Braiding a Horses Mane
The Basket Weave Braid
Many horses have long manes and beautiful full hair that you will not want to shorten in order to look ready for a show. Expecially Friesian horses, drafts and icelandic horses look wonderful with a beautifully braided basket weave. Once you know how it's done, it's quite easy, just takes a bit of time and patience.
Things You’ll Need:
at least 50 hair rubber bands in the color of your horses mane
Spray your horses mane lightly with detangler and comb out carefully. If the bridle path is grown out and unsightly, clip it now. Lay out your materials, I prefer to wear an apron with a pocket, where I can keep the rubber bands and the comb handy.
Use your comb to partition off 1 inch wide strands of hair and put a rubber band into each strand. Work up the entire length of the crest. Now your horses mane is a long row of equally wide pony tails.
Starting at the first two pony tails, split each pony tail in half and tie the two halves together with a rubber band. Decide at this point how big your 'diamonds' will be. For bigger diamonds, place the rubber band lower, smaller diamonds (you will need more rubber bands), higher. Stick to your decision and stay on the same level. The more accurate and geometrical your basket weave, the better it will look.
Continue down the mane, always splitting the pony tails and tying the two split halves together, always paying attention to an equal size of your diamonds until you get to the bottom of the mane. Don't braid all the way down, it looks more elegant, if a bit of mane will hang down in pony tails.
If your show is on the next day, wrap your horses neck with a slinky, this will also keep him from getting caught somewhere with his mane. If you are braiding right before the show, apply a tad of soft hold hairspray, carefully shield your horses eyes and ears. Use PUMP hairspray! Have fun and enjoy!
Tips & Warnings:
For added pizzaz you can use dried or silk flowers and affix to the basket weave or tie ribbons in in all or some of the pony tails.
Basket weave the top of your horses tail for extra beauty.
Don't wash/condition the mane right before brading, the hair will be too soft and get away easily, making your job harder than it needs to be.
Do NOT stand on a footstool, even though this might seem comfortable, it is also extremely unsafe.
DO REMOVE the basket weave once your event is over, no matter how pretty your horse might look. You horse can get tangled in the weave, get stuck to a fence etc. and harm himself.