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Articles

World Class Braiding


2021/06/05


It’s horse show season and horses must look their absolute best when presented at the show. Beautifully braided manes and tails are now the standard at most shows, but the technique of getting those perfect braids may elude the average amateur rider.

Professional grooms Cat Hill and Emma Ford have created this “tack trunk reference” to guide you through the process, with sharp full-color photographs showing every step. The pair are also authors of the book World-Class Grooming for Horses and they have the experience of having braided thousands of horses for a variety of disciplines.

Hill and Ford start with the fundamental basics of good braids, beginning with how to braid down to create a tight, even braid from the crest of the neck and securing it. Then they take the reader through how to finish the braids using rubber bands, thread or yarn, and sewn-in button braids. They also give “Pro Tips” along the way and explain how to remove the braids.

Once you have mastered braiding down, switching from hunter braids to event braids to dressage braids is easy. They also include a few new styles for more traditional looking braids on horses with long manes. Want a running braid? There are instructions for how to do that style. Finishing the job with braiding the forelock is included, with instructions on how to French braid.

Braiding the tail is last on the agenda, and this uses a combination of a French braid and a regular braid to create the look. 

Hill and Ford provide everything you need to know to turn out a horse with professional polish, ready to impress the judges and wow the crowds.

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