Braids are not just a horse mane grooming technique for show ponies. They are also the best way to protect your horse’s tail and mane from getting tangled and dirty during physical activity like riding.
Braiding techniques can be a little fussy, but if you have the right tools and know the techniques, they can be a fun experience for both you and your horse. Read on to learn more about some simple starter braids you can do for your steed.
Grooming Supplies For Braiding
Before we get started with the braiding instructions, it is important to gather all the appropriate tools and supplies. Here is what you will need:
● Comb: A basic A-7 plastic comb will work great to comb out the hair before brushing.
● Clipper Blade: Some braiding techniques require trimming the mane and tail.
● Yarn: Make sure to use 100% acrylic yarn because it is strong and will not break.
● Scissors: These are for cutting the yarn to the perfect length.
● Latch Hook: Latch hooks are a crafting tool, but they make braiding easy.
● Small Elastic Bands: These are the same bands that we use to braid human hair.
● Spray Bottle: Spraying the hair with water makes it easier to braid.
● Orchid Gloss Spray: You need to moisturize the hair so it does not get tangled during the braiding process.
Once you have gathered all your supplies, you need to prepare your horse’s hair. Before braiding, see to it that the horse mane grooming routine has been completed and that your horse’s tail is clean and free of tangles. This will ensure that as you braid the hair it doesn’t break or hurt your horse.
Easy Mane Braids
There are several types of braiding techniques that are ideal for a mane. Here are some for beginners to try:
Hunter Braid – Hunter braids are designed for activities like riding and hunting. They are perfect for preventing tangling from riding gear. This is also the classic horse mane grooming technique for hunter competitions.
- Prep the mane for braiding by trimming it to 6 inches, and then gently apply a light spray of Fairy Tails Orchid Gloss Spray. Cut your yarn into 12-inch lengths.
- Separate the hair strands into 2-inch sections. These will be your braids.
- Section each strand into three and braid halfway down. Afterward, start braiding in the yarn.
- When you get to the end of the braid, tie it off with the yarn. Tie the remaining yarn into a loop. Repeat until the whole mane is braided.
- Take your latch hook, and starting at the base of the mane, insert the latch hook through the braid until it forms a loop.
- Tie the braid loops down with the yarn. Then tie a knot across the center of the loop.
- Trim the yarn and repeat until the mane is done.
Button Braid – Button braids are perfect for dressage competitions and protecting your horse’s mane from getting dirty or tangled.
- Prep the mane for braiding by trimming to about 6 inches in length, and then gently apply a light coat of Fairy Tails Orchid Gloss Spray.
- Split the hair into 1-inch sections. Then braid the sections down to the end.
- Tie off the braid with the small elastic bands. Repeat until the entire mane is braided.
- Starting at the end of your braid, roll the braid up to the base. This should create an attractive spiral.
- Tie the rolls into place with the small elastic bands. Repeat until all braids are rolled.
- Alternative: Once braided, fold the braids in half and then half again. Secure with an elastic band at the base of the mane.
Running Braid – A running braid is absolutely stunning—it is essentially a French braid for your horse. It is designed to help keep the horse’s mane beautiful and clean during normal activities. This horse mane grooming technique is perfect for horses with long manes.
- Prep the mane by combing the hair out and applying a light coat of Fairy Tails Orchid Gloss Spray.
- Make sure your horse’s mane is on one side of their head and neck. You can also part the mane down the middle and do this technique on each side for a different look.
- Start right behind the ear and section out three 1-inch strands.
- Braid the strands two or three times just to get it started.
- Take the next inch of hair and work it into the braid.
- Braid two or three times before adding the next 1-inch strand and working it into the braid.
- It is a good idea to use your spray bottle to wet the hair to make it easier for you to work down the mane.
- Continue this process until you get to the end of the mane.
- Tie off the braid with a small elastic band.
- Finish with one more gentle spraying of Fairy Tails Orchid Gloss Spray.
Once you have finished your mane braids, it is time to move on to the tail. Here is an easy one you can try:
Pinwheel Braid – This braid is great for active horses. It is also the standard braid for hunter competitions.
- Prep the tail by combing the hair out and applying a light coat of Fairy Tails Orchid Gloss Spray.
- Starting at the top, reach underneath the tail and section out two sections and pull them forward.
- On each section, start a small braid of about 2 inches and secure with a small elastic band.
- Take a small section from the top center of the tail. Make a small 2-inch braid and secure with a small elastic band.
- Afterward, take the two back pieces and start a braid with the top pieces. The braid will wrap around the bulk of the tail.
- As you work your way down the tail, pull small strands from the underneath side, wrap them around the tail, and braid them in. This is a modified French braid with the center area.
- Continue until you reach about 8 inches from the end of the tail and tie off the section with an elastic band.
- Braid the remaining 8 inches and tie off with an elastic band.
- Roll the final braid into a pinwheel shape and tie it with an elastic band.
Braiding is a fun and beautiful way to keep your horse’s mane and tail clean and tangle-free. For more tail and horse mane grooming techniques, check out our blog. And if you try any of the ones we have mentioned here, we would love to see the results! Share photos of your horse with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.