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Braiding on a freezing cold morning

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  • Braiding on a freezing cold morning

    This weekend our hunt is having a joint meet, and our Master said that braiding is mandatory. Since MrRt66Kix and I are sponsoring the Stirrup Cup, we have to be up extra early to get it and the tidbits ready. Even more early now, since I have to braid. It should be in the 20's at that time of the morning.

    I know I have to dampen Buddy's mane to get it into braids, but how do I keep my fingers from going numb? Opening Hunt I couldn't even get dressed since my hands had no feeling.

    Hiring someone is not an option at this point. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    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

  • #2
    I braid the night before.

    Some people braid but leave the braids down and just roll them up that am - in case a horse messes up a braid.

    Otherwise - the only thing I can think of to help you would be hand warmers you can put in your pockets for a quick warm up - and/or having a dish of hot water you can soak your hands in when they get too cold.

    I used to roach my horses mane - oh that was a great time saver, let me tell you. And very traditional - no matter what the turnout experts tell you.

    Another thing you could do is spray with quikbraid or hair spray instead of using water - then wait a bit until the hair is dry - and then braid it.

    I guess you're driving, right? So you can't have any nips of Save the Baby to keep you warm....
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling


    • #3
      I would do like JSwan says and braid the night before. You have enough to do in the morning without the aggravation of braiding. I second the roaching. I have a draft cross with the thickest most unruly mane. After years of crappy looking braids I roached the thing. He looks great and got lots of compliments at opening meet.
      Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


      • #4
        Yes, braid the night before. Yes, use hair spray instead of water. And consider using disposable latex gloves, perhaps with a thin glove liner underneath for warmth. Yes, roach instead, it looks very cool.

        It's been a while since I braided, but when last I did, I put one of those sleazy sleepwear thingies on overnight- the horse was out with others- and that protected things very well.


        • #5
          I love you people. The princesses on the h/j forum have been flaying me for roaching Junior's mane. I did it because he has the dreaded double draft cross mane and refused to allow me to pull it or damn near even comb it out. And I hate to braid. Especially when it's cold. I will confess to having some "aw ****" moments when I first realized what a tendency I had to grab a fistful over fences though...


          • #6
            Are you kidding? Roaching does have its drawbacks - but even show hunters can have roached manes.

            Just tell the princesses to piss up a rope.

            The Baby Horse has the horrible double draft mane - I let my other horse grow his out but that young horse is a giant hairball and when the time comes - I may opt for a jesus strap and a roached mane. He needs all the beauty treatment I can give him. I don't even want to think about braiding that mane.

            Oh - when making the decision to roach a mane, beer and a group of friends egging you on helps immensely.
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling


            • #7
              Actually, after much discussion (where the princesses were sure I'd be drummed out of the club) I, (she who actually has hunted well) was trying in vain to prep him for a show. As I was doing his bridle path, my husband chose the exact moment when I was at the end of (or what should have been the end) the clipped portion, which caused Junior to turn his head. Fast. I have very, very good, sharp clippers, and his bridle path, was now a super highway about a foot long. My first reaction was s**t. My second was perhaps it was the sign I was looking for. (truth be told, it wasn't going to take much or a sign) Off it came in whacking big, glorious chestnut hunks. He stood like a statue, even bringing his head down, as the haffie does when I give him his summer buzz. I did leave his forelock (helps to keep the flies off in summer) and I wasn't sure what to do with the world's best tail, do I braid or pull and bang? But I finished up his face and fetlocks and gave him a super bath. My neighbor, Rita, who is a superhorsewoman, and turn out nazi, had placed a horrified expresion on her face every time I threatened to roach him. She looked, smiled and said it made him look "noble", fit to be a master's horse in the finest hunt. Good enough for me. Since I havent' been to a rated show since, I'm still not quite sure what to do with his tail, he has gorgeous hindquarters, and his tail drags the ground when it's combed out, I think it would look good either way, so I'm open for suggestions. It really did cause me to wonder over the first couple of "holy cow" fences, but he's got a big long neck that he sticks out there, wears a breastplate and I can still make a bridge with the best of them. If those things fail, and God is busy, well, I'm coming off anyway, humility is a good thing.


              • #8

                I love your attitude!!!
                Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                -Rudyard Kipling


                • #9

                  So, now I'm wondering how my Perchx, who could pass as a Friesian, would look with her mane roached....hmmm...but then, she's an unbroke 3 year old so maybe leave some mane for a handhold in case of 3 year old hissy fits.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 3dogfarm View Post
                    So, now I'm wondering how my Perchx, who could pass as a Friesian, would look with her mane roached....hmmm...but then, she's an unbroke 3 year old so maybe leave some mane for a handhold in case of 3 year old hissy fits.
                    Clyde cross with typical draftie mane before: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/29136...15305252odzMNv - Looks nice, but I hadn't pulled it. It's a double mane...trust me

                    Thennnnn the farm owner's goats ate it, so I roached it. It's stayed that way since ...since she has such a nice neck.

                    After: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/26798...15305252cvMRHj - and as you can see, I left a OH CRAP handful.


                    Barb dear, do it the night before
                    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                    • #11

                      I like the idea of an OH CRAP handful. When I was in college mannnny years ago, one of the instructors said when doing a hunter pace on a hellish pony, she would close her eyes and say The Lords Prayer as hellish pony approached a jump. Not sure if each team carried a flask or not, but those were the days when the drinking age was under 21.


                      • #12
                        On my first hunt with the "big horse", who had only been backed about 15 times total, to keep him focused on me, I sang. Now here's the story, I forgot it was a JUNIOR hunt. It was a glorious day and everyone who could throw a saddle on something with 4 legs was there, about 80 people including all four MFHs. This will be important later on. We arrive, tack up and decide there is NO WAY I'm gonna be able to keep the big guy from causing chaos in the field BEHIND all the juniors on their whirling wild eyed dervishes. So my good buddy and former MFH says "I'm whipping in, just stick with me". Perfect, I'm saved. Except that before we even get up to the kennels, she realized she left her radio back at the barn. So we have to go back to get it. Which involves reversing and riding back through the ENTIRE FIELD! On a nearly unbroken 4 yr old draft cross with moves like Nuryev. He was not having it. So I riffed him with the end of my reins, growled at him like my Irish grandpa and drilled him with my heels. Lets just say the next 4 seconds were worthy of the PBR, but rinse and repeat and the big guy said "oh, I get it, follow the crazy lady in the red coat, I'm on it". Mortified, I slunk through the field as quickly as possible with what little dignity I had left. My buddy was laughing and I said "oh fine, I can only wonder what they're all thinking now". She made my day when she said "what they're thinking now is that they wished they rode that well". We had a glorious run and the big horse was a perfect gentleman the rest of the day. I had however after the next couple of hunts, a terrible time getting him to load, then it occurred to me. Every time I made Junior get in the little metal box, he had to work his ass off, and being somewhat of a lazy sod, he quickly connected trailer ride with work. So I had to just take him to shows, on a non show day, where he got to get in his snuggly stall and just eat. Then after the show he knew he would get to go home, and, eat (there is a pattern here), so no more trailer issues. Yet.


                        • #13
                          Songlist for hunts or shows as follows.
                          Oh it's a beautiful morning.
                          Swing low sweet chariot.
                          One toke over the line.


                          • #14
                            Great story.

                            I agree that the singing is good - especially if the alternative is screaming.

                            Oh - I roached the baby's mane off this afternoon. I just couldn't take it anymore. I have a jesus strap somewhere and will have to dig it out now that I have nothing to hold on to.

                            But - at least I won't have to braid.
                            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                            -Rudyard Kipling


                            • #15
                              Quick Braid and a Sleezy are your friend for braiding the night before.

                              Good luck!


                              • #16

                                I wonder if the TB mare would disown me for roaching her this coming summer.... hmmm... probably.
                                If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.


                                • #17

                                  Just tell her she's going to be a polo pony this summer and the roached look is veerrrry fashionable.

                                  With TB's, you have to appeal to their vanity.

                                  I'm afraid to look at the Baby horse in the light of day - I roached his mane in dim light while he was trying to eat his hay cube mash.
                                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                  -Rudyard Kipling


                                  • #18
                                    question for ya!

                                    Question for the braiding guru's/fashion police. For this kind of mane; wouldn't a one continuous braid from poll down work? Like a french braid? Like the forelock is done but all the way down their neck? Not like the arabians kind that hangs down some but right up against the base of their manes? I've also thought those nobby, large, balled up kinds of braids look good on draft cross necks. Now if I only knew how to DO them!!

                                    My one baby rubs her thick mane off every summer from midges so she spends the winter with the regrowth standing straight up. Talk about something that makes her neck look thicker!! I just even up the longer hairs and go with it. Other one rubbed about 3/4 of it off but it just looks like I did a bad job of pulling it.

                                    Sometimes ya just gotta go with it!! And me loves her "Jesus" strap. (stirrup leather) Never trail ride or hunt without one. Used them for amazing things. Sissy strap/ jesus strap....any other fun names for them anyone??!!!


                                    • #19
                                      I breed my own hunt horses and strive for thin manes and short necks. I did get one with a thick mane. I was very close to just roaching it but sold him instead. If I'd have kept him it would have been roached. There was no amount of cutting/pulling that would ever made it look decent.
                                      -Painted Wings

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


                                      • #20
                                        Perch X mane

                                        My husband's big PerchX gelding has a wicked double draft mane. I braided it for the blessing (hubby can't do it). We talked about roaching it and I think we will before another hunt requiring braids. My mare (his sister) has a nice mane that is easy to braid and keep just right with a little pulling. Isn't it funny that a husband and wife are riding a brother and sister?