HELP NEEDED with dressage turnout

I am new to eventing, and the English world in general, and I have a few concerns about proper dressage turnout. I ride a Connemara pony. She has a really thick mane and is a typically hairy little thing. I have completely body clipped her (feathers, face, ears, legs, etc.) as it is 55-70 degrees here in California and she tends to sweat a lot even when clipped. She had her mane pulled in September for a hunter show so it is about 8-10" long at the moment. Now my dilemma is how to turnout her mane for the dressage aspect of eventing. I don’t really want to pull it again but I will if absolutely necessary. Do I make a few large rosette type braids? Do I do a running braid? Do I do a scalloped braid? Since she has been clipped I don’t think it makes sense to adhere to breed specifications. We will be doing our first event at BN level in February. Any tips, pictures, advice, opinions are greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance:)

I used to do a running plait when I evented decades ago. Long and short rossettes are normal. No one ever accused me of being normal and yes I won a few times.

Personally, I would pull and rosette braid.

My preference would be to roach it or pull and braid as well, but either very large braids or a running braid is also acceptable. Leaving it loose is also okay but I probably wouldn’t for a recognized HT especially if it is a typical pony mane.

I would either roach, or pull it and put in about 8-10 big chunky button braids.

If you like her mane the length it is, a running braid is fine, and fast. Braiding isn’t required, but would definitely do it for the dressage phase…

[QUOTE=Jazzy Lady;7959150]
I would either roach, or pull it and put in about 8-10 big chunky button braids.[/QUOTE]

You can do button braids with a longer and thicker mane as per above. There is a good video on Youtube how to do this - search Dutton Event camp braiding.

Note that there is nothing in the rules that says you have to braid at all :slight_smile: Many don’t.

DT is correct – NOWHERE in eventing are you required to braid for any phase. Just clean, tidy, & the judge needs to be able to see the horse’s neck. Trust me, if you’ve ever scribed (and DO volunteer whenever you get the chance, you learn SO much that will help your riding & competeing, not to mention meeting great people!), the judge is way too busy to examine hairdos!!

I hate hair management & am NOT a Barbie girl, so I roach. I even trim…with scissors, the horror, LOL. Dollar Tree scissors, no less, but with some practice, it all looks fine. We get lots of compliments & personally, I think it makes their neck super sexy!

Recognized HT at Novice in 2012 w/ OTTB in his standard hairdo – no butler jacket either, I despise them. Only worn if forced!! And he scored well - eventing is SO not hunter world, that’s why I’m here!! :smiley:
(yes, I do braid his forelock, he has mega surfer bangs!)

Love that look, Wildlifer!

I love his “hairdo,” wildlifer!

I’d go with a few button braids for sure. If it’s a typical pony mane, I certainly wouldn’t be leaving it with nothing done to it. I prefer to be neat and braided. I have scribed before and yes the judges are busy, but the overall picture looks quite unpolished and messy if a horse isn’t braided (or nicely roached like wildlifer’s pic).

I’m going to be conservative here and ask that you consider pulling the mane to a nice shorter length (not 8 or 10 inches but more like 5 or 6 inches) if you can. I know pulling mane is a b&^^tch. It’s my most hated chore, too. But pulling a mane says a few things that a long mane does not.
At the BN level, dressage is important, so turnout for dressage is also important. No one says you have to be anything but neat and clean, but pulling the mane sort of says both of those things for you and you sure do not have to braid.
A horse with a pulled mane looks appropriate for whatever you are doing in the dressage ring, the jumping arena, and on cross country. It allows you a clean, clear contact with the reins and his mouth without the interference of a long mane while galloping, although some do not find this in the way. I have scribed enough to know that a pulled mane does indeed make an impression, or rather, and unpulled mane is the thing making the impression.
I know, I know. I hate it too.

Love that look, Wildlifer![/QUOTE]

Thanks! I love that I get to walk in in the morning with extra sleep & my horse is show ready as soon as I brush him off! Just like everything else, play with it ahead of time & you can figure out ways to make it really sharp & really compliment your horse’s neck.

I confess I took a deep breath the first time I shaved off a mane, but my other horse has a weird, crazy thick mane that flips both ways & I’d tried banding & wetting & all the other things. And honestly, I hate braiding, even though I can do it, & really need sleep a lot more!! But that horse, Solo, OWNED the mohawk with his big Appendix neck, even though he can’t grow a forelock to save his life, bless his heart, LOL (this was from a clinic):

If you like to grab mane for jumping, you do lose that, but my guys both jump in a breastcollar, so I just use that strap or the martingale strap (ok, so sometimes I forget they are there):

I have a couple of Connemara crosses.

I do not PULL, but I shorten (with a Solo comb) the manes to about 6 inches.

I only braid for Championships