Discover the best mane braiding tips from savvy equestrians so you can braid your horse beautifully and get the turnout you deserve. This is the final post in my series on Mane Braiding Mistakes and how you can avoid them. If you haven’t had a chance to read the other posts here are the links:
BEST MANE BRAIDING TIPS
Since knowledge is the best way to avoid mane braiding mistakes, I asked some notable equestrians the following question:
What is the best braiding tip you have ever received?
Here are the responses I received from each contributor:
“Allow yourself more time than you think you’ll need! The last thing you want is to go into the show ring all flustered because braiding took longer than you expected, which led to getting to the warm up late, which resulted in a rushed warm up, which culminated in a stressed-out subpar performance. Map out a timeline for the lead-up to your ride that includes ample time for preparation, braiding included.”
This is great advice since we all want to enjoy the time we have with our horses at the shows and put in our best performance. To help you plan your pre-ride routine so you allow enough time to braid your horse and get ready in a relaxed manner, I’ve created a Ride Time Planner. It’s available in my free library of braiding videos and resources. Sign up for instant access to download your planner here.
Next up is a mane braiding tip from the Savvy Horsewoman at www.savvyhorsewoman.com
“Always work with a “dirty” mane. Back in my Pony Club days, I was taught to avoid using shampoo on my horse’s mane before a show so the extra stickiness and texture help to create tight braids. Show Sheen and other conditioning products should be skipped too. Soft and slippery is nice for the coat, but won’t help your braiding.”
Take the Savvy Horsewoman’s advice because a slippery mane is the enemy of tight, neat braids. If you plan to braid your horse’s tail, only apply Show Sheen to the tail below the tailbone to the hair ends.
The third tip comes from Melissa MacLaren via Jane Savoie. You can find Jane’s website at www.janesavoie.com.
“Start the braid tight and close to the crest.”
Simply advice, yet SO true. How you start your braids has a big impact on how they turnout. If you do a good job of braiding down the mane, the final step of tying your hunter braids down or creating buttons will be easy.
The next mane braiding tip is from Liv Gude of www.proequinegrooms.com.
“The best braiding tip I have is to pretend you are painting a room. 90% of the success comes from the prep. Same for braids. The mane must be even in length and even in thickness. I always use Mane Mousse to create some hold without crustiness. Then use an elastic around my comb to precisely measure each one and go from there!”
I love this tip, because mane preparation is often overlooked yet super important. Still not convinced? Consider this. I can pull, shorten, and braid an unprepared mane faster that I can just braid it (as is). And the resulting braids will be higher quality too.
Finally, here are two of my own mane braiding tips for you:
Be sure to braid smart by grouping like tasks together when you’re braiding. Because working systematically allows you to plan and create your best braids. You’ll also braid your horse faster.
When tying down hunter braids, think you just want to “snug” the braids down to the neck. This will allow you to create braids with a flat bump that will flatter your horse’s neck the most.
A huge thank you to all of the contributors who made it possible to provide this information to you.
GET THE KNOWLEDGE TO CREATE WINNING BRAIDS
I recently wrote a list of 50 mane braiding techniques and secrets that all contribute to my braiding success. I thought about all the time I spent struggling with braiding before finding an awesome mentor and gaining the knowledge that changed everything. As I reflected on this, I realized that while I had a coach for riding, I had little help with braiding or turnout.
But your turnout is what the judges see first and it makes a lasting impression. Do you have the knowledge to create winning braids to go along with your performance? I’m sharing my braid secrets and tips with you. Sign up for instant access to my free library of braiding videos, tips, and resources here.
I look forward to helping you create your best braids and turnout ever.