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Braiding for races

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  • Braiding for races

    OK Total noob question... well maybe not noob, just a fan.

    Anyway, I sometimes see racehorses braided for races.

    Sometimes it looks like they braided the whole mane and then just before the race unbraided part of the mane.

    Can someone please explain why?

    I promise, it is just a curiosity question!

    I love how horses look braided for a "performance" whether it is a show, a exhibition or a race. Just makes the whole picture look grand!

    oh.. while I am on the subject of braiding... what is the best thing to hold a mud knot, for schooling, together?

    Thanks again to all who contribute to the wisdom of COTHF!
    "I am a sand dancer... just here for the jumps!" - Schrammo
    http://atoxcequestrian.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/127749947563045/

  • #2
    So the jockey can 'grab mane' out of the gate.
    * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.

    Comment


    • #3
      The jockey usually pulls out the lower braids so they have something to grab.
      "No, not anything goes, I said no rules!"

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        I figured that was the reason.
        I have tried to grab a braiad when I've missed a distance at a show. No fun!

        But, then, why braid at all?
        "I am a sand dancer... just here for the jumps!" - Schrammo
        http://atoxcequestrian.com/
        https://www.facebook.com/groups/127749947563045/

        Comment


        • #5
          Some tracks give cash awards for the best turned out horse.
          In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?

          Comment


          • #6
            Also is traditional in England.

            Comment


            • #7
              Because it looks classy. Even if just for the walk over and in the paddock, it's classy IMO. Some barns simply braid five braids from to top of the neck down, that way the jockey won't have to pull them out. Some jockeys pull then all out, some just a few.

              I'm of no help on the mud knot but I am curious! I can't do one to save my soul.
              Last edited by Angelico; Mar. 1, 2013, 12:57 PM. Reason: Spelling.. Ugh

              "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester

              Comment


              • #8
                Just to add that all braids are done in rubber bands! As far as the mud knot, used on muddy days. They can be done with or without tape by winding the end pieces around each other on the tail bone. Some people braid the tail first (not like a hunter tail) and others just do a simple tie (like tying your shoe) and wrap the tail up and around itself. I've also seen vetwrap used, which IMO is tacky!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Mine don't always stay up, but I was taught:
                  Split the tail in half at the end of the bone.
                  Cross the two lengths as if you are going to tie a shoelace.
                  Keep criss-crossing these snugly above the `tie` until you have a compact know. Either braid and tuck in or tape the end.
                  Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
                  Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
                  http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/

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                  • #10
                    That's how I was taught to do a mud knot. I ususally run a piece of vet wrap around the end piece to keep it secure. On a black tail with black vet wrap it's hardly noticed but the chestnut is a little harder to find the perfect color.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I sent a horse to the track in a mud knot in the morning once. He starts out at a trot and it broken legged lame. Rider hops off and I run out to the track and can't find anything wrong. Bring him back to the stall and untack and take his tail down and wait for the vet. The vet comes and he jogs 100% sound. Put his tail back in the mud know and he jogs off broken legged again! Never put another mud tail in ever, I just rinsed the tail out and was done with it. Thank God it was in the morning and not in a race.
                      McDowell Racing Stables

                      Home Away From Home

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I know people who don't like to braid for jumper classes because they think that the constriction of the braids makes some horses less willing to fully use their necks. I've often wondered about racehorses and why trainers would risk doing anything that might make the horse at all uncomfortable, especially at during the homestrech when the horse is really extended.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have seen horses continue to run down the stretch on broken legs after the rider has fallen off. I think adrenaline can overcome a few braids.
                          McDowell Racing Stables

                          Home Away From Home

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NCRider View Post
                            I know people who don't like to braid for jumper classes because they think that the constriction of the braids makes some horses less willing to fully use their necks. I've often wondered about racehorses and why trainers would risk doing anything that might make the horse at all uncomfortable, especially at during the homestrech when the horse is really extended.
                            With Laurierace, and remember these aren't tight sewn in braids, these are knots essentially with rubber bands. Unlike a show horse, the racehorse doesn't stay braided for hours and days at a time, that IMO is the main reason horses get so itchy and sore.
                            Last edited by Angelico; Mar. 1, 2013, 05:17 PM. Reason: Redneck grammar

                            "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What you guys say makes sense-I didn't realize they were that loose-the only one I've ever actually touched was a track pony and his were every bit as tight as hunter braids. I guess I just thought that in a game of hundreths of seconds, anything that might cause any discomfort at all would be better avoided. I know they'll run on a broken leg but I've always assumed that was out of fear/flight/herd instincts and an attempt to stay with the pack.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I love to see a horse braided and embellished with a little something-something. the paddock. It's not common in NA racing but I rightly or wrongly attribute a loving groom going the extra mile for a beloved charge. I dislike a dirty and or otherwise poorly turned out horse going over for a race. Just because.
                                Laurierace, I sent a filly over once for a race (Mi Babe, in case anyone knows about her), with hind bandages to prevent rundown. It was our usual protecol. On her way back to the barn she apparently went all wonky walking off the track on the path for home.

                                The state vet even sent the Kenzy for her, thinking there was something really wrong. I was back in the barn, waiting for her, and didn't realize what was happening. She was absolutely sound when she came to the barn. Left off the hind bandages and she was fine in her next start. I think track dirt got into the bandages and she was intent on getting rid of the offending discomfort.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My trainer's groom, who came from a hunter/jumper background would always braid for race day...in colours to match my silks!
                                  What you allow is what will continue.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    There were a lot of trainers that liked to run with curly manes...braid the night before or early in the morning, and pull braids out before they run. Looked okay for the fillies, geldings/colts, not so much.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Thats an Asmussen and Doug O'Neill trademark to me, although I dont really care for either

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thank you all for the replies!
                                        Very educational. I agree that braiding really adds a touch of class. Nice to hear some tracks reward turnout. I know most everyone is proud of how their horse looks out there and we all know what a job it is getting them all shiny. It's nice to be recognized for it ;-)

                                        I have heard of similar worries about braiding and neck use. Same with tails. I think it probably varies from horse to horse.

                                        And thanks for the tips about mud knots! My worry about using tape or vet wrap would be the underside of the sensitive dock. For the life of me I can't remember how I did it as a polo groom! Maybe I padded it with tail hair?

                                        I will share that my OTTB pulled a similar stunt. I put bell boots on him when I first got him because he was forging and I did not want him to injure himself. Wouldn't you know he was dead lame. I only had him like a month. I thought I broke him! Bring him back to barn. Remove boots. Feel for heat/swelling. Try walking him in hand to see which leg it is. All is fine. Try trotting. Sound. Damn horse did not like the bell boots rubbing his ankles! From then on the only kind I used had fleece. And then only used them from cross country.
                                        "I am a sand dancer... just here for the jumps!" - Schrammo
                                        http://atoxcequestrian.com/
                                        https://www.facebook.com/groups/127749947563045/

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