In this multi part series, I will go over the types of braiding, how to do each, and the best products that will make your braiding a little easier! To kick this series off in this article I will go over the different types of braiding and when they are used. In this article I will be covering the details of hunter braids and button braids (dressage).
Hunter braids can be and are quite intimidating, but once you break it down, it's not so bad! Doing these types of braids is both an art and a science, and be quite expensive to have done.
When are they used?
As the name implies, hunter braids are most commonly used in the hunter and equitation rings at rated shows.
The key to hunter braids is to have 30 to 40 short uniform braids along the crest of your horse's neck. The mane should be 4 to 5 inches long and have an even thickness. If your horse has a super thick mane, the best way to get the desired thickness and length is through pulling the mane.
Because hunter braids are usually so tight, it is best to take them out overnight if you are at a multi day show. This is because if the horse's mane gets itchy, they could accidentally rub out an entire braid overnight. When the mane is braided that tight, the hairs are more susceptible to breaking at the base.
Button braids are excellent to accent your horse's crest! They usually take less time than Hunter Braids and are much less complicated with a variety of techniques to get the job done.
When are they used?
Button braids are most commonly used in pure dressage and eventing dressage, but are also seen in the jumper ring. If done correctly, they are an excellent way to show off your horse's neck.
Depending on the horse's neck and your braiding technique, 10 to 20 uniform braids is recommended, but there is a lot of wiggle room for this one. The mane should be between four and six inches in length, but the longer the mane, the less braids you will have to do.
Button braids are usually not as tight as hunter braids, so it is more common to leave them in overnight if you are at a multi day show. I personally leave mine in overnight because I know my horse isn't likely to rub on them, but I do use a sleazy when I do leave them in overnight.
I hope you guys were able to find some use in today's post! Over the next few weeks I'll be posting "how-tos" on how to do both hunter braids and button braids and I will try to break down and simplify the process as much as possible! You got this and stay positive!