I've been researching different braiding techniques etc to figure out the best braid for my girl. She has a double mane which is apparently a breed thing, she's a haflinger. I can't decide if combing over and doing hunter braids is too much(her mane is THICK) or perhaps braid each side seperately in hunter braids? I've done a scallop braid on her but honestly don't feel like it belongs at a hunter show. Now, I'm not showing at anything rated, only schooling shows but, WWYD? I'm also considering pulling her mane but it's not "breed standard" and so many people say don't do it.
What division are you doing? I would say no to double braid (always ) . Have you tried to pull it to thin and shorten and the do a traditional hunter braid? That would be my first recommendation but if it is a "C" rated division and then you can probably just leave it alone.
You can always just pull it and try to train it to the correct side. I try pull a little of the manes a little every day so that the regrowth is staggered and the horse is used to have its mane pulled.
Last edited by sarcam02; Apr. 24, 2014 at 10:47 AM.
Reason: run on sentence
If pulling isn't an option because of the breed standard you want to keep, then I'd probably just make sure the mane was as neat as possible and leave it unbraided for schooling shows. Normally, I'm of the "If you're wearing a jacket, then your horse should be braided" camp, but I don't know I'd kill myself in this situation for a schooling show. Try the hunter braids (on one side) at home ahead of time and see if it will work. Could do you the button braids if her mane is too thick for hunter braids? Not necessarily ideal for a hunter show, but still an option.
No rated divisions, I show in anything from hunter pleasure to trail to cross rails at the moment; my mare is just learning to canter. Her mane doesn't "split" it literally grows on both sides so I'm not sure how training it all to the right side will work. I haven't attempted to thin/pull yet because I'm still so on the fence as to what to do. She won't ever show in a breed show since she isn't papered but I've never seen a true double mane until now.
Former Long Islander now in the middle of the Great Lakes
Train it to one side by braiding it down and leaving it in, wetting it each day for 3 or four days at a time then take it out , wet it down , comb it flat and use a hair product and leave the braids out for a couple days then repeat if needed or braid for the show , She will probably take a lot of braids but it can be done , however if her mane is longer than 4 or 5 inches you would have a problem, so some pulling and shortening may be needed. I would also try and find some mustache wax or dippity doo to use for the braiding day
I have pics of a Haffie who does a double mane but it is a dressage horse. Her braids look very tidy and are always done perfectly. I also have a client of mine who has a mare that I swear is part Hungarian part Shetland with bigger double mane than I have ever seen, and the owner is adamant about not pulling. I do both sides but the key is a super straight part and a super tidy even job. You should not see opposite braids from the side you are looking at.
Now, if you ever show rated, double braids and running braids are not acceptable. I mean, if you ride better than George Morris maybe but otherwise just no. Any mane, double or not, can be pulled in a tidy fashion by a pro. I have many horses I braid for hunters with double manes that are perfectly pulled to 5" or 6".
Don't pull it too much. A thick mane should always be slightly longer. No need to really train it to one side, you can if you would like. Practice Practice Practice. If you are braiding tight enough and you wet the mane (I like plain water) then you should be able to make it look neat and tidy. Simply comb it over to the right side, drench with a sponge, comb again to the right side, braid tightly straight down. You will have a lot of braids with almost no space in between. The individual braids may look larger, but should still look nice! I braided a fjord once (his mane was overgrown instead of cut in the fjord breed style). It was thick and braids were big, but it turned out just fine. Wish I had pics.
The "mane" problem () will be the forelock . Nothing you can do but braid as tight as possible and embrace the "poofy" forelock braid haha!
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
inside of a man.
-Sir Winston Churchill
I actually roached my Andalusian/TB mare this spring because I hadn't done much with it since I started breeding her and it looked horrible. I know I will have to take her to an inspection with her soon to be foal this year and would have to braid. I roached it so that I could start back training it as it was growing back in and it would be manageable by inspection time. Now that I have seen it roached I actually really like her that way. Now to wait until it grows in and shape it to see if I will actually keep it roached.
I show a long maned horse which to me means it must always be braided at shows. I'd do a french braid (not a running braid) down her neck. If you want to you can french braid it down both sides but you might try combing it to one side and doing it on one said.
Here's a quick french braid on my mare. You can see where I tied it up because I apparently didn't have any chestnut thread in my box. I find that doing the french braid and tying it up helps to keep it neat and contained.