Plaiting & Braiding

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    Everything you need to plait your horse perfectly. Thoroughly tried and tested for maximum hold, control and ease, for even the unruliest of manes. The complete range for horse plaiting and braiding.

    What is Horse Plaiting or Braiding?

    Horse plaiting (or Horse Braiding for our American Friends!) is traditionally where the horse’s mane is divided into sections, with each section plaited, then rolled into small balls. For very thick or long manes, a running plait is created. The horse’s tail is also plaited (traditionally a French plait) to create a neat and tidy appearance. Plaiting and braiding dates back many centuries and was used for practical reasons, often to keep the long hair from getting caught up in harness. Horses were the main mode of work and transport prior to the 20th century and were also plaited and braided for special shows and occasions. As braiding and plaiting became more popular, it was used to differentiate between types of horses and the work that they did. This has carried on in a similar way to turning out a horse for the show ring. There are different types of plaits and braids required depending on the class or type of horse being exhibited.

    What is the Best Way to Plait or Braid a Horse’s Mane?

    Plaits can be sewn in or if you are practising techniques or in a hurry, plaits or braids can be fastened with rubber or super stretchy silicone plaiting bands or yarn. Stitching in plaits looks neater, as well as being more secure for all day shows. A well-plaited mane can enhance as well as disguise conformational issues. Sitting plaits on top of the neck can improve a weak top line. Lengthening the look of a neck can be done by adding in several more plaits. To minimise the look of a cresty neck, sit the plaits lower into the mane. To give the neck a slightly shorter look, space the plaits out, to give the next a wider look.

    How do I Plait my Horse’s Mane?

    First of all, we’d recommend you read our “How To Plait a Mane” Blog where we take you through the process step by step. For more examples visit our YouTube Channel, and follow us on social media. What is our key tip for plaiting? Practice!

    What are the advantages of Smart Grooming for Plaiting and Braiding Manes?

    Although it is perfectly possible to plait and braid with just silicone bands or needle and thread, our plaiting products save you time and energy. We all plait regularly here at Smart Grooming so understand exactly what is needed to make things easier. We recommend Plaiting Wax and Plaiting Gel to smooth and hold, helped by our Perfect Plaits Comb (one tool to brush, divide sections, and hold the mane). Finish with our Perfect Plaits spray to set the plaits in place all day long. Our purpose designed plaiting apron is the best choice for keeping all the plaiting kit in one place and a handy size with useful pockets.

    A photo of the head of a well groomed horse that is plaited and wearing a show bridle