Friday, August 31, 2012

Just When I'm Feeling Better.....

I get stung by a wasp!  And, I developed an allergic reaction.  It didn't require a trip to the ER, luckily, but my left arm is currently twice the size of my right and very, very sore.  It is starting to feel better though, with the help of antihistamines, acetaminophen and mimosas.

Hopefully I'll be back riding soon, as I plan on taking Spider out to a schooling show mid-September.  And I sort of need to ride between now and then.  That generally improves your scores, I've found.

But, even more importantly, I need to figure out what to do with Spider's mane.

I'm not really into grooming.  I was never one of those girls who spent hours and hours at the barn fiddling with manes and tails and polishing hooves.  I brush where the saddle goes, run my hands down the legs, pick out feet and then throw on the tack.  I only trim manes and tails before a show, I never pull (having had waxing done to myself, I think pulling a mane or tail is just barbaric) and I absolutely hate braiding.

Which brings me to my conundrum.  Spider's mane is quite long, as he hasn't shown since July of last year.  I really don't feel like cutting it.  But, I have to braid it.  Well, I don't have to for a schooling show, but I wouldn't feel right just leaving it like this for a dressage show:

Maybe for a Western Dressage show...

Now, I've seen some of the Baroque horses and draft crosses sporting a "running braid", basically a french braid down the neck.  But, I don't know how to do that.  I don't even know if Spider has enough hair to do it.

So I ask you, Oh Wise Interwebs Folk, Would I be able to make a running braid out of that?  Would Spider, a Thoroughbred, look completely ridiculous with a running braid?  How does one even make a running braid? 


  1. You could totally do a running braid with that mane, and it won't look cheesy at all! And you don't need to know how to french braid to do it, either...I can't french braid but I can do a mean running braid. It's literally just a normal braid, you just do it in pieces down the horse's neck. Or something like that.

  2. I have practiced the running braid on Val, as I also think it's barbaric (+ am too lazy) to pull. It's not hard.

    Start a fat braid at the top of the mane, go one wrap for each outside section, then add some new mane into the bottom section, go one wrap cycle, rinse and repeat.

    The trick is to keep enough tension for the braid to stay along the top of the neck, and be fairly consistent with how much new mane you add in each time. (I suspect it might be easier to do well from the horses back rather than standing alongside...)

    I saw a number of horses, not baroque, sporting running braids at the Olympics. Spider will be haute couture.

    Sorry you got stung - definitely feel your pain on that one. :D

  3. Bummer about the wasp. So sorry you had a bad reaction.

    Never tried a running braid, but I have used the Solo Comb to thin manes--no pulling as the comb actually cuts the hair.

    I have also used thinning shears with some success and a thinning blade.

    But, a running braid would look nice if you can figure out how to do one...I'm clueless.

  4. Check that. Do a Google search for running braid horse mane and you can link to some demo videos on youtube.

  5. When I had my Friesian, I did a running braid. It isn't hard - Val gives good instructions. Keep it tight against his crest and add a bit to each "round" of braiding. It's much faster than traditional braiding once you get the hang of it. We do a running braid on my husband's Paint horse because he likes to keep his mane long. It's similar in length to Spider's.

  6. The one trick with running braids is learning to do them quickly, as when your horse stretches his neck it can pull out. But Spider's mane should work well for it! I cut the Friesian cross' mane because she won't tolerate pulling and it's too thick to do a running braid on - it would be fatter than my hand, and it starts to hurt to try to hold onto that much thick and un-bendy hair!
    I hope you recover quickly from the sting. No fun!

  7. He definitely has enough hair for a running braid.
    I do have one tip, though. I've found that if you do a running braid while the horse has his head up or 'nuetral' it can end up pulling tight when the horse puts his head down for a dressage test. (That feeling when your pony tail is too tight... urgh)
    Takes a bit of practice to get the right amount of tension in the braid without it pulling when the neck is flexed!

    Good luck:)

  8. Yep running braid will be great ^-^
    Just look for Youtube video there are plenty. DO NOT WASH his mane when you braid, the hair will be too slipery, dirty and freasy work better for braiding ;-D

    You can also try a solo comb, as Jean mentioned, I have used it too.

    But to be honest for pulling mane there is a nice video by ... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH her name escped me now. Looking for it and teh video.

  9. Okay it is Lyn Palm
    here is her video:

    Be careful with bee/wasp/hornet, my friend has now to ride with an adrenalin injection, because she got stung twice, and the second time around she finished in hospital. She was riding and she was stung near home, she injected herself with an anti-histaminic, but she felt her throat closing anyway, she just had time to phone her BF and CANTERED back home. Now she lives in mountain so cantering back home was not the safest thing to do. Her BF caught her and they drove towards the ambulance he had called. It was a closed shave!
    From now on she rides with an adrenalin injection with her. They say that will give her time, her throat won't close in 15 minutes but maybe in 1 hour!!!

    So watch out for these pesky insects!!!!

  10. here is a video for a running braid.

    Yes I am the girl obsessed with grooming, I get waxed every month, my eyebrows having waxed, plucked and now are Indian threaded ;-D !!!!


    Video for running braid!

  12. "having had waxing done to myself, I think pulling a mane or tail is just barbaric"

    Pulling a mane doesn't hurt a horse. Some don't like the way it feels, but not all.

    Anyways, yes, he could rock a running braid. Don't ask me how to actually do one though, I have no clue.

    Sorry about the wasp, that stinks!

  13. I, too, have decided to give up pulling manes and I like a long mane, so the running braid is our best option for looking respectable at a horse show. The pictures are far away, but Harley is sporting a running braid at this show. If a quarter horse can pull it off, a TB certainly can.

    A few things to add:
    -Dirty mane stays braided much better than clean mane.
    -Keep the braid tighter toward the poll and if his mane is long enough, allow some slack as you approach the withers. This make it less likely for the horse to pull the braid out when he stretches down. Harley's hair strands are so thick that this kind of happens on its own. I cannot make the bottom of the braid as close to his neck as the top.
    -Tuck in the tail of the braid just like dressage button or hunter braid. I always use yarn and braid it into the tail of the braid. Keep the yarn very long so that you have lots to wrap and knot around the folded, tucked in running braid.
    -Calm, Forward, Straight did a good job explaining how to construct the braid. It is kind of like a french braid where you only take extra hair every other time that you cross the middle section of hair, because his mane is only on the left side of the braid.
    -If you want an over-braid or German braid, cross the side sections under the middle section instead of over as done in a French braid. This is what I did for Harley. It makes the braid stand out on top of the mane, which I think is pretty.
    -Check out my Mane Dilemma post for some older pictures of a running braid without the tail tucked. There are also some really silly pictures of Harley's mane braided in sections when it was too long. ;)


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