Braiding the luxurious mane of your horse is a skilled art that has been around for centuries — for practical reasons to prevent those nasty knots and tangles, and for aesthetic reasons in the show ring. Braids come in many different styles from delicate unicorn-worthy weaves to snug hunter braids. So, make the most of your equine mate’s flowing mane and start weaving some magic with our top five tips.

Prep the mane
It’s time to wash and dry your horse’s mane with a quality shampoo such as Mane ‘n Tail Ultimate Gloss Shampoo. Next, prep with silicon-free styling product — if the mane is too silky soft it will make it difficult to grip and weave.

Gather your tools
Whatever braid style you prefer, there are some key tools you will need in your grooming caddy. First up, get a good solid step so you can safely reach your horse’s mane. To braid your horse’s mane, you will need:

Which braiding style?
For the show ring, proper turn out means the mane should be tightly woven against the horse’s neck in a running or hunter braid. Braiding also accentuates the horse’s neck, highlighting their features during competition. If you are simply experimenting and having fun spending time and bonding with your horse, a continental braid is a beautiful option, and you can get creative with flowers and pretty accessories.

Braiding tape or thread is a must for sewing in plaits and braids – it’s waxed so it grips the mane beautifully. We love: Mane Braiding Tape

For Western style, the mane can simply be banded with small rubber mane bands. Try these non-snap plaiting bands: Plaiting Bands

Weave your magic
Once your mane is prepped and ready to braid, it’s a great idea to braid when the mane is still damp to prevent flyaways.

  • Spray your mane spray liberally over the mane, then comb through.
  • Start just behind the bridle path, section hair into ½ inch pieces and begin braiding.
  • Small sections will keep your braid tight and neat.
  • For a running braid, every time you cross over, take another section of hair then keep on going.
  • Keep the braid tight against the crest!
  • Keep working down your horse’s neck.
  • Secure with a small elastic band.

Get creative!
Accessories add a delicate flourish to your braiding. Opt for glittery bows, fresh flowers or silk ribbons and create a unique braiding style for your equine friend. We love Fancy Show Bows and how about a Clip-On Unicorn Horn 

Now you're ready to get braiding. Be sure to share your braiding creations and tag us on Instagram at @greggrantsaddlery

August 19, 2022 — Greg Grant Saddlery