Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Why we braid horses

Braiding horses began for practical reasons, used to prevent manes and tails from being pulled out and muddied during work. You may ask why the manes were braided, rather than just trimmed off completely, or roached as it is called.

Back in the early days of foxhunting, only Thoroughbreds were braided- both while on the hunting field, and also when racing. Heavier or lesser bred horses would simply have their manes shaved off entirely. Braiding denoted quality in a hunter.

Today braiding is more of a tradition; it improves the appearance of your horse, and shows respect for the judge. It still denotes quality in a hunter. A well turned out horse will immediately catch the eye of the judge and set a good impression.

Good turnout will often be used as a deciding factor for a judge. When two horses are showing a similar ranking on his judge’s card, but he must chose to pin one higher than the other, he will always chose the more polished winner.

Good turnout can even improve the overall impression of your horse so much that small conformational flaws can be overlooked. There are various insider tips and tricks you can use when braiding your horse to improve his appearance. For example, a horse with a short, coarse neck will benefit greatly from many tiny, tight braids running down his neck. This will create the appearance of a longer, more graceful neck.

A horse with a longer, thinner neck may benefit from fewer, thicker braids so as not to accentuate the length.

Tips such as these, and many, many more can be learned through the Top Knot program. to order "One for the Money" instructional horse braiding DVD for $35!

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Well show season is upon us, how is the braiding going?