Braiding for the hunter/jumper ring?

I’m hoping to set some money by braiding but I’ve never gotten the chance to learn how. What types of braids are used for the hunter and jumper show ring? Are their manes and tails braided? If you have a link for a video it would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks:)

Hunter ring:
Manes look like this, tails look like this (little roll at the bottom is called a pinwheel, there are many variations of how to tie up the end of the braid but this is the most popular). Here is a mane tutorial and a tail tutorial.

Jumper ring:
You can braid the mane if you’d like to (I always do, just because I love the look) but no tail. Size depends on the horse’s neck and preference, they can be small or big. This video tutorial shows how to braid with both rubber bands and yarn, personally I find rubber bands easier and quicker.

ETA - A book like this might help you, I got it from the library and it’s very interesting (and has some braids I’ve never even heard of!) Practice is the best way to learn to braid, so start braiding your own horse when you have some free time.
:slight_smile:

Thank you so much!

You can also, instead of doing a pinwheel (which I think looks ridiculous), tuck the tail braid up and under*. Much neater looking, IMO, but not in fashion.

Also, in my experience, a wrap-around end to the tail braid holds in a fake tail better. I’ll see if I can find pictures…

  • Also a nice way to do your hair for a big occasion :lol:

Braiding at the level where someone pays you takes tons of practice, probably years. There are videos out there to show you technique, but you will have to get proficient at tightness, spacing, eveness of the bottom line, etc. the pros out there are REALLY good.

It is also a horribly rough life and very hard on your body. Just things to consider.

Good show braids require a lot of skill - I practiced and practiced as a youth - and even though I was a paid groom that did everything else - I STILL paid a braider to do my horse (and the rest of the show barn). My braids were never up to snuff, it takes years of practice and skill to get an even look out of every mane.

And I agree with Laurie - while my days of grooming while showing were LONG (5 am to 9 pm) - the braiders worked over night - out braiding horses at 3 am in the cold etc.

Not a job I envied! While some of the very good braiders get a full client book, and make decent money, its hard work with long bad hours.

Personally - I made my extra money with preshow tack cleaning services, and come fall - body clipping (+better hours! - more hair down your bra!)

IMHO pinwheels have been on their way out over the last few years. I can’t remember the last time my horse had a pinwheel in their tail.

As others have said, making braiding a business means you must braid extremely well, and work for a braider who already has barns, lots of time on the road, and lots of long nights. Braiding and showing together are typically not copacetic.

Don’t forget about “cleaning up” before a show - tack cleaning, clipping ears, bridle path, etc., mane pulling, bathing - basically grooming without tacking up. Preparing the horse and equipment for showing. I used to pay a girl decent money to do all this for me while I got to sleep in a little later :slight_smile: it’s a great way to make connections too, she used me as a reference when applying for a pro grooming job.

[QUOTE=Nickelodian;7121514]IMHO pinwheels have been on their way out over the last few years. I can’t remember the last time my horse had a pinwheel in their tail.

As others have said, making braiding a business means you must braid extremely well, and work for a braider who already has barns, lots of time on the road, and lots of long nights. Braiding and showing together are typically not copacetic.[/QUOTE]

You won’t find a conformation horse, or HB entry without a pinwheel out here, and many performance horses, too. Certainly not on its way out!

I love pinwheels! I do not like the tucked under nor the wrap around style myself!

Pinwheels are not going out of style any more than polished boots are going out of style.

The fact that there are people who don’t bother to do some things doesn’t mean those things are going out of style.

Interesting. Though I don’t do conformation or HB, I do compete in A/Os and Derbys. The number of tails not pinwheeled vs done is probably 10-1 from what I’ve seen. I assumed it was a fad thing, but maybe it’s just laziness by the braiders!

FWIW, my braider and her crew are typically on top of all the trends in braiding and are sending most of their horses in the ring with a wrap around. I was a little surprised when my DD’s horse came out that way at the beginning of the summer, but I love the way it looks - very elegant and handsome, particularly on the less modern types of horses…

ETA: I’m aware it’s been around but in our neck of the woods with our braiding crew, it is making a resurgence :wink:

I believe the wraparound may be faster for the braider.

And it’s not exactly a new trend. It’s been around for at least a decade.

Out here most of my clients like a wrap around finish for the tail. I do pinwheels for ponies, medal classes, Eq mainly. Pinwheels should be petite and neat, the one shown looks big and bulky to me. Also, the sections are too big (in my opinion).

I went through a few years of braiding under for the tails, so the braid sits on top like this- (I also don’t like how big the wrap part is but the sections are nice, small and tidy, from 2010 I think)
http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac305/fassopony/Knotted%20Pony/Sport%20Horse%20flier/0722100640c-1.jpg

Now most folks want a very traditional tail, so braided under. This is a horrible pic, I took it at night a few days ago and the white parts glare out. Poor guy has no tail on top from rubbing too-

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac305/fassopony/IMAG1916_zps236104ee.jpg

Same horse same day-
http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac305/fassopony/IMAG1909_zps4ed783fe.jpg

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac305/fassopony/IMAG1919_zps72e43f58.jpg

And, I have been doing navy yarn in some black manes (after a groom cut an entire braid off by accident after a long tiring day LOL!!) and it is subtle but lots are liking it. Can you see where his missing hair is, I can LOL!!-

http://i910.photobucket.com/albums/ac305/fassopony/IMAG1906_zpsb81127e3.jpg

I braided one of the top derby horses out here a few weeks ago, the trainer did not want a pinwheel. Trust me, she is very specific on how her horses are braided. Definitely not laziness :winkgrin:

Also, yes the hours are insane. And, it is hard on your body. I thought I was going to just die a few weeks ago. I braid for myself and did not need to work for anyone to get started. I do back up for some of the other pros who have too many horses pretty frequently if time allows. Braiding is definitely part time for me as I have a “real” job. I have also found that I really enjoy the braiding, I don’t like having too many horses so I have to rush although I am pretty fast. A big part is making “my” horses look stellar, the grey I linked in has become a favorite and he looks so darling braided. So, for me 4-8 a night is fine, 10 will work but 17 is too many I learned the hard way. Ugh.

I prefer the wrap to the pinwheel. I always have. I just think the pinwheel looks a little, well, 3D. Like just kind of chillin there on the tail where it doesn’t belong. I did it when my horses did breeding classes, but I was never a big fan and overall I have always liked the wrap around look better. Maybe I’m just weird.

[QUOTE=twotrudoc;7123735]
And, I have been doing navy yarn in some black manes (after a groom cut an entire braid off by accident after a long tiring day LOL!!) and it is subtle but lots are liking it. [/QUOTE]

I am loving the colored yarns personally. My braider does my gray horse in lilac:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1012793_10151500084667960_1351790230_n.jpg

And my black horse in a deep purple (I couldn’t find an action shot that showed his braids!)

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/36745_404183062959_6609745_n.jpg

Braiding for other people IS hard, as the others have said. But don’t let that deter you from honing your skills. It’s good to be able to braid your own in a pinch, and doing one horse at a time is a lot easier than doing 15 in one night… I also have that badge of honor! :wink:

Nick-I like that too! nice!