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My first attempt at braiding!

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  • My first attempt at braiding!

    So I decided that my goal for the remainder of the summer is to learn how to do both button and hunter braids. I'm starting with the button braids. Today was my first attempt ever and I thought I'd come to you guys and get some tips. I read Robby's braiding clinic and tried to follow the instructions there. My horse's mane is a bit on the shorter side. Anyways, any tips/critiques on the final product would be much appreciated!

    Whole Neck
    I had a hard time with the spacing and keeping them a uniform size. Any tips for the middle part of the mane where it gets a little thicker?

    Close Up
    I used red string in order to see it better while practicing.

    Another View

    Alright, critique away! TIA!
    "There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse." - Robert Smith Surtees
  • Original Poster

    In case you don't have F-Book:

    Pic One

    Pic Two

    Pic Three
    "There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse." - Robert Smith Surtees


    • #3
      I think that is an A+ first attempt! Better than what you see at a lot of shows.


      • #4
        YOUR HIRED!! Nice work!
        owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.


        • #5
          First of all, I applaud you for learning new skills and practicing! I have to say that after I learned how to do sew-in button braids, I never do hunter braids anymore - they are so much harder for me and take a long time.

          As far as spacing the braids I made a spacer out of a cheap black plastic comb. I figured out a nice width for me to work with, marked that on the comb and then I pulled out the teeth of the comb with some pliers leaving the teeth I needed to make even sections.

          For the braids in the middle of the mane to look the same as the ones on the end you'll have to pull the mane in the center to thin it to match the thickness of the ends.

          My only other thought on your braids is fewer might look better on this horse since the neck looks a little long (but it's hard to tell in a cropped photo.) Fewer braids make a neck look shorter and more braids will make it look longer.

          Now for another test - did you do the French braid forelock My horse hates standing still for that one!


          • Original Poster

            Thanks everyone!

            Yes this horse does have a long neck, long and thin. Next time I will put in fewer braids. How many would you suggest? I believe I put in 17 this time. And no, I didn't attempt the French braided forelock today. I need a taller stool to stand on. He's a tall guy and I'm on the shorter side so trying to get a good angle on it today was not going to happen. :-)
            Last edited by eventingVOL; Jul. 1, 2010, 08:50 AM.
            "There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse." - Robert Smith Surtees


            • #7
              They look lovely! One trick I learned to making them all even an even size and spacing is to make sure the mane is even before you start. If its the same thickness all the way down the the neck, its wayyy easier to make the braids even. I know this isnt always possible though
              RIP Charlie and Toby


              • Original Poster

                Any tips on how to thin part of the mane without shortening it?
                "There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse." - Robert Smith Surtees


                • #9
                  Pull from underneath the right side and pull out the short hairs. So if you are normally pulling the longish hairs to shorten and thin, then take tiny sections of the shorter hairs and pull them completely out. This way there will be no short weird hairs on top of the braids. Or the easy way would be to pull it to the perfect thickness a few weeks before you need it a certain length, depending on how your horses mane grows. I love when you can pull once in the early spring and then just do touch ups! Especially if that first awful pulling happens to fall right while they are getting their teeth done and tranqs happen
                  RIP Charlie and Toby


                  • #10

                    I really think you did a bang-up job!

                    I had a little fun with PhotoShop.

                    Also, for pulling, here's something I began doing about 5 years ago and it's made a huge huge huge difference for consistent thinning. I only grab about 20 hairs, full length, push back once, then pull up, about 45 degrees from the neck. Once I am consistently thin, I almost never have to back-comb to shorten but, when I do, I keep that to a minimum to avoid inconsistency at the bottom of the braid. I don't sew-up the switch at the end of the braid when I pull through, so need to be more precise with mane length.

                    Also, as you practice your yarn "hunter" braids do note you won't have the option of catching the stray wisps at the bottom before you pull through, so as uniformly long/thin as possible is the fast-track to good-looking braids!
                    When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.


                    • #11
                      Braiding tips - P.Dutton Eventing Camp

                      Just posted some braiding/grooming tips videos from this week's Phillip Dutton's Eventing Camp: http://www.ecogold.ca/videos-and-blog/-11115.html
                      www.horsejunkiesunited.com - The Blog for & by Amateur Riders


                      • #12

                        That's really interesting and a great way to combine efficient methods. I have always thought braiding in yarn and tying off the knot (for hunter braids) is easier than sewing in the thread though, of course, I use thread and, certainly, it isn't difficult. But the yarn/knot at end is easier. I'll have to try this method and see if I like it!
                        When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.


                        • #13
                          it looks like you need more practice, and I humbly will allow you to practice on my horse before shows

                          Just kidding, they look great!