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Braiding ... Yarn vs sewing

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  • Braiding ... Yarn vs sewing

    In a few weeks I am going to my first recognized HT in about 10 years. When I was competing 10 years ago, I used to do yarn braids ... but nowadays it seems like you never see them outside of the hunter ring (maybe that was the case back then, too and I just wasn't up on the current fashion, who knows!)

    So, would I look totally out of place doing yarn braids for a horse trials? Should I just suck it up and learn how to do sewn braids ... And if so, anyone good at explaining it or have a link to a tutorial? Thanks!

  • #2
    What is a yarn braid? I thought you were asking between using yarn or thread to sew braids, then realised I had no idea what you are writing about!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Do whatever you like, it doesn't really matter! I hate doing hunter/yarn braids, but I know plenty of people who prefer them.

      I actually use bands most of the time (so bad, but so much easier for one days), so I'll be the last person to judge someone's braiding choice!
      Amanda

      Comment


      • #4
        Nobody will notice or care. Do whatever you like. This is eventing!

        25 minutes with rubber bands here. My braids look super and I can pop them out by the time I've walked back to the barn after dressage.

        Sewn braids seem like a gigantic waste of time and effort to me, and by the time you snip all the threads to take them out you've butchered the horse's mane.
        Click here before you buy.

        Comment


        • #5
          I use yarn for hunter braids or knob braids, and thread for button braids. I don't think anyone really cares which type you choose. I'd just go with whatever is easier for you or looks better on the horse. If you can whip out 30-40 beautiful hunter braids, go for it!

          Comment


          • #6
            I'll join the rubber band club- so much easier! But seriously, your choice- that's the beauty of eventing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Whatever you are good at and works with your horse's mane! I learned to sew in button braids with my Cousin It horse- nothing else could contain the quantity of hair she grew. But my thinmaned tb? What a pleasant surprise that elastics work just fine!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Rubber Band Button braid camp here, Easy look great and don't take forever! And easy to remove!

                Comment


                • #9
                  How do you do decent rubber band braids? I tried once and they looked awful. I am doing a schooling dressage show tomorrow and would love to braid, since his mane looks a bit rough. Will they stay in overnight?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My rubber band braids stay in overnight all the time, but I usually will double up on the elastic then.

                    I braid three fingers wide, leave a tiny bit loose at the top, fold the end of the hair under at the end of the braid, and band. I usually fold the braid into thirds, and band in the middle of that. I get compliments all the time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm in the sew instead of rubber band or yarn camp. My yarn braids have always looked frightful and my hands are arthritic enough that managing the bands makes me cranky.

                      I can, however, with the right waxed thread, pop in sewn in braids in half an hour and with a seam ripper, can take them out with little trouble or damage.

                      So pretty much whatever works for you is my answer too!

                      libby
                      I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                      Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap

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                      • #12
                        I need to go to Braiding 101. All of my braids look horrible, lol. I actually bribed my trainer to braid for me at Galway (amazing what the promise of alcohol will do!). For time and ease, she did button braids on my guy, who's mane is way longer than it should be for braiding. He's half-Arab though, and I just refuse to let him have a short mane. It's thinned out and fairly even, but it's just so much fun having all that hair blowing in the wind on XC!

                        Anyway...back on track. My friend did yarn braids on her QH, and it took her longer, but they looked amazing. I think with Bailey's extra hair those kind of braids, whether done with yarn or somehow managed with bands, would look better.

                        So like the rest said...do what you think looks the best and can be done!
                        runnjump86 Instagram

                        Horse Junkies United guest blogger

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just do what looks good to you and your horse.

                          But I will add as a pro braider... Usually with buttons you do 10 or 12. If you are going to do hunter braids please don't do 10. Do 30. Do it right.
                          yes
                          http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_WMLJW9X6Bq...ne_braids3.jpg
                          no-way
                          http://img.ehowcdn.com/article-new/e....1-800x800.jpg

                          There are several different ways to do buttons.
                          You can use bands only
                          You can sew them in American style
                          http://s128.photobucket.com/user/xck...b2819.png.html
                          http://www.jewelbraids.com/images/chico_small.jpg
                          you can sew them in Euro style
                          http://24.media.tumblr.com/366ad6eea...c95ao1_500.jpg
                          http://pepismartdog.com/rainbowbridg.../Dressage.jpeg

                          I see this all the time.
                          oooopsies.
                          http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lt...o12_r1_250.png

                          Using bands only really only saves me 10 minutes or so.

                          American vs. Euro.
                          When we braid American style we pull the hair down as you braid.
                          To do the Euro style get a higher block to stand on and braid the hair straight UP. Then when you button it up it will have the poof--which can then be fluffed a little bit. You need a slightly longer and thicker mane. Usually only 7-10 braids total.

                          The Euro style makes the horse look rounder and gives the look of extra topline.

                          When I do buttons I band them off on the bottom to get a nice little "butt". Then I sew them up.
                          http://kaboomeventing.com/
                          http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                          Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by runNjump86 View Post
                            I need to go to Braiding 101. All of my braids look horrible, lol. I actually bribed my trainer to braid for me at Galway (amazing what the promise of alcohol will do!). For time and ease, she did button braids on my guy, who's mane is way longer than it should be for braiding. He's half-Arab though, and I just refuse to let him have a short mane. It's thinned out and fairly even, but it's just so much fun having all that hair blowing in the wind on XC!

                            Anyway...back on track. My friend did yarn braids on her QH, and it took her longer, but they looked amazing. I think with Bailey's extra hair those kind of braids, whether done with yarn or somehow managed with bands, would look better.

                            So like the rest said...do what you think looks the best and can be done!
                            I LOVE braiding longer thicker manes. The longer it is, the thicker it should be for buttons.

                            If it's really short it needs to be pretty thin.


                            Also, to measure. I use my silver pulling comb. I lay it parallel on the back side of the mane, turn the right end towards me and part. lay it parallel, turn, part. I band off each section before I braid. That way I don't need clips and hair doesn't get in my way.
                            And then I have a band for each braid as I go along.
                            http://kaboomeventing.com/
                            http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                            Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I sew my braids using waxed thread. I think it's quicker and easier than doing the h/j-style yarn braids. Yarn braids are easy to screw up and have them look awful, but it's generally pretty easy (IMO) to turn out a nice braiding job with the sewn buttons.
                              "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                I think I'll play around with trying to do buttons. My yarn hunter braids usually turned out pretty decent, but they took FOREVER to put in because I usually did about 30 of them ...if I can get good at it, putting in 10 button braids sounds like it would go a lot faster!

                                I've tried rubber bands in the past, and for some reason they have never stayed in all that well ... maybe I was doing it wrong! I need braids that can stay in overnight, though, because most of the events I will be going to will be run over 1 day, making dressage pretty early.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Rubber band braids may be "easier" but that doesn't mean you can be sloppy or do them well on a crappy mane if you want them to look nice.

                                  You have to PRACTICE braiding. Yes, it's a simple thing to do, but you have to develop a feel of how tight to braid, and to braid DOWN and not simply make a braid that sticks straight out or up. The mane has to be reasonably thin and uniform, not too long or too short, and without a lot of short pieces to stick out everywhere. This is true for all braids, of course!

                                  The biggest challenge is keeping the mane at a consistent thickness and length, and that requires frequent, short pulling sessions. But the beauty of rubber band braids is you never damage the hair and the mane doesn't wind up looking like a mess by the end of show season. It does, however, need looking after. Being a "rubber band braider" does not give one a pass on pulling and thinning! Unless you want antlers instead of braids.

                                  I rarely or never leave braids in overnight--they always are much worse for the wear and it encourages the horse to rub its mane. If I am in a desperate hurry I can just put in 12-14 braids in about 20 minutes, and they still look better than the 18-20 I normally put in would if I left them overnight. It takes my horse about 15 minutes to eat his grain, so that's when I braid if I have a super-early dressage time.
                                  Click here before you buy.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by purplnurpl View Post
                                    Just do what looks good to you and your horse.

                                    But I will add as a pro braider... Usually with buttons you do 10 or 12. If you are going to do hunter braids please don't do 10. Do 30. Do it right.
                                    yes
                                    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_WMLJW9X6Bq...ne_braids3.jpg
                                    no-way
                                    http://img.ehowcdn.com/article-new/e....1-800x800.jpg
                                    If I wanted to try the hunter style braids (just say, you know because one day I had much more time on my hands than usual), how do you finish? I can tell they are much narrower than buttons. What length is the ideal length? Sew the bottom, then what? - to get the look of that chesnut?

                                    I've never seen braids like that on a horse here, so it would certainly be noticed. It needs to be noticed because people like it and now because they're OMG!!!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      American vs. Euro.
                                      When we braid American style we pull the hair down as you braid.
                                      To do the Euro style get a higher block to stand on and braid the hair straight UP. Then when you button it up it will have the poof--which can then be fluffed a little bit. You need a slightly longer and thicker mane. Usually only 7-10 braids total.

                                      The Euro style makes the horse look rounder and gives the look of extra topline.
                                      I need to play with the Euro style a bit, then! Maybe the DQ judges will mistake Toby for a little WB with all his new fancy pants movement we've found if I braid him like that!
                                      Amanda

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by phoebetrainer View Post
                                        If I wanted to try the hunter style braids (just say, you know because one day I had much more time on my hands than usual), how do you finish? I can tell they are much narrower than buttons. What length is the ideal length? Sew the bottom, then what? - to get the look of that chesnut?

                                        I've never seen braids like that on a horse here, so it would certainly be noticed. It needs to be noticed because people like it and now because they're OMG!!!
                                        I'm not great at hunter braids and do them so very rarely that I always to refresh my memory before starting, but you use yarn instead of good waxed thread. They start off about the same, but instead of "buttoning" them up, you fold them once, passing the yarn underneath. You then tie them down, maybe about a quarter of inch down from the crest, and you give it a little bump at the top. I like a mane about 4 or 5 inches for them, and you have to be much more exact with how much in each braid (and a lot less, obviously). SO time consuming.

                                        There's lots of great videos on youtube if you're really interested, though. A good hunter braided neck looks great, for sure. I still like buttons the best.
                                        Amanda

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