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To Braid or not? Update: we braided!

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  • #21
    I love a good show turn out. I have braided for schooling shows for two reasons:
    to get my hands back in to the game and to see how my horses responded to having and working in braids.

    I have to agree If you are going full dress the unbraided feels a bit off. Some schooling shows insist on dress others are casual. Braiding is an option at USEF shows, but it would be unconventional to go that way

    I would probably braid and gel the scragglers into place. You might want to practice braiding and working him while braided
    _\\]
    -- * > hoopoe
    Procrastinate NOW
    Introverted Since 1957

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    • #22
      I don’t braid or wear a jacket at schooling shows... but I have seen both done, together and separately. Do what makes you feel most relaxed. If you don’t braid at least make baby presentable with a evenly short mane. The growing out rubbed spot can be wet down and allowed to dry with a towel over the neck to encourage FLAT hair. You can try this every day at home before the show. As much as I like the idea of just roaching the thing and starting from scratch I am not that brave. If you need an ‘oops’ hand hold consider a grab strap on the front of the saddle. They work well and then you won’t worry about coming away with a handful of mane in an awkward moment.

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      • #23
        Fwiw I am currently showing recognized (2nd level) with a short mohawk (not a true roach) and I have gotten compliments at every show I’ve attended. Suits the horse, who is beefy and has a great neck and a lot of personality, and suits his mane, which is ridiculously thick and hard to tame.
        The big man -- my lost prince

        The little brother, now my main man

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        • #24
          There is absolutely nothing in the rules that says you are required to braid. My horse HATES having his mane messed with. This is why he usually sports an awesome mohawk. Plus, it really does look super cute on him! Right now, his mane has grown out a bit. Maybe I'll try practicing braids on him just to see if he's gotten more tolerant with age. If not, I'll just chop it off again, because why make the whole show experience more stressful than it needs to be?
          In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.

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          • Original Poster

            #25
            Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post

            I always leave an Oh S**t hunk right by the withers
            I like this idea!

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              Originally posted by see u at x View Post
              There is absolutely nothing in the rules that says you are required to braid. My horse HATES having his mane messed with. This is why he usually sports an awesome mohawk. Plus, it really does look super cute on him! Right now, his mane has grown out a bit. Maybe I'll try practicing braids on him just to see if he's gotten more tolerant with age. If not, I'll just chop it off again, because why make the whole show experience more stressful than it needs to be?
              I am a fan of the mohawk look, my guy isn’t beefy, but he does have a lovely neck. Now you have me tempted! And with the suggestion above of leaving a hunk to grab by the withers....

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              • #27
                Originally posted by asterix View Post
                Fwiw I am currently showing recognized (2nd level) with a short mohawk (not a true roach) and I have gotten compliments at every show I’ve attended. Suits the horse, who is beefy and has a great neck and a lot of personality, and suits his mane, which is ridiculously thick and hard to tame.
                We talked a couple weeks ago at a show... and YES, your horse does look “super tough” with his Mohawk. It really suits him.

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                • #28
                  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.)
                  this. exactly.

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                  • #29
                    I'm also in the always braid camp. Sometimes I try to convince myself not to be, but I cave each time.

                    My mare also has an almost bald spot from sticking her head through the fence. What I did last time was gather up a couple straggler hairs, wrap a rubber band around them as many times as possible, and then fold over the rubber band and band that. I try to do cobra-style braids so while we weren't going to win any braiding awards, it looked reasonably okay from a distance.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #30
                      What I think I’ll do is braid him sometime this week for practice at home, and see how it goes, and how it looks with the hole. He’s weird about things touching him, so I’m curious to see how he will do with braids. I can’t have any straps not in their keepers. If a strap comes loose and is flapping from his side reins or from a breast plate and rubs him, it’s quite the ordeal for him. I’m still wavering between braiding, nothing, and roaching. But if braids would be a disaster, better to know ahead of time I guess!

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                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        His scraggly tuft has grown enough that I could manage an awkward couple of braids there. So I opened my pack of rubber bands. NEW rubber bands that I bought. They must have been at the tack store for years. I was going to do some practice braids. Out of about 500 rubber bands, there were maybe four that didn’t break as I started to stretch them. I may have let a few curse words slip. 😬. Back to the shop tomorrow to get a new pack. I have a little over a week to go! Still haven’t decided which way it will end up going.....

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                        • #32
                          I'm not a good braider and can only do sew-in braids. On my TB it wasn't a problem because his mane was manageable. My pony, OTOH, has a POOFY mane that I couldn't thin enough and it falls on both sides. The morning of our first schooling show this year I roached that sucker and haven't looked back. It suits her neck nicely and we are always ready for a show !!

                          I vote roach it!
                          "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

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                          • #33
                            Decades ago, as a hunter rider, a friend had a horse rub out part of the mane... with the stragglers and some added yarn plus gel a ‘fake braid’ was added in.

                            I used to add two strands of yarn to my horses rather thin forelock. This past weekend there were so many bugs we went with a ear bonnet, no braid under it. Which was fine as that is the only braid my horse doesn’t stand quietly for (and I hate to have to discipline her just for braiding).

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                            • #34
                              Sympathy for the broken rubber bands. Gaaah!

                              Since this is a first show, you aren't concerned with placements, etc., and you mostly just want a good initial outing - if it were me, I'd be inclined to set priorities. Struggling with braids at a schooling show would not be one of them. There's so much else to focus on to make the day go well and set up for future successes. Good luck on all of it!

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                              • #35
                                Idk if you’d want to do this at a show, but for mane training I like to band it over to the desired side like western people do. So it’s a row of flat little ponytails, not braids. Then if they rub they’ll maybe pop a band, but they won’t rip a whole braid out. It also leaves plenty to grab while riding. Plus it’s enough like braiding that when I DO braid for a show they know how to hold still so I can get it done.

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                                • #36
                                  You can buy fake braids ...... Just saying! Check out Horse Hair Extensions. My daughter's first pony was a POA with very wispy mane and tail. I wanted to develope a set of velcro braids for shows.

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #37
                                    So at the last minute I decided on a H/J show instead, it was only 15 minutes down the road from where we board. I’ve been practicing braiding every day a little bit. So we got to the show, and started getting ready only to find out they hAd changed the schedule and we’re starting an hour early to accommodate for the rain. It became a little bit of a mad scramble to warm up and finish braiding but we pulled it off! And for a barely broke 4 year old at his first schooling show, i couldn’t have asked for much of a better day from him! And considering it’s been over 13 years since I last braided for a show I was really quite proud of myself LOL

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                                    • #38
                                      Well done both of you!

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                                      • #39
                                        Well done on your show!

                                        I'm not sure if you can get them in the US but there's a brilliant thing called Quick Knot available here in Australia. It gives you the look of sewn plaits without the hassle of sewing. They are brilliant and cut plaiting time down to about 10 minutes.

                                        https://www.saddleworlddural.com.au/...ot-100-pieces/
                                        Not my circus, not my monkeys!

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                                        • Original Poster

                                          #40
                                          Originally posted by BrokenArrow View Post
                                          Well done on your show!

                                          I'm not sure if you can get them in the US but there's a brilliant thing called Quick Knot available here in Australia. It gives you the look of sewn plaits without the hassle of sewing. They are brilliant and cut plaiting time down to about 10 minutes.

                                          https://www.saddleworlddural.com.au/...ot-100-pieces/
                                          Oh that looks easy! I just checked and they are available here. Are they reusable?

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