I plan to show my new horse in training level shows next year. It's been years and years since I've shown in any capacity and I'm totally out of the loop. My horse has a long, gorgeous mane. I am sick at the thought of pulling/thinning/shortening in order to make nice, neat braids for the show ring. Is it considered improper to do a single long, tight braid along the neck? I'm not going to be at any fancy shows, but I also want to make the right impression in the ring!
I've never seen a horse with a braided tail in the dressage ring. Some people believe it can make the horse hold its tail stiffly. Most people bang the bottom and thin the top because they think it makes the horse's butt look bigger.
I don't show but I bang Sophie's tail a couple of inches above the ground and leave the dock alone. She doesn't need help making her butt look bigger!
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Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
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Thanks! I am much relieved! A similar question: what about tails? Are the 2 options either braided or banged? Is it a faux pas to leave the tail completely natural?
I don't think there's any rule on this. You do not have to bang the tail, or braid it. You can pull or shave the sides of the dock, or not. I don't think I've ever seen a dressage horse with a tail so long it drags on the ground, though. And not that many get braided.
I usually bang my mare's tail a week or so before a show, just enough to get rid of the scraggly ends. Her tail then ends at fetlock length or a few inches above.
I understood that tail braiding was not allowed? I love the running braid, I can braid my Arab in about 2 minutes flat, it still takes me forever to braid my Appy, I threaten every show weekend just to roach him
I'm not sure if I grew out of stupid or ran out of brave.
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I showed this year with a roached mane, so I don't think it matters what you do as long as it's tidy.
If you can, learn to do a draft horse "mane roll". It's like a braid but you also weave 2 pieces of ribbon or other material (for dressage, you'd want it to match your horse's mane) into their mane. It works really nicely for longer manes (still need to be thinned a bit as uber thick doesn't work as great) and stays in WAY better than a running braid does. I learned to do it by watching a youtube video (was asked to braid the draft horses in a friend's wedding). It looks really sharp.
I also never braided the tail when I did dressage but I did try to wrap it the night before so it stayed down and looked tidy. Some water & hair gel helps that too.
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You can just braid the forelock or double it up. Don't braid the tail -- I've scribed with several dressage judges and it definitely can make the horse look stiffer through the back than he actually is.
Don't braid the tail. You can leave it totally natural as long as it doesn't interfere, i.e. drag on the ground. You wouldn't want your horse to step on it in the rein back.
Mine get banged at the bottom of the fetlock, and left natural at the top. Some people bang higher, and pull or shave the top.
Sadly, I've seen people show horses in the Arabian Show Hack and saddle seat classes with tails that drag on the ground. Makes me wince everytime they call for a reinback and hairs are left on the arena ground. Ick.