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To Braid or not? Update: we braided!

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  • To Braid or not? Update: we braided!

    It’s been ages since I’ve shown. I am the proud new owner of a technical fabric show coat. Wow, the old stuffy wool is long gone! I’ve decided my breeches are all he equivalent of mom jeans. Wow, the new breeches all have pockets for phones now! LOL.

    I am thinking about taking my 4 year old to a schooling show, and doing the green as grass tests. I am not worried about competing, or obsessed with scoring well, I just want to start getting him out and about, off the farm, see how he does in the environment.

    If he had a neat tidy mane, I would probably leave it. His mane a work in progress. The top half falls to one side, the bottom half to the other. Little by little I’ve been trying to train it, but it’s being stubborn. Here’s the dilemma... at the last farm he was at, he would eat grass through the fence and rubbed a nice big chunk of mane off. It’s pretty much in the middle, right between where the mane splits directions. It’s just this hilarious goofy scraggly tuft. It’s too short to braid. Do I just braid around it? Leave it unbraided and try and hairspray it all down? Ignore it and laugh at the judges comments?

  • #2
    For a baby at a first schooling show I wouldn't worry about it. Plus you never know if you will need something to grab! 😁

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    • #3
      I would just leave unbraided for a schooling show, try to smooth out to one side best I can.
      http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

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      • #4
        Check with people who have been to that schooling show or check with the show organizer. Around here, many people don't braid at schooling shows, although some do.

        Technically you are not required to braid at any show. If you really want to braid, you can try to use bobby pins and gel to bring it under control.

        My horse rubbed the same spot out - right where the mane switched sides. I guess it is better than rubbing a patch out where it is laying neatly. Luckily I was able to put mesh up so he couldn't reach through and rub his mane, and it grew back enough to wrestle into a braid before we went to any bigger shows where braiding is pretty much expected.
        "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Highflyer View Post
          For a baby at a first schooling show I wouldn't worry about it. Plus you never know if you will need something to grab! 😁
          Good point, true! I will try and plaster it all down to one side at least!

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          • #6
            I have through-the-fence grazers too.
            Worst offender ends up with a nearly-bald middle in his otherwise luxurious, thick mane.
            The Equine Combover
            I roach & let it grow back in over Winter.

            If your baby has a nice neck, consider doing the same.
            Clippers are quickest, but I use scissors.
            Not roaching shears, just cheapass scissors.
            *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
            Steppin' Out 1988-2004
            Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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            • #7
              4 year old at a schooling show? I don't braid, and I LOVE braiding and how it looks.

              I've been hitting up the schooling shows in my area with my unbraided 4 year old and I didn't wear my coat. Not a trouble at all, no judges have cared. And the couple of biddies that scoffed at it when I could hear them from across the parking lot tittering on about it, well they can pound sand. Building good experiences for my young horse is more important to me then others thoughts!!

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              • #8
                Honestly, the only reason I would braid/get fully show dressed at a schooling show would be so I could practice my timing to make sure at a rated show I don't run out of time. Not to impress the judge (I've scribed - they really don't care) and certainly not for anyone else.
                "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

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                • #9
                  I don't braid greenies at schooling shows. I don't like to draw attention to any unsteady contact 😂

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                  • #10
                    That’s the best part of schooling shows. No braiding!

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                    • #11
                      With a chunk of mane missing, I'd just roach, personally. Braiding not necessary, just tame it as best you can.
                      Custom tack racks!
                      www.mmeqcenter.com/tacklove.html

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                      • #12
                        I guess I will be the outlier here, but I *always* braid. Why? Because I consider schooling shows to be practice for the rated ones, and I want to give my horse the full experience so he has some practice and a chance to get used to the entire process. I don't want him to get wound up just because we're now all of a sudden braiding because it's a big show.

                        For that reason, I'd braid (and not care so much if there is a rubbed spot, because I would be doing it for the horse's benefit and experience, not to impress a judge or any rail birds.)
                        **********
                        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                        -PaulaEdwina

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                        • #13
                          don't braid, just make an effort to look tidy and gleaming clean in all other aspects, and HAVE FUN.

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post
                            With a chunk of mane missing, I'd just roach, personally. Braiding not necessary, just tame it as best you can.
                            I like the idea of having something to grab 😬

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Aleuronx View Post
                              4 year old at a schooling show? I don't braid, and I LOVE braiding and how it looks.

                              I've been hitting up the schooling shows in my area with my unbraided 4 year old and I didn't wear my coat. Not a trouble at all, no judges have cared. And the couple of biddies that scoffed at it when I could hear them from across the parking lot tittering on about it, well they can pound sand. Building good experiences for my young horse is more important to me then others thoughts!!
                              I wasn’t planning on wearing a coat originally I was just going to wear a polo or my riding shirt. But I walked into the tack store and fell in love with this coat! And it was a good deal. I have it, so why not wear it? LOL

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                              • #16
                                I was in the braiding camp until you got to the rubbed out mane part. My mare did that before her first show- yeah, I tried to braid and it looked horrid, there was just no fixing it. We showed unbraided.

                                FWIW, I bought a special braiding comb that has a hair clip and spot to hold bands. With that and some quick-braid, I can toss passable braids in my mare's mane in about 10 minutes, and I'm not very practiced.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I honestly never saw a braid at the dressage schooling shows I have worked/watched at. But my experience is limited to once geo area. We tend to be laid back and people come here to these local shows for fun/experience. I think it makes it so much easier to ease into the rated shows that way.

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                                  • #18
                                    If you’re wearing a jacket, braid. If you don’t want to braid, don’t wear the jacket.
                                    Chronicles of the $700 Pony
                                    The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony
                                    www.blithetraveler.com <-- My Blog

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                                      I guess I will be the outlier here, but I *always* braid. Why? Because I consider schooling shows to be practice for the rated ones, and I want to give my horse the full experience so he has some practice and a chance to get used to the entire process. I don't want him to get wound up just because we're now all of a sudden braiding because it's a big show.

                                      For that reason, I'd braid (and not care so much if there is a rubbed spot, because I would be doing it for the horse's benefit and experience, not to impress a judge or any rail birds.)
                                      One of my childhood riding instructors (though not dressage) insisted on this and it was a very good idea. We were not only "schooling" the horse and our riding at the schooling show, but our grooming of the horse and ourselves, and figuring out the timing as well. Everything did not always go to plan but that was OK. It was "schooling" and we learned what part of our routine needed improvement.

                                      Of course the OP is not a child. Please excuse my excursion down memory lane.

                                      .I've always roached when a horse was missing a section of mane and made sure they couldn't rub it out again. If the need to grab mane is a possibility, can you use a neck strap at the lower levels?

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Nova2000 View Post

                                        I like the idea of having something to grab 😬
                                        I always leave an Oh S**t hunk right by the withers
                                        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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