View Full Version : 1st Ever Dressage show (schooling) Do I need to Braid?

Jul. 25, 2011, 11:22 AM
Friday is our first ever Derssage show .. Not my first time showing . Been showing hunters 26 years . Everyone thats going asked me if i was braiding i said "No ." The look in horror in their faces was my answer . It shows respect to the judge ... any so on. I only braid for" A' show mane and tail . When i didnt i pinned anyway .So for this schooling show I should braid ? And i have to do button braids ? I can do them its no problem instead of my 25-30 Braids . I do 11-15 neat buttons ? I know Dressage never braids the tail.

Jul. 25, 2011, 11:25 AM
Yes, around here most people braid the mane and forelock for schooling shows. My horse only takes 8 braids, and it only takes about 20 minutes.

Jul. 25, 2011, 11:38 AM
I don't know where you are from but I have never bothered to braid for schooling shows - the judge really only looks at the way the horse (and rider) goes, not how "pretty" they are, although you, the horse and you tack should be clean and neat. :D

Jul. 25, 2011, 11:41 AM
Do what you would like to do, it should not make a difference, just be neat, clean and comfortable. The important thing is the execution of your test.

Jul. 25, 2011, 02:42 PM
Personally, I would braid. They don't have to be any specific type of braid - whatever's easier for you. It shows the horse's neck off the best and is polite to the judge.

If you really don't want to braid, maybe band the mane over like a Western horse. (I did this for a show when the forecast was for 80% chance of rain. I didn't want to work my arthritic hands for only a 20% chance of showing. It ended up pouring just as I entered at A. I rode the first test, scratched the second and was very glad I hadn't wasted time braiding - my score was not affected by what I did with the mane.)

Just don't show up with the mane on both sides of the neck with frizz everywhere.

A judge will not consciously knock points off for a messy look but if she's wavering between two scores, that impression you make may play a role in which she chooses.

Jul. 25, 2011, 03:50 PM
You do not have to braid, but I always did as I never wanted to look as if I had come from the local goat-roping event.

Jul. 25, 2011, 04:02 PM
As long as your horse's mane is neatly pulled, then do what you want. I like doing button braids as it can accentuate a nicely muscled neck, and I can imagine how creating a more pleasing picture for the judge to look at could edge a score ever so slightly in my favor. But more than anything, I like how it looks just for myself. I hate getting a photo of a really great canter moment... but the mane is flying around, distracting from my performance! Also, if I've put in all the hard work to get that neck and topline muscled properly, I want to show it off :cool:

Jul. 25, 2011, 04:19 PM
Personally I never braided for schooling shows, just a neat mane; most other people did not, but then there were some who did, and also wore jackets. My theory: hope for a later ride time, don't braid, but if you find out when you get there that you are in the tiny minority, then do your thing if you want!

Jul. 25, 2011, 04:40 PM
Thanx so much ! Im from the east coast. Of course my horse's mane is neatly pulled and on one side .My tack is clean and fits . Im in no way sloppy . Im riding at 4:30 so ill look around and see what the masses are doing ,i can def throw 13 braids pull them up neatly . He does have a very nice neck !! uhmmm ?;)

Jul. 25, 2011, 06:03 PM
Around here you'd get brow-beaten for both a sloppy turn-out and an over-achiever A-Class turn-out.

I shave the ears, nose, brow-band, fetlocks, and under-chin. No one really braids the mane but they are all neat and pulled. I wish everyone would iron their shirts; that is a pet-peeve of mine, so many will ride with wrinked polos.

There is one guy-trainer that seems to pride himself on showing young greenish horses that have not even been washed...the brown-sweat just looks like lines of mud rushing down the horses' flanks. It's so gross but that is his 'style' and he always does well.

There are all kinds at training shows. You just do what makes YOU feel will help you be the most confident you can be! Confidence brings success!

Jul. 26, 2011, 12:07 AM
There is one guy-trainer that seems to pride himself on showing young greenish horses that have not even been washed...the brown-sweat just looks like lines of mud rushing down the horses' flanks. It's so gross but that is his 'style'

That's his "style"??? Eeew. Maybe I shouldn't worry so much about running by the grocery store in my sweat-soaked, mud-smeared barn clothes with bits of hay stuck everywhere. Just tell myself it's a fashion statement and hold my head up high! :winkgrin: