10 Steps To Plaiting a Horse’s Mane

10 Steps To Plaiting a Horse’s Mane

Plaiting a horse’s mane is something many owner’s do in preparation for a show or competition. It is often done to improve the horse’s appearance; helping to highlight the horses topline.

However, did you know that plaiting the mane also has more practical benefits?

Helping to keep the mane out of the horse’s face while jumping, when done correctly plaiting can be an essential skill to learn. Here are our 10 steps to create the perfect plaits.

Horse with plaited mane1.    Invest in the right equipment

Before you start, it is important to make sure you have a high quality horse grooming kit. Without the proper equipment, you’ll struggle to create a neat plait.

2.    Tie your horse up

Once you have the right equipment to hand, be sure to tie your horse up securely. The last thing you want is to be trying to plait the mane while the horse is walking around. It’s also important to ensure that your horse is calm and relaxed before you start.

3.    Wash the mane

Wash the mane, using a good quality horse shampoo. This not only helps to make it shiny and clean but plaiting the mane while it is wet also makes it a much easier job. Never use a conditioner or a detangling product as this will make plaiting very difficult.

4.    Pull if needed

If your horse’s mane is quite thin, it could be a good idea to pull it to a nice even length. Ideally it should be no longer than a hand in length unless you are creating button braids.

5.    Plait from the right hand side

Depending on what type of event you are heading to, typically the mane should be plaited on the right hand side.

6.    Brush the mane

Once you are ready to begin, use a wet body brush to remove any tangles. Dip it in water, horse hair gel or egg white before running through the mane.

7.    Use a clip to divide the mane into sections

After washing, use a hair clip to separate part of the mane ready to plait. A useful tip is to make sure each section to be plaited is around ¾ of the length of the mane comb.

8.    Plait from the top

Start plaiting the mane from the top and work your way down. There are various types of plaits you can create but standard types always start from the top.

9.    Use plaiting bands to secure the plaits

Plaiting bands are a simple yet very effective way to ensure the plaits stay in place. Thread can also be used to secure plaits into your horse’s mane, but this is more technical and can take a lot of practice to get right.

10.    Add finishing touches

Once secured, you can focus on adding finishing touches to enhance the mane’s appearance. Horse hair jewellery adds a great and stylish finish that can really help your horse stand out in the paddock or at an event or riding competition.

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