressage | This site gives directions but don't expect your first time to be awesome. There's a reason people get paid so much money to braid :) (it's crazy, the last show I groomed for, the braider got $55 for the mane and $30 for the tail. insane!) If it's just a local show, i wouldn't bother with the tail.

Vidaloco 06-24-2009 01:55 PM

I need to be a braider!

Piper182 06-24-2009 02:18 PM

At bigger shows, it's even more expensive. At HITS in NY last year, a woman charged $75 for a mane and $45 for a tail. The people I was grooming for had their horses rebraided everyday the three days they showed. It was ridiculous.

Scoutrider 06-24-2009 02:33 PM

I learned kind of an old fasioned way (at least the book is pretty dated, but dressage never really changes). I do a flat braid on horses with a pulled mane. Do the same starting braid as for the button braid. You should have a row of long braids, each with an 8+ inch tail of 2 strands of yarn hanging from it. I feed both yarn strands through a giant eyed needle, then bring the needle through the top of the braid from the underside. Now you shoud see a loop of braided hair, with two strands of yarn poking through the top of the loop, right at the horse's crest. Separate the two strands of yarn and wrap them once around the whole loop, then bring them back to the front of the braid a little further down and tie off, cutting away the excess yarn. It should look like a little diamond outline on top of a flat braided loop (My sis one described them as looking like cat turds. Once I ascertained that she wasn't insulting my braid job, I laughed for half an hour). Yarn is best, it doesn't break the hairs like rubber bands. For a horse with a really correct neckline (or a big show), take white tape (like electrical tape) and wrap one piece around each braid. This gives a line of white squares along the topline, and looks cool on a really correct neck. For a flawed neck or a novice horse with imperfect collection, etc, the tape can be left off, or black tape used. Oh, if the horse is grey, use black anyway. :wink:

I hope that made sense and isn't too dated, lol!

draftdrvr 06-24-2009 06:32 PM

You can get a good DVD on It is easy to follow.

EquitationStar 06-27-2009 07:02 PM


At bigger shows, it's even more expensive. At HITS in NY last year, a woman charged $75 for a mane and $45 for a tail. The people I was grooming for had their horses rebraided everyday the three days they showed. It was ridiculous.
You have to rebraid the horses every day. If they rub overnight they can break off the hairs and end up with no mane. And it's expensive because it takes a loooong time to braid them well enough to show at the high rated shows. =D I'm practicing and getting there.

Piper182 06-29-2009 09:56 AM

i totally understand why it's so expensive, but some times its ridiculous. I took care of horses at HITS that never rubbed... they had had braids overnight many times and hated to be braided. The horse would rear and try to kill the braider, but the owner still insisted on it every day. She kept wondering why she lost, I think it was because she stressed her hors out every morning.

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