Dressage Braids

Last post 01-30-2007 7:53 PM by Native. 6 replies.
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  • 01-30-2007 7:53 PM

    Dressage Braids

    How come the tail is not supposed to be braided in dressage events?

    Is there a website that gives dressage-braid instructions?

  • 01-30-2007 8:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Dressage Braids

    The tail isn't supposed to be braided in dressage because it can affect the way the horse carries it. It is important to have the horse carry their tail naturally because this is one of the signs that a horse is relaxed and swinging through the back. Many dressage horses have their tails pulled or clipped at the top to better show off the hindquarters.

    As for braids, I don't know a website, but I can try to explain as best as possible. Most dressage horses have button braids which basicly look like little balls along the crest. I braid sections that are about 2-3 inches in width. You can fasten the end using a variety of methods, but if you are new to braiding a rubberband is probably easiest. Then I fold the braid under, then under again. Fasten with another rubberband as close to the neck as possible. Be sure you practice first!

    Good luck!
  • 01-30-2007 8:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Dressage Braids

    Manes are braided and forelocks may or may not be. I'm assuming tails are not braided in dressage because it's not *traditionally* done. FEI rules do not require that tails are braided. They do, however, pull the tails (ouchy!) and bang them for a neat appearance.

    I seem to remember some articles in either PH or Equus on the how-to's of tail prep, but do not have them on hand. I couldn't find a good website, either.

    Sorry that wasn't very much help.


    Hi, Mom!

  • 01-30-2007 8:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Dressage Braids

    The tail shows a lot on a horse, in dressage, a rhythm and swining will show in the tail - tenseness, tail wringing, tightly clamping it all show resistance and stiffness.
    So, to emphasize the good or bad, it isnt braided, granted it's a trend - old old competitors used to braid in some areas.
    The mane braids can be varied, and by examining the build of your horse you can emphasize the neck or detract from it with braids.
    So, practice braiding at home a lot, it's fun, makes for a good feeling of accomplishment, and videoing your rides when braided can help you see what looks good or bad and you can change it before a competition to give yourself and your horse the better look.
    (bouncy trotting horses with lots of "lift" do better with tight braids that don't leave much to 'bounce' and thickness or thinness of neck, upper muscle development or poor neck shape can be shown better if braiding complements instead of detracting or emphasizing faults.
  • 01-31-2007 1:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Dressage Braids

    It's not exactly a website, but the book by Cherry Hill, Horse Handling and Grooming gives really good instructions. The tail is left unbraided, but I'm not really sure there is a reason, it might be easer for the judge to see certian movement qualities with it unbraided.
  • 02-06-2007 2:38 PM In reply to

    Re: Dressage Braids

    Here is a link...


    These braids look awesome. I get compliments every time.
    A good rider rides transition to transition, a great rider rides half-halt to half-halt!

    ~Robert Dover
  • 02-06-2007 5:54 PM In reply to

    Re: Dressage Braids

    Great! Thanks.



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