Something about working 12 hours with horses in the middle of the night, espresso, nobody to bug me, and doing meticulous work appeals to me. I know it’ll take me about a decade to be awesome, but I’ve been practicing braiding for the past week, and I have to admit, it’s incredibly therapeutic. I don’t even mind the bloody or sore fingers, the horses that won’t stand still or don’t like their ears/tails/anything touched, the late and long hours spent standing, etc. At the end of it, you get a damn good looking horse, and peace and quiet before the show crazies get there. #dreamjob.
Round 1: After watching several videos on youtube, mom and I decided to freelance it and give it a go. I’m not proud of what we did, but hey, we practiced!
Round 2: After a quick demo by our barn trainer, I started to be more strategic and where and how much mane I grabbed. Also got better at getting the braid knots to all lie flat after phase 1.
Round 3: Consistency is key. I’ve started to master getting the braid to knot itself at the end of phase 1 braiding, so now the knobs are more even looking. However, as the mane started to get thick, my braids did too. Lesson learned, folks. Grab less mane. #thingsinstructorsdontsay
A few notes:
- Thank God for Quic Braid. Smells great, is sticky, keeps the flyaways down. #winning
- French works better than Dutch.
- Get the braid in the knot at the end of phase 1 to make a cuter knob when you pull through and tie them off.
- String always goes over the braid.
- Don’t use 10 year old string. It breaks more easily.
- A pulled, dirty mane is better than a cut, clean mane.
- They can always be tighter, and the first few passes you make when you braid set the tone for the rest of it.
- When in doubt, less is more. Better to have a bunch of tiny braids than a few big ones.
- Long piece of yarn is superior to short piece of yarn.
- The higher the stool, the closer to godliness your braids will look.
More to come on this! I’m open to any advice anyone has regarding braiding manes. After I’ve mastered this, I’ll start working on tails. Until then, please please please, bring the advice!