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trivia/history - braids?

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  • trivia/history - braids?

    When I was a kid in PC we had to learn a lot about hunting, and one of the things in the back of my head is that mares had either an odd or even number of braids, and horses had the other - and braids were numbered like 8 & 9 - none of this 40 braids per mane nonsense we do in the show world.

    but which is it? Do mares have 8 and horses have 9? - see, I'm using my ancient pony club knowledge that the word horse is to be used for male equines over the age of 4 (or 5, depending on what ancient book you read) and mare is for the females.

    Or is it 9 for girls and 8 for the boys?

    I ask because I did a hunter trials a couple of weeks ago and my mare's mane is long and shaggy and perfect for making 9 giant "old style hunter" braids. I wanted to really get it right, but couldn't remember whether she was even or odd.

  • #2
    Odd for geldings, even for mares....BUT

    Anybody know, does that include the forelock? I am guessing not.


    • #3
      I can't remember which is which either but I was taught the numbers were 12 and 13? And does that include the forelock?

      Of course I was also taught it was bad luck to count your braids, so I never really know how many I have.


      • #4
        I remember 13 for geldings and 12 for mares, not counting the forelock. I usually do 13 on my geldings, haven't braided a mare in ages.
        -Painted Wings

        Set youself apart from the crowd, ride a paint horse, you're sure to be spotted


        • #5
          I have always been told as PW stated.

          13 for geldings, 12 for mares...NOT including the forelock.

          That's the way I've always done it and won several BTO's with the method. Actually was a contributing factor to a tie breaker. The little mare in the picture in my profile has 12 in her mane (not including her forelock).


          • #6
            BHS and PC rules for plaiting hunters; an uneven number down the neck plus the forelock to make it an even number. Minimum number being six. Braiding is the term used for heavy horse manes and is generally done with raffia and ribbons or flights. http://www.edp24.co.uk/Content/Hidde...40306Braid.jpg
            ... _. ._ .._. .._


            • #7

              Anyone know why different # of braids for different sex? Or why braids were invented at all?


              • #8
                Braids are functional - keep the mane from getting tangles in fingers, reins, branches.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Seven View Post
                  Braids are functional - keep the mane from getting tangles in fingers, reins, branches.
                  As a Pony Club Of Great Britain member (eons ago) we were taught to braid an odd number irrespective of sex. The forelock braid was added in after to make it an even number.
                  Maybe I missed class when they were determing the numbers for mares and geldings!!


                  • #10
                    The odd even thing is probably just an American thing and has no basis in traditional turnout.
                    ... _. ._ .._. .._


                    • #11
                      We plait to remind us how our old fingers get stiff in the AM's trying to fix a damp mane into something presentable. We braid draft horse manes to remind us how powerful they are; that one flip of the head can send us flying off the braiding bench.

                      Don't ask how I know...I've done both and it's not my favorite horse thing! You'd think I'd like it being a professional hairdresser...NOT.

                      I had 17 plaits in Buddy's mane for Opening Hunt. The base of each plait was about 1.5" wide; no wonder I ran late! His forelock is so scraggly that I couldn't do anything with it. Any ideas?
                      Barbara www.customstockties.com
                      Tulsa-QH; Schnickelfritz-Holsteiner; Atikus-Danish Warmblood; Buddy-QH/TB; Winston-Shire; Thomas-Percheron/TB; Mac-Belgian Draft, gone but never forgotten


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                        The odd even thing is probably just an American thing and has no basis in traditional turnout.
                        While it may be just an American thing, it still may be traditional to us. America's been around for just a bit now and doing our own thing, so it's okay if we have some traditions too. Especially considering how not everyone from here arrived from one place and might have added some different ideas into the mix.


                        • #13
                          There's an easier way to determine if a horse is male or female than by counting how many braids it sports on its mane.
                          Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                          Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                          -Rudyard Kipling


                          • #14
                            My understanding of braiding for hunters was to give the illusion of a topline, whereas in dressage, it was to show off the topline(hence, the difference in how the braids sit?) This might be a dated reasoning though.


                            • Original Poster

                              Thank you!

                              I figured someone would remember -

                              Next time we go out I will put in 12 braids (and I braid her forelock because she's got such a darn cute face!).

                              I do miss the mane to grab when she takes a big fence, but it can get tangled - and I'd think a lot moreso if you had a whip.

                              Since I usually event, doing the hunter trials in my coat, not my XC vest was strange, but it looked good!


                              • #16
                                I'm trying to find the reference for which the numbers I cited came from.

                                I just know this is what I was told by the lady I ride for who has been hunting for quite a number of years. I won't say how many because she'd kill me. But let's just say she's been hunting for much longer than I've been alive and I'm 24.

                                No offense to any PC rules or anything, but there are several that would NOT apply to foxhunting so...I don't know. I'm going to have to do more digging when I'm at the barn this weekend to find the turn out reference.


                                • #17
                                  Oh, and another note- Regarding really sparse forelocks. I have found that with really thin forelocks, that I immediately start braiding in the yarn at the top so that I have more to hold and braid. Usually I do a french braid in the forelock, but when they are thin, I just braid them normally, and do my usual tie up.

                                  Last year for Opening, we braided 5. We had a great system going. The lady I ride for has carpal tunnels and arthritis in her hands, so it's hard to do a lot of braiding without her hands cramping (especially in the cold). Anyways, so I braided (the worse of the evils of braiding/plaiting, whatever), and then she pulled through and tied them all. We finished all 5 horses in under 2 hours (and I'm super picky when it comes to braiding for opening!). She also makes me do the forelocks.

                                  I won't be riding for Opening this weekend, but I will hopefully try to go help and braid my horse who is going for his first Opening. He's never been braided, so hopefully he behaves himself!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Seven View Post
                                    While it may be just an American thing, it still may be traditional to us. America's been around for just a bit now and doing our own thing, so it's okay if we have some traditions too. Especially considering how not everyone from here arrived from one place and might have added some different ideas into the mix.

                                    However Fox Hunting of the kind now enjoyed here did come from only one place. To qualify as a tradition, the method would have to have been carried out as the original without change for several generations. But you're "doing your own thing"! I'm not sure about the habit of taking somebody else's traditions, changing them, and then claiming them as your own. Smells a lot like plagiarism to me!
                                    ... _. ._ .._. .._


                                    • Original Poster

                                      We learned plenty of things in pony club that had nothing to to with foxhunting, but it was part of the "curriculum", if you will, to create well-rounded horsemen, and a lot of the tradition (since PC was started in Britain) had foxhunting roots.

                                      I actually did pretty well on your trivia quiz due to my PC book work.

                                      The 'bible' was "Riding to Hounds in America". We pretty much had to memorize it.

                                      And tie stock ties - none of the pre-tied things.

                                      We did actually go hunting several times as well- there was a good relationship between the pony club and the local hunt.


                                      • #20
                                        Didn't you know that imitation is always the sincerest form of flattery, Equibrit?