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To braid or not to braid-that is the question

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  • To braid or not to braid-that is the question

    I'm posting this here instead of the H/J forum in hopes that someone here is more likely to "go both ways" so to speak.

    I'm showing next month in a large local show, put on by county 4-H. It's a one day show, with English classes in the morning and western in the afternoon. My whole barn is going, and so I decided to do both pleasure divisions, so my horse doesn't get bored standing at the trailer all afternoon.

    My question is-do I braid? I ALWAYS braid normally, even for this small level of show, out of respect to my horse and the judge. It also counts in English showmanship. The lunch break will be long enough to unbraid if I'm fast, but not enough time to band, and that leaves me with Western showmanship right after lunch and a curly mane.

    So...do I:

    A. Not braid or band at all ( I cringe at this one)
    B. Braid and leave them in for the Western classes, thereby looking stupid in Western)
    C. Band for both divisions (thereby looking stupid in English), or
    D. Unbraid and wet the heck out of his mane at lunch and hope to make up points elsewhere in the western classes?

    I've never shown both before. So-what do I do?

  • #2
    I think at the 4H level they will understand, and you won't be the only one in multiple disciplines/divisions. I would go unbraided in the AM for the English classes and badn over lunch so you're ready in the Western classes in the afternoon. Good luck.
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


    • #3
      I would braid. To get rid of the curlys, wet the braids and then take them out and comb through. No more curly's and the judge will appreciate the effort.
      Eight Fences Farm. Mansfield, MA


      • #4
        Also, why couldn't you band the wet mane and be set for the western divisions too?
        Eight Fences Farm. Mansfield, MA


        • #5
          If you want to braid, I'd do button braids vs. hunter braids. Since there are less of them you won't totally kink the hair.

          And if you did them with rubber bands you can braid in about 20 minutes.

          Then remove, wet down and band for Western.
          Last edited by Leather; Sep. 11, 2009, 01:18 PM.


          • #6
            If it is an open show with Western and English classes (which is what you described) banding for both is perfectly acceptable and normal at least in my area and that is what most people here do. Braiding at shows with both English and Western is pretty much unheard of here.
            Last edited by myvanya; Sep. 11, 2009, 01:13 PM. Reason: typo
            My blog:



            • #7
              When I showed QH we did halter in the morning=no braiding; then English events=braiding; then finished the day with Western=no braiding.

              What I did was band the mane over for the halter. Then I would braid two bands together for the English events. Then take out the braids but leave the bands for the Western events. The braids came out easy and flattened out with some water. The bands kept the mane looking neat.

              Sounds like a fun show. Good luck.


              • #8
                Originally posted by myvanya View Post
                If it is an open show with Western and English classes (which is what you described) banding for both is perfectly acceptable and normal at least in my area and that is what most people here do. Braiding at shows with both English and Western is pretty much unheard of here.
                This is what is typically done around here as well.
                If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                ~ Maya Angelou


                • #9
                  I went to a show like that last weekend and nobody braided or banded unless they were in halter before the riding classes and then left the bands in. I only did halter and western so braided (french cuz of a long mane that I refuse to chop off) for halter and then went curly for riding. I thought it looked cute on him.

                  We have a couple english riders in our 4-H club and neither of them braid (they're sisters) their horses for any classes. They're not lazy either, am thinking they maybe don't know how? I should ask them at the next meeting.

                  Have fun at the show.
                  A Merrick N Dream Farm
                  Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by myvanya View Post
                    If it is an open show with Western and English classes (which is what you described) banding for both is perfectly acceptable and normal at least in my area and that is what most people here do. Braiding at shows with both English and Western is pretty much unheard of here.
                    Lapeer ... a small drinking town with a farming problem.
                    Proud Closet Canterer!


                    • #11
                      Band, but leave the ends tucked up/under. From a distance, it'll look like braids, and all you have to do for your afternoon classes is pull the ends through.
                      Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                      • #12
                        No braids at the last 4-H show I went to, FWIW. Can you call the show organizers and ask what the normal protocol is for their show?


                        • #13
                          Well I am going to say the opposite as everyone else, LOL.

                          I just went to a four day weekend of open shows and I saw quite a few horses that had hunter braids in for the entire weekend and they were shown both hunt and western and even in showmanship.

                          But 95% of the time the riders I see showing their horses both hunt and western usually just band the mane.

                          It would like nice if you do either banding or braiding, I would not go in without one or the other.


                          • #14
                            I have a similiar question - haven't shown much in over 20 years, but want to take my Sunkissed Acres pony, Bonnie to the Sunkissed Acres Charity Show that our group is putting on.

                            Pony is an english pony - lol..could also be a western pony as she is just built that way, but plan on putting her in pony halter. She's a baby, only 2.5 years old, so no riding classes.

                            Can I show in an english bridle (she carries an english bridle already) or do I have to show in a halter? Also even though it is a small show, I planned to do button braids or braids of some sort.. what type? and is that acceptable in a local show? Edited to add: I don't know the difference in hunter braids and dressage braids, pony is being trained for dressage..I had planned to sew the braids in.


                            • #15
                              If the horse is a better Hunter you braid, if better Western you band. Most people that show both band since it is easier and why not make a day at the show a bit easier.

                              sidepasser, if the class is generic "halter" i would do which ever you perfer but usually at open shows there will be more western halter people. if its Western halter then a halter if its English halter then a bridle

                              now if its a 4-H show that is for 4Hers only if you braid the mane the forelock and tail must be braided as well, if is a 4-H sponsered show but open to all then you can braid just the mane and forelock.