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Robby Johnson
Jun. 29, 2002, 11:42 AM
[Originally posted in the Eventing forum]

OK, Dezi and I did the braiding clinic today. She took the photos, and most of them are pretty good quality.

If you're reading this as I'm posting, please don't comment until I finish the process, as I've numbered the photos in steps, and want future readers to be able to see them in a simple step-by-step process.

I know this isn't nearly as comprehensive as it could be. If you still don't get it, please email me and we can chat about it on the phone, or perhaps I can attempt to do a few more photographs.

Rhodey is our model in the photo. He got a bath before Dezi got to the barn, and I did bathe his mane well.

The first photo is my braiding box. I keep all of my braiding equipment in it, as well as my small clippers. It's very handy as it also serves as a stool. I think I bought the step at KMart several years ago for around $30. It was pricey, but it's good quality.

I use the grandma-style hair clips, black waxed thread cut into strips about 18" - 24" long. Note: I can usually sew in three braids with one strip of thread.

I use a large metal craft needle which, as you can see, has a scrap piece of waxed thread threaded through the eye and tied in a knot. This prevents me from losing it, though I've lost it twice in two years - braiding the same horse at different times, if you can believe it! Talk about the proverbial needle in the haystack. Thankfully I'm really neurotic and found it both times.

I use the bigger gold pull through for doing the forelocks.

You can use any kind of comb you like. I don't know where I came up on the red comb, but I really like it as that hook at the end makes it easy to evenly part the mane.

Also, I use a LONG piece of yarn around one of the handles of my (very sharp) scissors. I then just loop this around my waist. Sometimes I wear my Olive Garden apron, especially if I don't have a handy place to store my Quick Braid.

For the sewn in button braids, I like the mane to be about 6 inches long, and pulled decently thin. Regardless of mane length, I use the 1/3 rule when parting the mane. If the mane is 6 inches long when pulled down taut, I part the mane at 2" increments.

How you braid is important, too. I find that for braids I'm wanting to make "round," that braiding a little bit "out," instead of "down" is easier.

Ok, here's my toolbox ...

[This message was edited by Robby Johnson on Jun. 29, 2002 at 03:03 PM.]

[This message was edited by Erin on Oct. 10, 2002 at 02:28 PM.]

Robby Johnson
Jun. 29, 2002, 11:42 AM
[Originally posted in the Eventing forum]

OK, Dezi and I did the braiding clinic today. She took the photos, and most of them are pretty good quality.

If you're reading this as I'm posting, please don't comment until I finish the process, as I've numbered the photos in steps, and want future readers to be able to see them in a simple step-by-step process.

I know this isn't nearly as comprehensive as it could be. If you still don't get it, please email me and we can chat about it on the phone, or perhaps I can attempt to do a few more photographs.

Rhodey is our model in the photo. He got a bath before Dezi got to the barn, and I did bathe his mane well.

The first photo is my braiding box. I keep all of my braiding equipment in it, as well as my small clippers. It's very handy as it also serves as a stool. I think I bought the step at KMart several years ago for around $30. It was pricey, but it's good quality.

I use the grandma-style hair clips, black waxed thread cut into strips about 18" - 24" long. Note: I can usually sew in three braids with one strip of thread.

I use a large metal craft needle which, as you can see, has a scrap piece of waxed thread threaded through the eye and tied in a knot. This prevents me from losing it, though I've lost it twice in two years - braiding the same horse at different times, if you can believe it! Talk about the proverbial needle in the haystack. Thankfully I'm really neurotic and found it both times.

I use the bigger gold pull through for doing the forelocks.

You can use any kind of comb you like. I don't know where I came up on the red comb, but I really like it as that hook at the end makes it easy to evenly part the mane.

Also, I use a LONG piece of yarn around one of the handles of my (very sharp) scissors. I then just loop this around my waist. Sometimes I wear my Olive Garden apron, especially if I don't have a handy place to store my Quick Braid.

For the sewn in button braids, I like the mane to be about 6 inches long, and pulled decently thin. Regardless of mane length, I use the 1/3 rule when parting the mane. If the mane is 6 inches long when pulled down taut, I part the mane at 2" increments.

How you braid is important, too. I find that for braids I'm wanting to make "round," that braiding a little bit "out," instead of "down" is easier.

Ok, here's my toolbox ...

[This message was edited by Robby Johnson on Jun. 29, 2002 at 03:03 PM.]

[This message was edited by Erin on Oct. 10, 2002 at 02:28 PM.]

Robby Johnson
Jun. 29, 2002, 11:44 AM
Spray with Quick Braid, comb through, then section off the mane, taking care to ensure a straight, even part.

Think Marcia Brady.

Robby Johnson
Jun. 29, 2002, 11:46 AM
Braid down. How you braid is important. In these photos I've not used the "leveraged thumb" method, as with rounder braids, I find they're not quite as "round" when I sew them up. This is the standard twist your wrists method of braiding. Just make sure when you get to the bottom you hold it tight.

Robby Johnson
Jun. 29, 2002, 11:47 AM
When you've braided down, take your threaded needle (I always keep it in my mouth, with about 4" of bight) and sew through the bottom of the braid, leaving about 1/2 inch of thread on the back side.

Robby Johnson
Jun. 29, 2002, 11:48 AM
I then wrap the thread around the bottom of the braid, push back through once from underneath to the top side, and sew in a 1/2 stitch. At this point, your braid is secure and ready to sew up.

[This message was edited by Robby Johnson on Jun. 29, 2002 at 07:38 PM.]

Robby Johnson
Jun. 29, 2002, 11:50 AM
Using the needle, push through under the braid, at the crest, once. Pull it up, and you'll have a single-folded braid that looks like this.

Robby Johnson
Jun. 29, 2002, 11:52 AM
Because I am left-handed, I always bring the needle from the crest, to the left, and back down so that I can sew through both layers of the single-folded braid, at the bottom and push back through the crest, once again.

You have to use your other hand to hold the braid in the ball shape. Sew tightly.

Once I've gotten through both layers from the left, I come out from the crest and this time sew in through the double layers from the right side.

[This message was edited by Robby Johnson on Jun. 29, 2002 at 03:05 PM.]

Robby Johnson
Jun. 29, 2002, 11:53 AM
this is me pushing through from the right.

Robby Johnson
Jun. 29, 2002, 11:56 AM
You can continue to sew under/in from either side, until the braid is as tight as you want it. I always find once each way to be sufficient. Again, sew in a 1/2 stitch at the top on your last pass, at the top of the crest. Then snip off with scissors.

This finished braid isn't my best in the world. At the bottom, I could've threaded better to make it a little more of a ball.

Try to sew in as close to the bottom of those double folds as you can. This will make your braid really round.

[This message was edited by Robby Johnson on Jun. 29, 2002 at 07:39 PM.]

Robby Johnson
Jun. 29, 2002, 11:59 AM
in this photo, Rhodey is wearing 13 braids, but could wear 14 if/when his longer bridle path grows out.

If I were braiding a horse for a three-day, I'd pull the mane to more like 4 inches, and I'd try to put about 20 ball braids in.

For the forelock, I (french) braid like a hunter. I prefer to keep the forelock pulled well enough that you don't have to sew in a ball on the end but, if yours is too long, you can certainly do just that, following the steps I outline above. You can do this with a french braid that is too long to slide under the ridge (like a hunter) or, if your horse doesn't have much forelock, you can skip the french braiding all together and treat it as if it's just another section of mane.

Feed your pony lots of carrots and tell him how good he is! Like my Rhodes Point is, here!

Robby

GotSpots
Jun. 29, 2002, 12:47 PM
Thank you Robby! What a great demonstration, and Rhodey is a very handsome model. This should go in the archives.

Bumpkin
Jun. 29, 2002, 02:14 PM
Thank you Robby.
I shall definately direct one and all to this thread. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

*In Your Dreams*
Jun. 29, 2002, 04:24 PM
One dumb question.... What is a slip knot?

Thanks for your clinic...helps a lot! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

**~~Andrea and Dreamer~~**
"Why does it take a lifetime to learn to live a lifetime?"- Ray Hunt
"I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted. - Unknown

Robby Johnson
Jun. 29, 2002, 04:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by *In Your Dreams*:
One dumb question.... What is a slip knot?

Thanks for your clinic...helps a lot! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

**~~Andrea and Dreamer~~**
"Why does it take a lifetime to learn to live a lifetime?"- Ray Hunt
"I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted. - Unknown<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

A tailor I'm not! Where I said "slip knot" I meant to say "1/2 stitch." I'll go back and edit those! A slip knot is one that comes lose when you pull it. We don't want that with our braids, now do we?

Thanks for catching that!

Robby

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

FlightCheck
Jun. 29, 2002, 06:26 PM
nice to have Close UP photos to really SEE what the brider is doing!!!

drifting cloud
Jun. 30, 2002, 07:11 AM
Robby & Dezi -- thanks for the clinic!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif It will be very helpful to a lot of people (including me!). You should submit it to some magazines & try to get it published.

If you lend someone $20 and you never see them again, it was probably worth it.

weezie
Jun. 30, 2002, 07:40 AM
Thanks for the pix.
Where do you get your waxed brading thread?

piaffeprincess98
Jun. 30, 2002, 08:14 AM
thanks robby! Very helpful. I need to learn how to braid nicely before this weekend's big dressage show. I might just try your technique. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

~*Lindsay*~
A proud co-owner of CorLin PROductions, specializing in dressage, eventing, and hunter/jumper digital photography.

~*Co-founder of the COTH Photographer's clique*~

UndeniedGirl
Jun. 30, 2002, 09:40 AM
Weezie -- you can get it from Bitofbritian

~Cass

"Dont let your schooling interfere with your education" -- Mark Twain

snbess
Jun. 30, 2002, 08:50 PM
My question, how long did it take you to do Rhodey's braids...in total? Thanks...this was really helpful!

Robby Johnson
Jul. 1, 2002, 04:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by snbess:
My question, how long did it take you to do Rhodey's braids...in total? Thanks...this was really helpful!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Wouldn't you say, Dezi?

Robby

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

Dezi
Jul. 1, 2002, 06:06 AM
Including chit-chat and a pretty good boy it took about 25 minutes to do the braiding, including a beautiful forelock! I have seen Robby do them in less time when pushed though!

It does help alot to have all of your tools in easy reach, thus the Olive Garden apron or similar type is really helpful. Also a spray of the Quick Braid is good if you have alot of fly-away strands or a mane that is alot of different lengths!

BBowen
Jul. 1, 2002, 07:28 AM
Robby/Dezi:

Thanks for the refresher course. I learned to do this last year at a clinic with Nicole Beauchene -- wow is it easy and fast. I need to do some practicing, so this was great for me to review.

Becky

Dezi
Jul. 1, 2002, 07:53 AM
Robby did forget the most important picture - his supervisor for the braiding session, and Rhodey's entertainment - Baby Kate!!

terry
Jul. 1, 2002, 08:24 AM
Thank you so much for going through the effort of making this nice presentation. I thought it really made things very clear.
However, I do have to comment on the 13 braids. I have always heard to never braid in 13 braids (unlucky) and I know a story about a Big Name Event Trainer who once took a pair of scissors and cut off the thirteenth braid when one of his students had braided a horse with 13.

Robby Johnson
Jul. 1, 2002, 08:27 AM
I believe that geldings are supposed to be braided with odd numbers, aren't they? (Hunting lore.)

Regardless, I would've put 14 in had the bridle path been grown out and braidable. And I also will pull his mane a little more before we start showing. With a neck that long, however, I don't want it too short! I could be braiding for hours!

Interesting, also, is that in the Kaballah, 13 is a very lucky number (hence 13 tracks on Madonna's "Ray of Light" album, back during her Kaballah phase ... that album was VERY successful, so maybe it has merit?!).

Robby

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

IFG
Jul. 1, 2002, 08:36 AM
Robby,

Thanks so much. I never could figure out whether the forlock was counted when you were figuring that you needed an odd number of braids for a gelding and even for a mare.

Lany

Therese
Jul. 1, 2002, 09:30 AM
Thanks!

Good pics and directions. I hate braiding manes, I've been known to take 2 HOURS for a 14 braid job for dressage. Good thing Kalinka doesn't mind them in, just cover with a neck stretchy to keep the shavings out and they last for 2-3 days! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

--Therese
*****************************
"Going through hyperspace is unpleasantly like being drunk."

"What's so unpleasant about being drunk?"

"...Ask a glass of water."

-Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

goobs
Jul. 1, 2002, 09:41 AM
I am going to use your braiding instructions here to braid my horse (my first time). My braider can't do it this week at the show, so I am left to my own devices! These instructions could not have come at a better time.

Jupes
Jul. 1, 2002, 10:22 AM
Funny this should come up, as I was just browsing a British horse manual (copyright 1984). It said when preparing a horse for show, always use an odd number of braids, plus one for the forelock. I was suprised to read that, 'cause I had no idea it mattered...

Also, I have a friend who always does 13 braids on her mare...she likes to "head off back luck at the pass." /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

JAGold
Jul. 1, 2002, 10:33 AM
Robby, this is fantastic. Are you wedded to reporting, or shall we tag-team at the next three-day we both go to?

Also, what do you think of developing an online, interactive, how to groom/prepare for a show guide? I, of course, never have anything to say on that subject /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif --Jess

Robby Johnson
Jul. 1, 2002, 11:23 AM
I'm not always wedded to reporting! I would love to tag-team with you at your next three-day. What are you going to do? I was hoping to groom for a friend at Morven CCI*, but that's probably not going to work with my work schedule. Maybe Radnor, though.

I love the interactive idea! Let's see, if I could just charge for these things, between this idea and the cookbook, I could maybe quit this 8-5 mill that gets in my way!

Robby

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

Everythingbutwings
Jul. 1, 2002, 11:34 AM
Don't say you're not coming to Virginia! /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Friendship is Love without his wings
-Lord Byron

Robby Johnson
Jul. 1, 2002, 11:43 AM
We'll be there September 21-29!

Robby

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

free
Jul. 1, 2002, 11:44 AM
Who does BEAUTIFUL Baby Kate belong to? And does she have her own pony yet?

JAGold
Jul. 1, 2002, 11:45 AM
Robby, between the cookbook and an online guide, you'll HAVE to quit your real job /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Gee, I've heard that the DC/VA area is a great location to run such ventures from...

I don't know if we'll have horses at Radnor; we will have a couple at Fair Hill. We'll have to talk! --Jess

Pixie Dust
Jul. 1, 2002, 11:47 AM
THANKS, that was very helpful. I only knew how to do the hunter style braids, you know, with yarn and a "pull-through". I love those round braids; very cute.

Can you give tips on doing the pulled tail?

BTW, that is a very pretty baby!!

Robby Johnson
Jul. 1, 2002, 12:00 PM
why don't you start a pulled tail thread?

Robby

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

monstrpony
Jul. 1, 2002, 12:15 PM
Do I understand correctly that you do not braid your thread into the braid, just attach it with your sewing and wrapping at the bottom?

Does this work with yarn? I've always braided mine in and tied a half-hitch at the bottom.

Also, what's the quick trick for getting them OUT after dressage (or whatever)??

MANY THANKS for doing this!!

Bensmom
Jul. 1, 2002, 12:33 PM
This is a very well done explanation, of course, and exactly the way I do it /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Except, I usually don't usually pre-cut my thread, but boy, that would make life easier. Once you get the hang of it, this is not only pretty fast (I did Ben in about 30 mins the last time I braided him -- I'd have been even faster if I pre-cut my thread.)

What I can't do, however, is the forelock braid. Are you guys up for a step by step on that?

And, I adore Bit of Britain, but I don't care for their waxed thread. Way too goopy. I like what they have at Harmony Farms (www.bigbluetrailer.com (http://www.bigbluetrailer.com)) and I think Robby said he found some a local tack shop that carried leather working materials for less than Randy's price, yes?

Libby (who really likes to braid and is dying to groom at a 3-day, but who needs to learn more first)

Bensmom
Jul. 1, 2002, 12:39 PM
hmm -- I do do one thing a bit differently than Robby, upon reflection. I tie a knot in the end of my thread, fold over the end of the finished braid, pull the thread through to the knot, and then wrap the thread around the folded bottom about three or four times, hiding the sticky out ends before it is pulled up.

The fast way to take them out is with a good seam ripper. Actually, two good seam rippers and a careful friend /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Last time we started one on each end of the neck and met in the middle and were done lickity split. Ben looooooves this part, making terrific camel faces as you do the portion near his withers. I don't run xc anymore with the frizzies not wet down though -- the one pic we have of this look was just not acceptable /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Robby Johnson
Jul. 1, 2002, 12:52 PM
I did find it locally, but that shop has gone out of business, which means I'll be paying $18 again! /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Are you talking, Libby, about sewing around the "fringe" at the bottom of the braid? So that it's not in the way when you pull/sew through?

My method for removing braids:

Hose horse down. Wet the braids well!

Take a seam ripper (rip away from you). I rip the left side of the braid (usually both pieces of thread that will be there), then pull it down with my finger so just the long, pre-pulled-up, braid is there.

Then I use my seam ripper, remove the 1/2 stitch, pull it out, then use my big wide comb and fingers to get the braids out. Then, with mane still wet, I comb out entirely.

You avoid afro-poof if you wet the braid first.

I don't braid into the braid with yarn or thread. I just sew it in. I used to, but discovered you don't really need to.

To do a forelock:

1.) Spray with QuickBraid.
2.) Comb through thoroughly.
3.) Take the top inch of forelock (starting between his ears) and separate into three pieces. Cross over like a regular braid but, when you cross the second time, add more hair from the sides , and so on so forth. This is french braiding.
4.) French braid the forelock, then 1/2 way down the switch (the long piece of braid), braid in your 12" piece of waxed thread.
5.) Use your gold pull through, pushing from the top of the french braid down through the braid (under the ridge) and thread strings through the loop.
6.) Pull all the way up. If your forelock is pulled correctly, you'll watch the whole braid disappear under the french braid.

Then, the final step is simple. The two pieces of thread will be sticking out of the top of the braid. Using your pull through, push it under the ridge from the side and catch the opposite piece of thread in it and pull through. Do the other side the same way. Then tie the pieces of thread in a knot at the forelock, then snip off.

If your forelock is too long, do the step as above, then actually come in with more waxed thread and do the remaining single-folded piece of forelock exactly as you would do a braid on the mane, which makes a nice button.

Robby

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

Bensmom
Jul. 1, 2002, 01:18 PM
The "fringe" is the perfect descriptive term!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

And yes, I fold it over at the very end, sew through it, and then wrap the thread around, binding it tight, and then pull it up for the first sew through. It seems to contain the fringy bits pretty well.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the forelock instructions. Poor Ben is going to get practiced on /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

So far, my forelock procedure has been:

1) braid mane

2) say, "hey, Kelley, you gotta minute? He's ready for his forelock!"

3) stand attentively and try to see what she is doing so that I can do it by myself at some point.

4) fail miserably on every try.

This system doesn't work if I'm showing/braiding by myself, so I fake it ok, and with enough sewing to tuck in stray pieces, and a be-yoo-ti-ful browband for distraction, we get by /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif But, like most grooming things, I wanna know how to do it right, darnit. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Libby (who once, along with a cooler of beer, provided an evening's entertainment as she wrapped and re-wrapped her horse until all four legs were *perfect* and then, they finally gave me a beer too . . .)

Dezi
Jul. 1, 2002, 01:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Who does BEAUTIFUL Baby Kate belong to? And does she have her own pony yet? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

She (along with twin brother Corbin - asleep for the braiding clinic) is mine, and although there is no pony yet, Dezi at 15.2 and completely bomb proof will do for the time being.

(until the "free" pony comes along that is!)

Sue /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Robby Johnson
Jul. 1, 2002, 01:55 PM
she is just as sweet and happy as the day is long!

After we finished the "model braid," I proceeded to braid Rhodey all the way down, and Dezi and Kate sat on my tack trunk. (Corbin was too busy cutting logs.) Rhodey was VERY fascinated with Baby Kate. So much so that I thought he was going to attempt to nibble little toes. I gave Dezi full-permission to bitchslap him, but it never got to that.

Kate and Corbin have a really cute older brother, Justin, who is now 2. Yes, Dezi went full-on with baby-making! Once that woman decides she's doing something, nothing can distract her! LOL!

Robby

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

AllyCat
Jul. 1, 2002, 09:25 PM
I tried to follow the instructions in the Grooming Handbook, but ended up making a mess. I'm good at the yarn braids but wanted to learn the sewn-in ones. This is very helpful and now I know where I went wrong the first time I tried this.

Another way of doing the forelock is when you bring in the side hairs, go UNDER the braid on either side. This makes a raised braid called a Dutch braid (I know the name from years with long hair). It's the same concept as the french braid, but you cross the sections under, not over.

suzy
Jul. 2, 2002, 11:43 AM
All I could think of when I saw the second photo was "Basic Instinct."

Well, Robby, what DID you expect from me? /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

P.S. Good thread and nice pictures. Thanks!

Robby Johnson
Jul. 2, 2002, 12:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by suzy:
All I could think of when I saw the second photo was "Basic Instinct."

Well, Robby, what DID you expect from me? /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

P.S. Good thread and nice pictures. Thanks!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I go with the flow!"

(Funny you bring that up. For a long time it was my favorite movie, so we watched it on DVD just a week ago!)

"Somebody has to die. Someone always does."

Robby

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

Pixie Dust
Jul. 2, 2002, 01:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robby Johnson:
I gave Dezi full-permission to bitchslap him, but it never got to that.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>



/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif I love that phrase.....so demeaning.

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