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Braiding forelocks

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  • Braiding forelocks

    I'd like to get better at braiding my pony's forelock, it always looks like I taped a sausage to her face. Does anyone have any tips or tutorials?

  • #2
    lol...great visual!
    Do you start with a french braid?
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"


    • #3
      Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
      I'd like to get better at braiding my pony's forelock, it always looks like I taped a sausage to her face. Does anyone have any tips or tutorials?

      You know, I never got to finish the power Point I was doing for braiding, sorry! that would have been a help

      On Youtube, Johnthebraider does an excellent forelock, FYI.

      • Dampen and brush out
      • Start with a small section at the top, I use a comb so I get just the right amount.
      • Section in three.
      • Braid down like you do the tail, very small side pieces only.
      • After incorporating sides, braid down all the way to the end, I put in my yarn a few twists above the end.
      • Tie off.
      • Pull the tail through back up to the top (I pull through in two steps, first I go down through the side middle and pull the tail up there, then from the top middle and pull it up through there. This eliminates having to scrunch the braid trying to fit the pull through all the way down your pretty braided forelock).
      • You may need to wind the tail down and up a few times for an extra long forelock.
      • When back at the top and only yarn is showing, pull one strand to the opposite side and tie off. Snip close.
      • Done


      • #4
        I braid mine initially similarly to the above poster, but finish braiding and pull it up differently.
        -Braid down in a French braid, taking small side pieces. The middle of the forelock doesn't get picked up until you're at the bottom; it just lies flat and smooth under the French braid on the way down.
        -Add in your yarn a few twists into the "tail" of the braid, after you've finished French braiding.
        -Braid down only as far as the length of what you can pull back up under the French braid. You don't want to create a wad of braid under your French braid, or to have a big long loop hanging out the bottom!
        -You will likely have hair unbraided after you reach the desired length. That's okay. As long as your horse doesn't have a huge, long forelock, you can hide it.
        -Find yourself an extra long pullthrough if your horse has a big forelock. You can get these at most places that selling knitting and sewing supplies.
        -Stick your pull through in at the top of the braid. Catch the yarn and pull it up. Once you get the ends through at the top of the braid, hang onto them and pull the braid back down a little bit. Twist the unbraided hair around the yarn that is ready to be pulled up, then gently pull everything up into the braid.
        -Once it's pulled up, snip the yarn off at the top that is poking out.
        -Take one last piece of yarn, running it horizontally through the forelock braid, under both layers. Tie it off tightly to hold all the layers together. Snip the ends, and flatten them into the twists of the braid to hide them. (Not everyone ties off with this extra piece, but it guarantees that your braid won't fall out!)

        If you have any tufts of unbraided hair hanging out the bottom of your braid at this point, you can use your pull through, shoved up from the bottom (opposite of what you just did to pull your braid up) to bring down a loop of yarn. Catch the tufts in the loop that is hanging down through the braid, then just pull them up into the braid to hide them.


        • #5
          This has a good visual


          Forelock starts around 1:20


          • Original Poster

            Alrighty, here is what I have to work with


            and here is my first attempt


            She had a hissy fit when I tried to wet it down with a spray bottle so I'm going to have to try another method.


            • #7
              Not bad, but try to braid much, much tighter. I think a lot of your "sausage" effect is coming from the braid being too loose. If she won't let you spray it to wet it, dunk the bristles of a brush in water and just brush the dampness in. Getting it wetter will help make it tighter, for sure.


              • #8
                Good job

                The way you get it tight is to always have horizontal tension. Basically, keep pulling to the sides so it is taut, don't let any slack occur as you go down

                *edited to add-when I am in a hurry I just dunk a hand in the water bucket and smooth the forelock with that, gets it damp enough. I generally do not ever spray horses on the face with a big spray bottle.


                • #9
                  That's a good start! I'd say you need to take less hair with each pass while you're french braiding, if that makes sense. Once you hit the end of the scalp (for lack of a better word), then you can grab big chunks until you gather up all the hair.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post

                    She had a hissy fit when I tried to wet it down with a spray bottle so I'm going to have to try another method.
                    I use a large tack sponge to wet mane and forelock. No spray bottles

                    Also...make sure your hands stay close to the head as you braid. It will help as you try to keep the braid tight.


                    • #11
                      I do not take small side pieces. When I section off the hair for the french braid, I take all the forelock hair from each side. Granted, if not every bit gets in, it doesn't matter, but for the most part, all the hair goes in the braid. It looks like your technique is good, it just needs to be tighter. Wet her forelock with a sponge or wet brush. She also has a lot of forelock, so you will have a lot to pull in.

                      Try not braiding it down to the end. Braid it only as long as the french braided part. When you pull it in, catch the yarn and the leftover hair with your pull through, so the leftover hair gets pulled in as well.
                      You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.


                      • #12
                        I have one of those. Somethings that have worked for me:

                        1) braid the french braid part tighter (loose braids = bigger sausage).

                        2) don't braid the tail part all the way down. Only braid it down far enough that the tail braid is a bit shorter than the length of the french braid part (Longer tail braid = more hanging down past the french braid part and bigger sausage).

                        3) when pulling the tail part up, stick your pull through in about 3/4 (maybe a little further up if you can) of the way up the braid and as you are pulling it up through the pretty tight braid, make sure your tail is being pushed up into the braid to (I have had the tail part hang a bit down past the fold a few times if I don't). If you have a long french braid part, you often have to scrunch it up to get get the pull through all the way down from the top of the braid to the bottom in order to grab the yarn. This scrunching loosens the braid and makes it crooked = bigger sausage.

                        4) take one of the two strings and pull it up closer to the top of the braid, then tie it off.

                        5) In my case a wiggly young horse that doesn't like his forelock braided = bigger sausage


                        • #13
                          You're on the right track! There's a good set of instructions with a photo gallery in this months Practical Horseman (with Ashley Bond on the cover).
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