Braiding Your Horse

When you compete in a horse show, it is often required that you braid your horse's mane. English horses are braided and western horses are banded. There are many different methods on how to braid your horse. Below, are instructions on what I believe is the easiest method.

Here we will be braiding with bands [some people prefer to use thread].
Supplies Needed:

  • Braiding rubber bands that match the color of your horse's mane. You can find these at tack shops or in horse catalogs.
  • Quick Braid is VERY helpful when braiding. It helps the mane stay in place and makes it easier to braid. You can use a spray bottle filled with water instead, but it will not work as well.
  • Use a butterfly hairclip to hold back hair that is not being braided.
  • Scissors and Hair Gel

If you are braiding your horse for a show, do it the night before or the morning of the show. I prefer to braid the night before and use a sleezy to keep the hair neat. If it is your first time braiding a horse, the results may not be perfect. Your braids will improve with more practice. Your horse's mane should already be trimmed (and pulled if necessary) before you begin braiding.

Step One

Have all of your supplies ready. If you are braiding a tall horse, you may need a bucket or mounting block to stand on.

Spray your horse's mane with Quick Braid (or water) and comb out all of the tangles with a mane comb.

Seperate about a 1/2 inch section of hair from the mane. Use the butterfly clip to hold other hairs out of the way. Then, begin braiding the section of hair into a basic braid. Braid tightly, pulling down, against the horse's neck. Start as close to the roots as possible. When the braid is completed, secure it with a braiding band. Start a new section and repeat. Repeat these steps until the entire mane is braided. Then, braid the forelock.

Step Two

Regular braids and one folded under. [I suggest you braid further down then shown here.]

Now that all of the mane is braided into basic braids, you must fold the braids under. Take a braid and fold it under so that the end of the braid meets the crest of the mane. (The crest is underneath the mane, at the roots.) Then, secure the fold with a braiding band at the middle. Sometimes it may be nicer to fold the braids under twice, but this is more challenging. Repeat until all of the braids are folded under and then fold the forelock.

Step Three

braids folded under

Wait you'r not done yet! If any hairs are sticking up, smooth them down with hair gel. And now voila! Your horse is braided!

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