I’m Heather with McQuay Stables. One of the most important parts
about showing is how your horse’s braids look, and I’m
going to give you some quick tips on how to braid a mane. To start with, you want to wet
the mane down. So it lays nicely and it’s easy
to hold onto. Your comb or your clip whichever you prefer.
And you measure out the width you want the braid to be
and then you use it — the comb — also to pin back the mane.
Grab your three pieces, and you start laying them over.
As soon as you get your three pieces laid over
you start counting. I count 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 8
strands and then I lay the piece of yarn in and then I count down
another 8 strands. You tie it over, wrap it around and pull down. And then you double knot at the
bottom to secure it in. So once you have
braided down some, you take your pull through and
you stick it in the middle and you pull your mane — your yarn
up through so it comes out the top of the braid. And
then you pull your braid up like that in a little bun. You wrap it around. Double knot it on the top and
give it a little bump. Pull it tight. Double knot it
again and wrap it around the bottom again to secure it
and then you do two single knots extra to keep the braid in
there tight. And then you take your scissors
and you snip off all the sides. If your horse doesn’t rub too
badly you can leave them in overnight. Most people take
them out the same day and they get rebraided each
night that they show or each day that they show. It’s tough on
the manes if you leave them in for too long
because if you braid them tight horses tend to rub them more
and some young horses don’t like their manes being braided
and will rub them and then it rubs out their mane as well.
We wash the manes twice a week — scrub them good. If you don’t
rinse it well it tends to make it itchy and they will tend to
rub their mane more often. When taking out the braids, be careful not to rip
the mane out. Be patient. It takes a long time to get your
braids really tight so don’t be discouraged. Your fingers
will hurt the first few times but just keep practicing.
It takes a lot of practice. If you have any more questions
or need more info, check out SmartPak’s blog at SmartPak.com.