Time To Vote On Braid Style!

Unless you’ve got a roached mane, braiding is required at any show.

With a horse that shakes the head a lot (Hello, I know one.), both during the braiding process and after between classes, sewn braids are great since they stay in really tight.

They take a lot longer to put in though.  Yes, even with practice at countless shows.

Last show, I did old school rubber banded ones instead.  There are various ways to roll them up, rosette style (Gorgeous, but falls out easier unless the mane is pulled thinner and kept shorter/short-ish.) or banded in the middle.

Different necks look best in different braid styles – want to give your input on this one?!

Vote for your favorite in the poll below!  Which ones look the best?

⇓ Easier to make, taller rubber-banded braids ⇓

tall braids on dressage horse

⇓ Larger sewn-in braids ⇓

large sewn in braids on dressage horse

 

#ThingsWeThingAboutWhenStuckOnTheCouchWithaCold 🙂

32 thoughts on “Time To Vote On Braid Style!

  1. Theyre both nice! Her neck looks a little longer in the first picture with more braids, but I am personally partial to the larger sewn-in braids like in the second picture.

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    1. Ahhhh! 7 votes already for the sewn in braids! It’s killing me how slow they are to make. And if showing 3 days in a row, yep, she needs a full bath and new braids every time… Oh well 🙂
      Special post here for you tomorrow night Tonia!

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    1. OK, sewn buttons win hands down so far. You’d need to meet this girl – during braiding she’ll shake, often more than once during each braid. And after… A French Braid (at least my style.) would never last the full day with two classes, warmups and time in between. I think it’s a really nice soft look though!

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    1. Hey, that’s a way to do it that I haven’t seen!! I thought this would be the one where they’re braiding a light gray Andalusian and sort of doing a bit of the same concept, with using a piece from the prior mane, but this was even easier with the topsy turvy in there. (I’ve got one at home…) This is a REALLY thick mane. Not sure how it’d work out on Valiosa, but would love to try it. If anyone has done this, I’d love to hear how it stayed in on a horse that shakes pretty hard!

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      1. Tried out the new braid system yesterday. Our barn was celebrating its 25th anniversary and we did a quadrille demo for the guests. I hadn’t practiced braiding before yesterday, so it was “learn as you go”. The good news is, my braids and my friend Kim’s braids all stayed in (we were the only two to try this out). Kim’s horse Sydney was a real head-shaker (she was totally pissed at her partner horse and let everybody know it). What I learned is, 1) you need a really long mane–which Charm fortunately has, and so does Kim’s horse. 2) the braiding part should be relatively short, maybe 5 laps max–4 is even better–so you have plenty of long hair left to weave into the next braid and keep it there and the braid itself looks like a nice rosette. 3) if you don’t want the rubber bands to show (I don’t care personally) pull the braid through with the topsy-turvy just below the band so only the loose hair makes it through to the other side. I didn’t time it, but I think it took about 30 minutes for this initial effort which involved figuring things out and will probably be shorter in the future. Best part of all, NO SEWING and really easy to undo at the end of the day. Another note–we both just put in a final long braid when we got to the end of the neck, like you would do for a running braid. Love it love it love it! You will have to start a mane-growing project with Valiosa when show season ends!

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        1. OK several things that are great here! The NO sewing. The fact that it looks better with LESS braid laps before starting the new one. And it stayed IN.
          Awesome!
          Less good for me, is the fact that you found out that it really does need a long mane. With the sauna that we live in here May- early October I just can’t add on a heavy mane on top of that just for the braids. I love that it was fairly easy-ish to put in, and the fact that they were easy to get out at the end is fantastic though. That’s another part that’s so time consuming, cutting all the thread out, without also getting pieces of mane. (I always cut off some mane haha.)

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          1. What you could do is let the mane grow out over winter, then keep it in ordinary single pigtail braids in the summer. We’ve had a couple of Gypsy Vanners in our barn who were kept braided this way–no heavy layer of hair on the neck and the braids stay in pretty much forever as long as the rubber bands don’t break.

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          2. These are super intriguing! Like it! She wrote and awesome post doing the math too 🙂 I could see myself springing for it. First, finishing off that thick spool of waxed thread though 🙂

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  2. Have to say the sewn in braids are particularly elegant on her…BUT, I will admit that I always do rubber bands because sewing them takes too much time. I can braid a mane in 20 minutes or so. Can’t even remember how much time a sewn mane takes (45 min?). In multi-day shows I have worried about the horse decided to rub out a braid (and part of the mane!); however at the Del Mar show I paid someone to braid (first time ever!!!), and my mare kept her sewn in braids for 3 days. It was a nice luxury…not sure I will treat myself to it very often, since I can do it myself.

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    1. Yep, 45 minutes even when very focused. It’s all that extra fiddling with thread etc. and with a slightly thicker mane, that needs to be done very tight, it’s time consuming to push the needle through…
      Also tedious to take out! Because she lives in a field, braids absolutely HAVE to come out each time, or we could possibly loose big chunks. At least I know which look the majority likes now, in case we’d ever have the chance to do an ever bigger event 🙂 (No way.)

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          1. The problem is always that I never have pictures! I don’t have a photographer and I never have my phone on me to snap a shot (or if I do, she turns out looking like a mule). I know, I know, I’m so far behind now in blogging that I will never catch up, but the thing is just to start again…

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  3. And Alli Farkas braiding method is a great idea, I had never seen that done before I watched her video. Looks great and handles a long mane (as long is it’s not TOO long, like a Friesian). I keep my Andalusian’s mane short so it’s easy to braid and not so hot for her (she sweats a lot during work).

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    1. Thought it was awesome too! If I ever have time this summer, I’d like to give it a shot just to test to see if it’ll go with a slightly shorter and thinner mane!

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    1. It seems that they just can’t be beat… I’ve been using waxed thread. Started with black, then bought cream when her mane lightened. Should have looked hard for gray, oh well. Haven’t tried yarn, as the waxed thread has SO much more grip and staying power, but I’m thinking it will be a lot easier. Maybe this will have to be my shortcut down the line! (And she shakes her head less now than 1 year ago while braiding so it may work out.)

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        1. Carpet thread–https://www.bondproducts.com/product-category/hand-sewing-thread-needles/
          Really thick and sticky and works great if you must sew. Goes by several names, but is essentially the same stuff as “waxed” thread.

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          1. That’s it! I buy mine at Joannes or Michaels or some other type craft store. Getting it online you’ve got more colors to pick from. No need to order “specialty equine” thread and pay the premium for it.

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