From preparation and plaiting to coping with show-day nerves! Share your competitive life experiences here
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Postby jimama » Thu May 20, 2010 8:59 am

So is it big chunky plaits for dressage these days or lots of little ones? I love the big chunky ones, but someone told me that I have to let my horse's mane grow then cut the ends with a pair of scissors (shock, horror!). And how do people get them sitting just right on the horse's neck?

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Postby Snipper » Fri May 21, 2010 11:11 am

Well I think it's down to personal preference, the shape of your horse's neck etc. I was taught to do them all the same size, small ish and very tight, which has always worked well for me, but some of my horsey friends do the complete opposite!

I have to say, though, I'm not sure about cutting your horse's mane! It might work well for the type of plaits you want to do, but how often do you plait your horse? I'd guess its not every day. It might be worth thinking about what your horse's mane will look like most of the time when it is loose!

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Postby H&R_Editor » Tue May 25, 2010 8:49 am

The latest fashion in dressage is big plaits. Check out this link I found ... 24x768.jpg

I asked someone to teach me last year and they said you start by plaiting the mane away from you, so divide into three and pass each section over the top of the other one rather than underneath it. You do this very loosely rather than pull it tight, and only to half way down. Then you continue to plait the rest down as normal and secure it with cotton. Once the end is secured, simply roll it up and then secure it with the cotton without going around the edges of the plait. That way the cotton is hidden and the sides bulge out a bit giving the appearance of a bigger topline.

I'm still not great at them but I am getting there! Everyone likes different plaits though, so you may opt for the lovely neat small ones instead. If so, check out the video on our website, as demonstrated by our Horse Health Editor, Lucy Turner.

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Postby cloudybay » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:54 am

I am all for cutting your horse's mane. It might not look as attractive as a pulled mane but do you think the horse is bothered about that? They are far happier not to have their manes pulled out in tiny strands which has to hurt.

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Postby horse_girl » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:55 am

Love those dressage fat plaits!! I think it's probably a trend in dressage because big plaits make horses necks look shorter, so they look more 'together' and compact - not so strung out in a long outline. Nifty trick for long-necked horses! And less for us to plait, which is always nice :)

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Postby mja » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:21 am

I agree - I love those fat plaits and so much less work although will have to try it cos dont quite understand how to do them.........

I always have 3 strands and cross over the top??!!

I dont get how to secure with band or cotton so it cant be seen? ( may be thick here sorry)

Is there a video for these type of plaits?

If you did this for showing or turnout would it be okay?

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