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Braiding Style

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Is there any specific braiding styles for dressage shows? Because the horse I am showing has a long mane but I don't know how to french braid so I kinda came up with my own style. Would it be accepted or not?

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Usually the only horses shown in Dressage with a long mane are arabs, draft types, and baroque/iberian horses. basically, horses with heavy, long manes. The two types of braiding commonly used for these types of horses to show in are lattice braid (aka "fish net braid") or the running braid/french braid. The lattice braid takes a bit of work, and if the mane is thin or isn't long enough, it's not very attractive. You have a bit more leeway with a french braid. If the mane is long, but not super thick, it can still look good. It's really not hard to learn. I taught myself in about 10 min as a kid just using pictures from a book, and there are some very good tutorials on the net that are color coded to help you learn.

Fishnet braid my student did on my paint mare:

163792_10150102139468474_547048473_7320779_3341613_n.jpg

My gelding with a running braid. I use a running braid for lessons so my instructor can see his neck better. Once you've gotten the hang of it, you can do a running braid in about 5 min, so they're really handy.

405752_10150656962213474_547048473_10895098_155824880_n.jpg

A tutorial on how to do a running braid:

http://www.exhibitorlabs.com/article_02c.cfm

Video on doing a lattice braid

If the mane is long but thin, it may be best (and easiest) to pull it short. For unrated or lower-level shows you won't need to braid at all if the mane is pulled.

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Usually the only horses shown in Dressage with a long mane are arabs, draft types, and baroque/iberian horses. basically, horses with heavy, long manes. The two types of braiding commonly used for these types of horses to show in are lattice braid (aka "fish net braid") or the running braid/french braid. The lattice braid takes a bit of work, and if the mane is thin or isn't long enough, it's not very attractive. You have a bit more leeway with a french braid. If the mane is long, but not super thick, it can still look good. It's really not hard to learn. I taught myself in about 10 min as a kid just using pictures from a book, and there are some very good tutorials on the net that are color coded to help you learn.

Fishnet braid my student did on my paint mare:

163792_10150102139468474_547048473_7320779_3341613_n.jpg

My gelding with a running braid. I use a running braid for lessons so my instructor can see his neck better. Once you've gotten the hang of it, you can do a running braid in about 5 min, so they're really handy.

405752_10150656962213474_547048473_10895098_155824880_n.jpg

A tutorial on how to do a running braid:

http://www.exhibitorlabs.com/article_02c.cfm

Video on doing a lattice braid

If the mane is long but thin, it may be best (and easiest) to pull it short. For unrated or lower-level shows you won't need to braid at all if the mane is pulled.

I have done a diamond braid on him and it looked good. Thing is, his owner doesn't want me to pull his mane. He is a saddlebred. You can see him on my profile. But I will try the running braid. His mane is fairly thin but not as thick as your geldings.

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If the diamond braid looked good on him, and you liked it, then you may want to use that. Saddlebreds usually have fairly long, thin necks and the lattice braid will make his neck look a bit thicker, while the running braid may make his neck look thinner. You can play around with it and see what's most flattering for him. It's a bit tough when you don't own the horse and can't make certain changes, but you can certainly make the best of what you have! :D

He's a cutie, by the way.

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If the diamond braid looked good on him, and you liked it, then you may want to use that. Saddlebreds usually have fairly long, thin necks and the lattice braid will make his neck look a bit thicker, while the running braid may make his neck look thinner. You can play around with it and see what's most flattering for him. It's a bit tough when you don't own the horse and can't make certain changes, but you can certainly make the best of what you have! :D

He's a cutie, by the way.

I might try that. THanks! Are you allowed to have different colors on the diamond braid or do they have to be the same color as the mane?

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Generally speaking, you'll want the bands to match his mane. Once in awhile you'll see contrasting bands - white on a black mane, or black on a white mane - but it's rare. In dressage, the judge is supposed to be concentrating on the quality of the gaits, the horse's submission to the aids, and the execution of the movements. So judges usually don't want things that will distract their eye. That's why the bling browbands made such a splash a few years ago - they were considered rather avante-guard for the dressage ring lol. But since your gelding has a black mane, I would go to walmart and get ouchless black bands for like $2. They work really well and they won't pull out hairs like the rubber bands you buy at the tack shop do.

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Generally speaking, you'll want the bands to match his mane. Once in awhile you'll see contrasting bands - white on a black mane, or black on a white mane - but it's rare. In dressage, the judge is supposed to be concentrating on the quality of the gaits, the horse's submission to the aids, and the execution of the movements. So judges usually don't want things that will distract their eye. That's why the bling browbands made such a splash a few years ago - they were considered rather avante-guard for the dressage ring lol. But since your gelding has a black mane, I would go to walmart and get ouchless black bands for like $2. They work really well and they won't pull out hairs like the rubber bands you buy at the tack shop do.

Thanks. What would you recommend for braiding?

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What you use is really personal preference. As far as bands go, I tend to like the "ouchless" elastic bands for human hair. You can get a 250 count of bands in black, white, or clear (clear is good for horses with multi-colored manes or a hard to match color) for about $2 at Walmart. You can also find "chestnut" colored bands in some tack stores, but since your gelding is black, any black bands of your choice will do.

Some people also like to use products like QuickBraid or human styling products to help braid. However, one thing you should avoid is silicone based coat/detangling sprays like showsheen and laser sheen. Those kids of products will make the hair slick and make braids looser, and may attract dirt.

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Going to hijack this thread for a min. I believe it was here someone posted a video of how to braid. Looks like I will be braiding a horse for a show in May. I haven't braided in a while and could use a refresher. So looking fir good how to video.

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There is a great tutorial on how to do really classic braids by "Robbie" on the Chronicle of the Horse Archive type section. Fantastic if you really want to learn how to do classic braids. I did not look how long your horse's mane is, but if it is long, fairly decent, and you can get it to be non-stringy on the ends, you can do very nice large buttons. You may just end up with 6-8 braids, but they are nice. We'd do that with the event horses way back simply because it was way easier to do a small number of braids quickly to go into dressage & jumping.

I think for dressage the more classic you can be the better. I do prefer the running braid than the latice braid as you can see the neck better.

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There is a great tutorial on how to do really classic braids by "Robbie" on the Chronicle of the Horse Archive type section. Fantastic if you really want to learn how to do classic braids. I did not look how long your horse's mane is, but if it is long, fairly decent, and you can get it to be non-stringy on the ends, you can do very nice large buttons. You may just end up with 6-8 braids, but they are nice. We'd do that with the event horses way back simply because it was way easier to do a small number of braids quickly to go into dressage & jumping.

I think for dressage the more classic you can be the better. I do prefer the running braid than the latice braid as you can see the neck better.

I thought about that. But yes I do like the running braid better. What do you recommend to do for his forelock?

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do a simple button braid for the forelock if you do the running braid, if you do the macrame braid, just put a band at the top of the forelock. this is a terrible example of the button braid (I had it tucked under the browband for the actual test, but didn't bother looking at it for the pics....lol) but I almost have that unicorn I want...hehe

5334_105324478479_500218479_2050280_3734070_n.jpg

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You typically do a french type braid on the forelock and then pull through and it stays down much better. I find it difficult to get a good flat braid by just doing a regular braid. By spreading the hairs of the forelock apart top to bottom and spraying (or putting spray on your hand and applying) with a braiding spray, the french braid is not very hard.

Here is the link to the braiding thread I was referencing

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35573

Edited by PMJ

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do a simple button braid for the forelock if you do the running braid, if you do the macrame braid, just put a band at the top of the forelock. this is a terrible example of the button braid (I had it tucked under the browband for the actual test, but didn't bother looking at it for the pics....lol) but I almost have that unicorn I want...hehe

5334_105324478479_500218479_2050280_3734070_n.jpg

Thank you for the advice. Your horse looks Arab. Am I right?

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She was 11 in that pic, 14 now. She's gettin to be an old lady! hehe...

Still going strong though. Taking her to her first eventing derby on Saturday...cc + stadium jumping at the same time, then a dressage test after. SO excited.

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She was 11 in that pic, 14 now. She's gettin to be an old lady! hehe...

Still going strong though. Taking her to her first eventing derby on Saturday...cc + stadium jumping at the same time, then a dressage test after. SO excited.

ooo nice! what level in dressage is she at?

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We showed 1st level test 4 for at our "peak" but I really dislike dressage, and also left the country for a few years, so haven't shown her any higher than that. She has schooled upper level movements (tempi changes, pirouettes, piaffe) but I just can't buckle down and force myself to ride dressage enough. lol

This will be our first show in 3 years, so we are going back to training level (really tempted to do intro..LOL...she's still pretty fat) and just doing the beginner novice cc phase

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We showed 1st level test 4 for at our "peak" but I really dislike dressage, and also left the country for a few years, so haven't shown her any higher than that. She has schooled upper level movements (tempi changes, pirouettes, piaffe) but I just can't buckle down and force myself to ride dressage enough. lol

This will be our first show in 3 years, so we are going back to training level (really tempted to do intro..LOL...she's still pretty fat) and just doing the beginner novice cc phase

Why don't you like dressage? I'm trying to get to first level but i cant seem to find the right horse.

I hope you do well :)

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Why can't you find the right horse Livelaugh? Most horses ought to be able to do Training and First level!! I think it's more on finding the right trainer!!! LOL!

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Why can't you find the right horse Livelaugh? Most horses ought to be able to do Training and First level!! I think it's more on finding the right trainer!!! LOL!

lol true but where i live i cant find a horse thats been properly trained and will still be able to take me to first level. and that i can lease.

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Well what's to stop you from finding one that you can train yourself and take lots of lessons!!!

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Not really sure why I don't like dressage. I just don't find it "thrilling" enough or something, I suppose. I like the *idea* of dressage, and how a good dressage foundation sets up a horse for success in any field...but showing dressage itself is just tedious to me! Plus...I'm terrible at memorizing patterns...lol

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btw...I got a dismal 62.5% in my dressage class today. LOL. Rocked the eventing/show jumping round, and ended up 3rd in my division. It was a fun day. 105? and WINDY...dressage was very tense for everyone. One horse jumped out of the dressage ring. hehe. Stuff was blowing around...it was amusing. At least the jumping was fun!

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btw...I got a dismal 62.5% in my dressage class today. LOL. Rocked the eventing/show jumping round, and ended up 3rd in my division. It was a fun day. 105? and WINDY...dressage was very tense for everyone. One horse jumped out of the dressage ring. hehe. Stuff was blowing around...it was amusing. At least the jumping was fun!

I've rarely gotten anything above a 60%. Nice job in the jumping! Its always hard to ride in the heat. The day I showed the saddlebred, i think it was around 100. lol.

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