This might be a remedial question . . . but are there any tips to help keep the tail braid tight? I pull as tight as I can, and I try to keep my hands as close to the tail as possible, but the little pieces I braid into the main braid from behind always end up loose. Any suggestions? TIA
They are not falling out. They just don't get pulled tight enough against the tailbone. Sometimes sections will look "gappy" or sag. I feel like I am doing everything I can to keep a tight grip! I have only used water to wet the tail.
Make sure you are taking even sections from the back/side but not reaching so far across the back to take from the "wrong"/other side. Be sure to pull straight across as you add into the braid and if you are dropping as you go, to keep the braid from getting too big, be sure you're not dropping the "new" hair.
^^^ What they said and: If your tail is getting gappy and loose in spots you aren't using even pressure as you braid. Try not to pull too tight. Think about using even pressure as you braid down the tail. It can be more difficult on a freshly washed tail. Try braiding a dry, unwashed tail or braid a really dirty one at home. I find that I have more grip on a dry vs. wet tail. It takes a LOT of practice to get it right.
I'm not sure if I can explain this clearly, but giving each piece an extra tug helps. Imagine you just pulled a piece of hair into the braid - pull it straight across, as others have already mentioned, rather than downwards. Now, lay the next section across it the same way. Before you reach for the third section, pick up the first again (which is now laying under the second piece) and give it a firm tug. This should tighten the hair where it wraps around the center "core" of your French braid. Hope that helps a bit and isn't too unclear...
I actually use a trick, I go about a third of the way down, then using a same color rubber band, end the braid, then use a small section of the tail start again, go 2/3 the way down and end again, then finish. One this keeps everything tight, 2 this keeps it from pulling the length of the braid, the horse finds it less irritating, and 3 I don't have to worry about "dropping" the hair sections to keep my braid from getting to thick. I then put the anchoring knots or bows where the rubber bands are located, and no one can see them. Here is a picture from practicing this spring.
The other advice you've gotten is good. I occasionally have the same issue, especially at the bottom of the tail, but the more tails I do, the better I get. Also, I use quicbraid for my tails too. It helps me get a good grip on the hair and be able to pull it tighter. Occasional spritzes of the hair in my hands and the hair on the sides of the tail work just peachy.
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