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  1. #1
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    Jul. 4, 2000
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    Default To Braid or Not to Braid - Judges Check In

    With all the threads about braiding that have been on here, I thought that people might be interested in this. It is copied for the LAHJA newsletter.


    From the Judge's Box:

    Question: Since braiding is not required in the USEF rules, what is your opinion about braiding or not?

    “I think braiding is WAY over rated. When do braids make a horse jump better? I do think they should be braided for finals and rated sections.” Sue Ashe

    “I like the tidiness and the formality, but I don't penalize someone for not braiding. I braided my own, so that was a way to save money. (We used to walk barefoot through the snow too!)” Gardner Powell

    “Since there are no rules about braiding in the rule book, braiding is more about the tradition of the show ring.....tradition is not legislated, but it is an important part of the horse show world. Right now, I feel that it's okay not to braid at all even at the "AA" shows and Medal Finals, because of the present economy. The most important thing to remember is if a horse is un-braided, the mane and tail MUST be neat and trim and well-groomed.” Penny Carpenter

    “I think the myth that judges penalize you for not braiding is unfounded. I do expect that a horse be turned out to the nines and have a neatly pulled mane. For very special classes, like classics, derbies, and major medal finals braiding is like putting your very best dress or suit on.” Marnye Langer

    “It is fine to not braid for unrated classes. However, at a hunter-type medal finals, appropriate presentation of the horse demands braiding.” Mike Nielsen

    “I think horses should be braided for all medal finals. It goes along with the well turned out workmanlike appearance. It's okay not to braid for unrated classes, but it ALWAYS looks better if the mane is done at least. Should I judge in jeans because I'm trying to save money? If you are worried about the expense, learn to braid. After all it.is a HORSE SHOW, not a schooling session.” Debbie Sands

    “Turn out is important, and I would probably want to know why a horse wasn't braided for an important class, but the best performance wins. Therefore braiding may become a tie breaker.” Katie Young

    “Since braiding is not required, it should not be penalized. As tradition has it, however, the rated sections have always had horses show braided. For major events such as a medal finals, or for certain sections like the conformation classes, it is still generally expected that horses will be braided as part of being "well turned out" for that event. But, if one is not I do not let that affect my judging because you never know what might have happened behind the scenes that day. The braider may have become ill, the groom misread the list, a trailer broke down, who knows? My only comment is that it does take a little bit away from the overall impression of being properly turned out for the class, and that could become a tie breaker.” Chrystine Tauber
    Last edited by Release First; Feb. 21, 2010 at 07:34 PM.
    Justice will only be achieved when those who are not injured by crime feel as indignant as those who are. - King Soloman (970-928 B.C.)



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2002
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    Ontario Canada
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    Default

    “I think horses should be braided for all medal finals. It goes along with the well turned out workmanlike appearance. It's okay not to braid for unrated classes, but it ALWAYS looks better if the mane is done at least. Should I judge in jeans because I'm trying to save money? If you are worried about the expense, learn to braid. After all it.is a HORSE SHOW, not a schooling session.” Debbie Sands
    I like this one.



  3. #3
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    Dec. 4, 2002
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    Default

    Very interesting read.



  4. #4
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    Apr. 26, 2006
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    394

    Default braiding

    ...so basically if you don't mind being second than don't braid!



  5. #5
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    Nov. 13, 2008
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    Default

    I'm glad I can braid my own



  6. #6
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    Dec. 28, 2001
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    Default

    Should I judge in jeans because I'm trying to save money?
    Actually this would not bother me a bit as I doubt I would even notice
    Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.



  7. #7
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    Dec. 22, 2009
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    Lower Saxony, Germany
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    Default

    It's funny to think about this! Here in Germany you have to braid your horse for Youngster classes and the german version of equitation if you do it for the rest its your own opinion. While in Canada my boss, older german, said its a show? your braid! And we all had to do it our self!
    At home you can ask a friend to do it but a professional braider i never heared about it.
    And really it's not so hard to braid or pull the mane yourself.....
    Important class (even if just for you) braid because its the said before best dress!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2003
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    The OC
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    Default

    I thought that was a very interesting little article-both from the perspectives of the judges, as well as what I've actually experienced. I showed at LA earlier this year, and I think 99% of the horses were braided in the hunter rings, from short stirrup through the working hunters. Not for the schooling classes (specifically labeled "schooling hunter") though. Up North, at the Woodside horse shows (which Langer Equestrian group also puts on) there was less braiding in the lower hunter levels than in LA.

    I don't have the money to show right now so I guess it doesn't directly effect me, but it does seem a nice sentiment put forward by the majority listed in that article that not braiding for the smaller classes/not classics for finals is okay.

    Thanks for posting that!



  9. #9
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    Sep. 19, 2002
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    recent FL transplant from IL
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    Default

    Interesting. Although they all seem to be talking about major finals or year end medals which I think it's sort of a gimmee you'll be braided then. I mean, does anybody really go to Indoors & not braid the mane?

    I would have been more interested though to hear judge's opinions about not braiding a junior hunter at an A (not big AA) show or the First year Greens or people showing babies in Hunter Breeding classes unbraided...how they would consider braiding then?
    "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"



  10. #10
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    Nov. 15, 1999
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    Middleburg VA and Southampton NY
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    Default

    Don't even get me started! I might branch off into a discussion about artificial tails! And you wouldn't want that....

    (It's all about peer pressure, not the score on the judge's card).

    MCL
    'r'



  11. #11
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    Jan. 27, 2003
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    Default

    Love the look of a braided horse and would be sad to see the tradition discarded even more so than it already has been.

    But, this (bolding mine):

    Right now, I feel that it's okay not to braid at all even at the "AA" shows and Medal Finals, because of the present economy." Penny Carpenter
    annoys me. Instead of having the show managers (and even the trainers) regulate costs and get them back to a decent level..let's impact the braiders even more.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"



  12. #12
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    Sep. 19, 2002
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RugBug View Post
    Love the look of a braided horse and would be sad to see the tradition discarded even more so than it already has been.

    But, this (bolding mine):



    annoys me. Instead of having the show managers (and even the trainers) regulate costs and get them back to a decent level..let's impact the braiders even more.
    Waiving braiding is something the managers do to look nice feel good yet not affect themselves whatsoever. Why not waive the office fee? Or the mandatory night watch fee (which most braiders do anyways)?
    "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"



  13. #13
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    May. 2, 2008
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    Default

    Using the economy as an excuse to not braid is, IMO, a lame excuse. Instead of spending money to pay a braider why not invest a little time to learn to braid well. Even taking fifteen minutes to put in a couple braids will help one's proficiency as well as "testing" the braids to see how they turn out and hold up to riding. Kind of like the concept of a fifteen minute workout when you don't have time for an hour. At least it's putting in some practice.
    "Beware the hobby that eats."
    Benjamin Franklin



  14. #14
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    Jan. 9, 2010
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    Milton, FL
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    Default

    I have a friend that rode dressage (at the time was retiring her old man), so she was showing I1 and PSG at this particular show. She had little kid students running around (with clueless parents... different thread!). She was late and I was trying my darnedest to help her...

    Anyway, as she was getting dressed she was braiding Ben (her old man)! Literally, was stepping into her boots, putting her coat on, etc, while braiding!

    I understand buttons are easier than pencil braids, but SERIOUSLY... if the $50 makes that big of a difference to you... learn to braid.

    also- if the $50 makes that big of a difference to you financially, then maybe you need to reevaluate your $600+ weekend (what hubby and I typically spent. each. to show).

    I guess I will qualify my statement with the fact that I am sooo CDO (even OCD needs to be in alphabetical order). I totally think that horses should be braided. It completes the look. You don't forget your tall boots, do you?
    Last edited by hollynanne; Feb. 22, 2010 at 02:02 PM. Reason: more ranting :)
    Steppin Not Dragon "Bella"
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  15. #15
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    Jun. 8, 2009
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JumpWithPanache View Post
    Using the economy as an excuse to not braid is, IMO, a lame excuse. Instead of spending money to pay a braider why not invest a little time to learn to braid well. Even taking fifteen minutes to put in a couple braids will help one's proficiency as well as "testing" the braids to see how they turn out and hold up to riding. Kind of like the concept of a fifteen minute workout when you don't have time for an hour. At least it's putting in some practice.
    Fully agree... braiding is not rocket science... If you are there to compete, show that additional little respect to the venue and the judge and go in looking your best... A braiding set, yarn, time, and practice do not cost much money. If you are there just to school than its up to you...



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