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Yarn color for black mane ?

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  • Yarn color for black mane ?

    So I am going to suck it up this year and braid DD's pony even for our local shows...

    I have a question though about yarn color. I have always used black since she has a black mane, however, the one and only time I have splurged on a pro braider she suggested navy. Now this makes sense to me because obviously it would be easier to see - I am NOT a pro by any means and do find the black on black more difficult to work with.

    So what's your personal preference - do you use black, navy or some other color for those black manes?

    Background info - pony is a bright bay with moderate chrome including a sizeable blaze. DD wears a dark charcoal coat and charcoal GPA. (Was wondering about maybe using charcoal yarn???)

    Please help...

  • #2
    As a conservative, I would tell you to braid with black yarn. Navy would be acceptable if your daighter's coat was navy.

    I am not sure about the charcoal yarn.


    • #3
      I always use black on a black mane, why do you need to "see" the yarn? once it is braided in, it doesn't matter, you can "see" the excess hanging down to pull it thru and tie it and then you just need to snip it off, so not sure why you need to "see" it while braiding


      • #4
        Black manes are fun because you can use different colour yarns if you like. Last week I did our very-plain-dark-bay PreChildrens horse in a lovely dark slate blue I've come to like on the black manes. I have been known to use that, navy, dark burgandy (which I also love on chestnuts), dark hunter green, and even orange (Halloween!) and red/green/gold twist (Chrismas!) on bays. I also love light grey, baby pink and baby blue on greys. As long as it's subtle and doesn't scream LOOK AT MY MANE!!!!!! I think you're good to go. Especially since your horse is already flashy, you don't want to overdo it.
        ...for there are wings on these hooves, the speed and power of foam-capped waves...
        Proud member of the artists clique


        • Original Poster

          Thanks all.

          Mrsbradbury - that's what I was wondering about with the navy, thought it might look strange with the charcoal coat.

          Shawnee - I find it harder to tie up correctly and really see what I am doing. I don't know - I am definately still perfecting it and braiding at 0'dark thirty doesn't help


          • #6
            personally, i would only EVER use yarn that matched the color of the mane. but if you must use another color make sure your braids are near perfect. it's MUCH easier to see mistakes/sloppiness when you use a contrasting color.
            Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



            • #7
              I'd just Man Up and use black, especially if my braiding job was not going to be great. Very dark charcoal, however, might give you the visibility you want without creating 'highlights' of your mistakes that the judge can see.

              I don't find camouflage yarn a problem for putting braids in, but for getting out. I use a seam ripper to cut through the horizontal loops of yarn I have made over my braid's top. To avoid cutting mane-- the inherent danger in my black-on-black situation-- I make sure I am using the seam ripper in a direction parallel with the mane. That way, I cut yarn, not mane, even when I'm hot, tired, so DONE with the horse show, but not quite.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat


              • #8
                Mare's mane is black, and for most shows I use black yarn. I never have problems seeing it when it is time to cut out, and it camouflages any braiding oopses I may have. At our barn, we use matching colors for anything rated.

                I have, though, also used a deep raspberry color that was striking for some smaller shows where I wanted to be different. However, the braids have to be perfect if you use a contrasting color. Other colors - baby blue in a gray, royal blue in a chestnut or bay, lilac on the gray.

                Also, using colored yarn to learn is a good tactic - you can see what you're doing well.
                A proud friend of bar.ka.


                • #9
                  I always braid my dark bays in navy or slate blue. I would think charcoal yarn would look sharp too.
                  Can you stress-fracture your brain?


                  • #10
                    Agree that you should only use color if you are really good. Everything needs to be perfectly even with color or it will show.


                    • #11
                      Black is correct BUT a pain in the butt to see to cut out the braids


                      • #12
                        Alot of the pro braiders around where I am do use colored yarn. We had a grey pony done in baby blue and bay's black mane done in purple. It looked really sharp.
                        Eight Fences Farm. Mansfield, MA


                        • Original Poster

                          Well I think the consensus is for me to stick to black until I brush back up on my braiding a little. I'm not bad - just not pro quality. I will stick to the black for the first few shows and then maybe try the charcoal or the purple.

                          I love the idea about the purple, hadn't thought of that one. And one of DD's coats is lined in purple and she wears a light purple or white shirt with it.


                          • #14
                            A dark navy will NOT show up any different from black unless you are on top of the horse. A brighter blue will show, but not a true dark navy. It will make taking the braids out easier. Any other "contrasting" color will indeed show up and make braiding mistakes more obvious. Try it at home-- stick a couple of braids in using the dark navy and see for yourself.

                            And no, I would not be concerned about the yarn not matching the coat. When you can't tell the yarn is a different color, who gives a ----- if it matches the coat?


                            • #15
                              I agree with ImJumpin. I braid in many different colors and most people only notice if they are standing next to my horse. I don't see well and a contrasting colored yarn does make it easier to take the braids out. I have braided in a wide variety of dark colors; navy, purple, hunter green, burgundy. I have also braided in red white and blue for July 4th, and red and green for Christmas. If your braids are tidy, it all looks fine.


                              • #16
                                I NEVER use black anymore, and you can't tell navy yarn is in a mane unless you are less than 3'0 away from it. Like experienced braiders said, it's just terribly useful for old eyes to rip braids without ripping mane, that's about it.

                                Here's an incredibly close up shot of a blue yarn in a black mane - really - how obvious is it?


                                ETA add, that's not true - I DO use black yarn... on my CHESTNUT! He's got a darker mane with more livers than chestnut hairs, so again, in the interest of my old blind self, I prefer to braid him in a yarn I can SEE when it is time to remove!

                                So here's the chestnut in black yarn. Again, notice the total lack of obviousness.

                                Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                                • Original Poster

                                  WOW, how jealous am I??? DMK those are some beautiful braids!


                                  • #18
                                    aw, thanks!

                                    I like to play around with the colors on the bay horse - I have a dark green I will use when I wear my green jacket, and an incredibly vibrant royal purple that matches a few ratcatchers, although that one was a bit over the top ... but probably not more over the top than my kippy style belt, so it's all relative.

                                    I'd like to play with more colors on the chestnut because he is shaping up to have a really perfect mane to braid, but he's only two and standing on the line, and his length of neck is just good, not awesome, so I don't think I'll be using too outrageous colors that might draw attention to that fact! But when he is under saddle? His trot is fancy enough to let me put any damn color in that mane I might wish to use.
                                    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                                    • #19
                                      I used Navy in my plain dark bay. It looked good and was subtle. If your horse blends in to the crowd colored yarn can and that teeny tiny bit of "Hey, look at me"
                                      For the horse color genetics junky


                                      • #20
                                        Those eyes! A window to the soul?

                                        DMK--Love the "bedroom eyes" on your chestnut! Is he ask kind as they advertise?

                                        Sorry for the hijack. Nice braids, dig the black on blond more than navy on bay, just my stick-in-the-mud taste.

                                        But, to the OP-- Dark purple in a black mane for a purple/lavender lined charcoal jacket? I could go there! Neat idea.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat