Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Teach Me Tuesday: Braiding

Also perhaps I am not the best at braiding.
I thought this was fun last time around, so let's do it again. Teach Me Tuesdays is where I bring up a topic I literally do not understand and just ask why. Or how. Or whatever. So let's get on with it.

What is the deal with braiding?

I don't get it, not one little bit.

I'm all for tidy hair. Manes must always only ever be perfect and tails are a work of art. . A pulled mane not only looks tidy, but also is safer because the rider's hands and reins don't risk becoming tangled in long, nasty hair.

Neckstraps are for when you pulled all the hair out holding on.
But then why do we stuff it into tiny little braids? I guess it sort of makes sense for horses with really bad hair that needs to be hidden, but who/what/why decided that all horses needed braids for things like jumping? Maybe I'm the only person who sometimes doesn't see a distance and just sort of kicks and grabs mane and hopes it all works out, but to me, having the mane handy in that situation seems like a REALLY FREAKING GOOD IDEA.

So explain it to me, because I really and truly don't get it. To my non-initiated self, it seems like an awful lot of work to achieve a look that doesn't actually make any practical sense and in fact might make it harder to ride.

28 comments:

  1. True story, I still don't really know how to braid! Pony Club didn't permit braiding at competitions and since I didn't know how to do it, I never did!

    I guess it looks tidy and could keep a flopping mane from distracting a judge?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think it looks tidy and is a more formal look, so shows respect and attention to detail. In dressage, I know it helps the judge see the muscles of the neck more clearly and see a relaxed and straight topline. It's also useful if you need to braid in pieces of tack, for example braiding in the crownpiece of a bridle so this doesn't happen to you: http://www.horsecollaborative.com/no-bridle-no-problem-gregory-wathelet-finishes-show-jumping/

    I'm sure there are other reasons, but those are what I have. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tradition! Hunters are all about tradition, girl.

    Also... can you do a poultice TMT? I'm interested to hear the responses to that one :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. For hunters, the roots cone from fox hunting. You wouldn't want a mane getting tangled in brush, etc. So it is tradition, as is most everything in hunters. Except at the higher levels, most people don't braid for the jumpers. Just like they can wear whatever clothes and tack they want as well. I share your love of a clean tidy pulled mane. Can't stand it when even a lesson horse is scraggly. I have pulled countless manes for free because of this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You wouldn't happen to be in Idaho, would you? ;)

      Delete
  5. For dressage is can really make or break how a neck looks. I will never take Bobby to a dressage show unbraided because his neck is so, so awkward looking without chunky button braids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ^ This. Tradition or not, it can seriously improve the impression your horse makes in dressage.

      Delete
  6. Tradition. Braiding comes from fox hunting and military stuff, so your long mane won't get caught up in brush/leaves. If you need to hold onto something, that's what a buck strap or martingale strap is for!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Along with tradition I think that it shows a level of respect for the judge. If you are going to take a judges time you might as well look prepared and tidy. First impressions are everything! If you come in on a scraggly, not clean/tidy looking horse the whole picture looks that much worse.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm with Carly. Braids definitely show Hemie's neck to advantage.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Because it is pretty goddamnit.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm with HB, it looks pretty - but at the same time can see how necessity has become tradition.
    I enjoy braiding & used to pact ice french plaits on friends with long hair cos I only had access to horses during the summer holidays when I was a kid - i still love plaiting my girls manes but I've never learned to braid properly by sewing with thread...have never competed at such a level that it would require such neatness.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lots of reasons to braid!

    1) Shows off the neck - you can see where the "break" is when the mane is up.

    2) Won't get caught in the reins or your hands.

    3) Looks stylish, cleaner.

    4) Tradition.

    I love braiding :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! It really makes the horse's neck look lovely and clean! I love a good braid!

      Delete
  12. Well, I just learned a bunch from the other comments! I have a love/hate with braiding. I love the way it looks, definitely helps Pongo's neck look better. But I dont love the braiding process that much. I use rubber bands (GASP!), even at big, fancy shows. They are neat, tight and tidy and take 1/3rd of the time as yarn braids. My philosophy is if the judge is looking THAT hard at my braids while I am in the ring, I have a larger problem at hand with the quality of my ride, LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Having braided for Riley's second unrecognized schooling show I totally think it's worth it. I put NINE braids in his mane and one is his forelock, taking me no time at all. I thought he looked super fancy and I also think it shows respect for the show judges. I didn't pull them out for jumping because I always, ALWAYS ride with a neck strap. Mine were just with rubber bands but I'd be happy to use yarn or waxed thread too. It really does make a difference. I also bang Riley's tail and trim around the top of his dock otherwise he looks like a crazy shetland pony!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also it took me all of maybe 20 minutes to braid Riley!

      Delete
  14. A well braided mane is the most flattering thing you can do for a horse, so it makes a lot of sense for showing. It also shows a lot of respect to the judge and to the sport in general that you care enough about it to turn your horse and yourself out as well as possible.

    But traditionally braiding is rooted in foxhunting... it was done to keep the mane out of the way of reins, brambles, branches, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I like the look of braids and how a well braided mane shows off the neck nicely. Can I do braids? Not to save my life. Growing Sydney's mane back out so I can do a running braid next year.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's tidy, it's formal, it's traditional, and it shows that you respect yourself, your horse, your sport, and your judge. If you don't turn your horse out to your sport's standard, you can't expect the judge to take you seriously. I see people that don't braid sometimes and it just makes me cringe - all that wild hair flopping around looking terrible. Even just a pulled mane is completely unacceptable for a proper turnout.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I want to learn to do jumper braids. I love the tidy look!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Are you going to event? Yo just have to braid for dressage, and we are lazy ass braiders. I section off the mane using a standard size pulling comb (so make a little pony tail for each length of the comb), then braid, rubber band at the bottom. Then for each braid you just fold it in half twice on the underside and wrap a band around the middle of the braid. Done.

    Hunter braids kill me. They take forever and ever. I hated having to do them. They do look pretty, but I'm with you-give me the mane!

    P.s. my favorite was riding the little mustang who looked like a mini Clydesdale. We just roached his mane so he looked like a little trojan horse. It was so cute and I never had to braid at shows. I miss it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No way not all of us are lazy ass braiders!: https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/1375103_554073666353_1608692082_n.jpg?oh=efc1b719a96b1eb197df1c3f11654920&oe=546EEB96&__gda__=1415397220_d1bb328c548c0cc571f932f97fec861a

      Hopefully that shows up as a picture and not a bunch of letters.

      Delete
  19. I have been known to fill in hollow necks with braids that are smaller on the ends and larger in the middle, works wonders. I actually love a well braided mane, but if your braids look terrible I say just leave them out. Bad braids really get to me.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I admit I love how braids look, especially in the dressage arena. And a running braid is just beautiful - and a safe alternative on natural breeds when you need the long hair out of the way.
    That said, it is a major pain. I have to plait my horse's tail for every outing since she needs to wear a red ribbon and it's one more thing to worry about.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love braiding! I think it makes such a nice impression. I show the jumpers exclusively and my barn (primarily a jumpers only barn) braids everything that goes in the ring, mind you we are showing on the A circuit but even the horses doing the 80cm schoolings go in with braided manes, all the way up to the Grand Prix. At first I thought it was silly and unnecessary, but now I *love* it. It looks so nice and totally classes up the overall appearance. Plus we use rubber bands and my horse's mane takes all of ten or fifteen minutes. It's extraneous and unnecessary but I really do love it.

    Also as a dedicated mane grabber it's definitely still possible to grab a braid. Easier, even. I find I pull out a lot less hair :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I enjoy the repetitive nature of braiding. It's like meditation before Dressage. And having a pony with a flaxen mane on a chestnut coat, no brainer, the braids are so striking on him, it really makes a good impression. I've never really questioned it, it just improves the look of the neck on so many horses.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...