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  1. #1
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    Apr. 3, 2002
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    Default Button Braids/Cobra Braids for longer mane?

    I have an Arab mare that I will be showing at some schooling shows later this summer.

    I french braid my Morgan mare, as she has a long, extremely thick mane. Only option for her (short of pulling her mane).

    But the Arab's mane isn't nearly as long, nor as thick. It probably comes about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way down her neck. She also has a lovely but thinner and longer neck, and I don't think a french braid is going to look that good on her. I may end up doing a lattice braid, but I was wondering if it might work to do the thick button braids/cobra braids since she doesn't have a ton of hair - again, not thick, just longer. Has anyone tried these more conventional braids on a longer mane?

    (I have not ruled out pulling her mane, as I do not show at Arab shows - but I'm not going to make the decision until after a few shows).



  2. #2
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    Apr. 2, 2010
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    I show at Arab shows AND I pull my mares mane. It's such a beautiful classic look, and I had more then one judge tell me before I pulled her mane that I should consider pulling it. Arabians are also supposed to have long flowing tails, and that is certainly not appropriate for the Dressage ring so why not go all the way?
    Samantha Werner

    There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers



  3. #3
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    Jun. 11, 2004
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    Still here ~ not yet there
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    Default

    What's a "cobra" braid?



  4. #4
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    Nov. 5, 2008
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    North Georgia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyzteke View Post
    What's a "cobra" braid?
    Don't know what it looks like on horses, but it's what I use to make survival bracelets. Maybe it has a weave like that?
    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
    DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
    Quote Originally Posted by talkofthetown View Post
    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.



  5. #5
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    Dec. 23, 2010
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    Default

    Long tails are perfectly "appropriate" for dressage. This is dressage, not hunters or saddleseat - not everyone has to follow the fashions, as long as your turnout is neat, legal and respectful. Of course you'll want to consider what shows off your horse's movement and training the best. Button braids might work, but I haven't had tons of luck myself with anything longer than about 4 inches. You either end up with lots more buttons than normal or they're so thick they're hard to keep together - and they bounce. You might be able to make it work though if it's very thin, or perhaps you could just shorten it a bit?



  6. #6
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    Default

    Cobra braids are basically big button braids - the term came up multiple times when I was doing a google search on braiding a long mane:
    http://www.boblangrish.com/galleriesimage.php?id=10022

    I think they are referred to as "cobra" because they look hooded.

    I will not be showing much - dressage is a second sport, I'm primarily an endurance rider. Hence why I'm not gung ho about pulling the mane (and maintaining it that way).



  7. #7
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    Apr. 6, 2010
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    San Diego, CA
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    Default

    I like the Cobra Idea... I'll have to try that on the Supermodel. Usually I lattice hers as she has the very elegant refined halter neck and does go to the halter ring on rare occasions so I cannot pull her mane. Try a running braid on it though if it doesn't give a better look or her mane is not thick enough to pull it off I would stick with the lattice.
    Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
    Originally Posted by alicen:
    What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 1999
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    Concord, California, USA
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    Default Scallops?

    How about scallop braids? That's what I used to use on my thin-maned race-bred Appy (who fortunately had a LOVELY tail - see my profile pic). I let it get longish and then did the scallops. I got compliments from judges many times on the appearance of the scallop braids.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2005
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    1,246

    Default

    I pull my arabs mane for dressage, but for button braids you can get away with a longer mane. I hated the long mane, it always looked bad on my horse. Pulling isn't really a lot more work then detangling a long mane.



  10. #10
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    Jul. 17, 2000
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    Arizona
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    Default

    Oh, the cobra braids are pretty--hadn't seen those before. I'm both lazy and good at making a quick french braid/bad at making tiny braids, so I just leave my Arab gelding's mane long, and french braid it for shows. I think anything is fine braiding-wise as long as it's neat and not floppy.
    Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
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  11. #11
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    Apr. 29, 2008
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    Houston, TX
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    Try it at home and see how it looks? You should be able to tell after a couple of braids if you can make it work or not = )

    I LOVE button/cobra braids (yes, the "cobra" is because the braid is sort of nestled in a hood - people often do less than 10 to get the look). I think they look lovely on almost all horses. A running braid takes a lot less time, but the wider spaced button braids do look great. And since you're only doing a few, they don't really take that long either.

    I can understand the resistance to pulling, but once you do it the first time, it's really not much maintenance. Since my boy only does dressage shows right now, a longer pulled mane is totally fine (the mane needs to be longer for good button braids than a tight hunter braid). His stayes neat and tidy looking without much maintenance at all. I usually just touch it up before shows or if I'm in a grooming mood = )

    I grew up in saddle seat land (arabs then saddlebreds), so the thought of pulling was very foreign for me at first. I've grown to absolutely love the look, and I would do it on any non traditional dressage breed unless I were doing breed shows too and showing in non-dressage classes.

    Do you usually do anything with the mane for endurance? Or do you just leave it down?



  12. #12
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    Sep. 28, 2005
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    Default

    Try a tight french braid directly down the center of the crest (on top) versus a running braid on one side. I have two Georgian Grandes (saddlebred/perch and saddlebred/friesian) who have medium-long/thick manes. If you do it directly on top of the crest, it looks nice and neat in the ring.

    If that won't work, good fat buttons always look nice on a refined neck. Good luck!



  13. #13
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    Mar. 3, 2010
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    Georgia
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    Default

    I'd love to know if anyone else has used a lattice braid.
    "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
    http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/



  14. #14
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    Apr. 2, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost_at_C View Post
    Long tails are perfectly "appropriate" for dressage. This is dressage, not hunters or saddleseat - not everyone has to follow the fashions, as long as your turnout is neat, legal and respectful. Of course you'll want to consider what shows off your horse's movement and training the best. Button braids might work, but I haven't had tons of luck myself with anything longer than about 4 inches. You either end up with lots more buttons than normal or they're so thick they're hard to keep together - and they bounce. You might be able to make it work though if it's very thin, or perhaps you could just shorten it a bit?
    Yea I guess you are right that it is "appropriate". But when I would talk to judges after a show was over they would tell me if I wanted to be "taken seriously" I needed to chop off her mane and tail. I wasn't showing in the main ring anymore so I didn't see the point of keeping it that way if I was just showing Dressage. For the same reason people choose to buy a Dressage show coat instead of showing in a Hunter coat to follow the fashion, I felt that if I was showing Dressage, I didn't want to do it half heartedly and wanted to conform as close as possible to the traditional Dressage breeds since it is hard enough for an Arabian to be taken seriously in a sport horse discipline. That is all I meant...
    Samantha Werner

    There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers



  15. #15
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    Aug. 25, 2008
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    Default

    I would hope that you wouldn't have to pull the mane to be taken seriously. I have a Friesian, and french braid him right before I go in the ring (my DD, who grooms for me, does it). It looks perfectly neat and he has a LOT of mane. I've always felt that my scores reflected my performance, and have never felt, either at a recognized or schooling show, that I ever got any sort of prejudice because he had a lot of mane and tail. As long as you're neat and well-turned-out, it should be a non-issue. I wouldn't do scallop braids or anything distracting, but a french braid keeps it confined and out of my reins, which is the whole idea.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatmoody View Post
    I would hope that you wouldn't have to pull the mane to be taken seriously. I have a Friesian, and french braid him right before I go in the ring (my DD, who grooms for me, does it). It looks perfectly neat and he has a LOT of mane. I've always felt that my scores reflected my performance, and have never felt, either at a recognized or schooling show, that I ever got any sort of prejudice because he had a lot of mane and tail. As long as you're neat and well-turned-out, it should be a non-issue. I wouldn't do scallop braids or anything distracting, but a french braid keeps it confined and out of my reins, which is the whole idea.
    I agree with you 100%! I was just relaying what was mentioned to me by a few judges!!
    Samantha Werner

    There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamWerner View Post
    Yea I guess you are right that it is "appropriate". But when I would talk to judges after a show was over they would tell me if I wanted to be "taken seriously" I needed to chop off her mane and tail. I wasn't showing in the main ring anymore so I didn't see the point of keeping it that way if I was just showing Dressage. For the same reason people choose to buy a Dressage show coat instead of showing in a Hunter coat to follow the fashion, I felt that if I was showing Dressage, I didn't want to do it half heartedly and wanted to conform as close as possible to the traditional Dressage breeds since it is hard enough for an Arabian to be taken seriously in a sport horse discipline. That is all I meant...
    How long do you mean by long? I've got my Arab's tail banged so that it is right above his fetlocks when he is relaxed and his tail is down. Most of the warmbloods in my barn have their tails about the same length.

    I have seen in a couple of places that some dressage horses have their tails trimmed to right above their hocks. This looks only OK to me as I personally like a much longer tail but IMHO does not work well with Arabs because when they have a high tail carriage that shortish tail is going to look silly when they are in motion.

    On the other hand, I have seen a few Arab folks riding dressage that still have the dragging on the ground kind of long and now that I've crossed over to the other side, that looks kinda funny to me.

    Went to WEG last year and don't recall seeing any horses that had particularly short thin tails. Most were quite long and flowing and complemented the horse nicely.

    So when is the tail too long? (Serious question)

    As for the mane, I had my Arab's traditionally long. Then his pasturemates started chewing it off so I gritted my teeth and cut it to warmblood length. It looks pretty good on him, I braided him more traditionally at our last show and that looked nice as well. So I guess I'm going to suck it up and keep it short. It helps to have a good friend who is a human stylist who will trim and thin it for me.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldernewbie View Post
    How long do you mean by long? I've got my Arab's tail banged so that it is right above his fetlocks when he is relaxed and his tail is down. Most of the warmbloods in my barn have their tails about the same length.

    I have seen in a couple of places that some dressage horses have their tails trimmed to right above their hocks. This looks only OK to me as I personally like a much longer tail but IMHO does not work well with Arabs because when they have a high tail carriage that shortish tail is going to look silly when they are in motion.

    On the other hand, I have seen a few Arab folks riding dressage that still have the dragging on the ground kind of long and now that I've crossed over to the other side, that looks kinda funny to me.

    Went to WEG last year and don't recall seeing any horses that had particularly short thin tails. Most were quite long and flowing and complemented the horse nicely.

    So when is the tail too long? (Serious question)

    As for the mane, I had my Arab's traditionally long. Then his pasturemates started chewing it off so I gritted my teeth and cut it to warmblood length. It looks pretty good on him, I braided him more traditionally at our last show and that looked nice as well. So I guess I'm going to suck it up and keep it short. It helps to have a good friend who is a human stylist who will trim and thin it for me.
    When I say long I mean dragging on the ground!! Like what you see in Hunter, Country, Western pleasure!! I never said thin My mares is nice and thick and right to her fetlock (just like you said like the horses at WEG)!

    Long is when it drags on the ground, the horse backs up, and then rips its hair out anyways...
    Samantha Werner

    There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers



  19. #19
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    Proud owner of one Lunar acre! (Campanus Crater, The Moon)
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    Scallop braids. You can leave the main longer (6") and you don't have to pull much (I don't pull, I thin with a razor comb). You also have less tugging on the horse's neck and less risk of pulling out hairs because they move with their neck better when the horse stretches.

    And they are SUPER simple to put in and take out. I used to do button braids a lot, but found that I prefer scallop braids--and so do my horses.
    "Relinquish your whip!!"



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velvet View Post
    Scallop braids. You can leave the main longer (6") and you don't have to pull much (I don't pull, I thin with a razor comb). You also have less tugging on the horse's neck and less risk of pulling out hairs because they move with their neck better when the horse stretches.

    And they are SUPER simple to put in and take out. I used to do button braids a lot, but found that I prefer scallop braids--and so do my horses.
    I used scallops for years and years on old Erik. Mark has a THICK mane and HATES having it pulled, so for him button braids work better, but I agree - they are much more comfortable with the scallops and the braids are quick and easy to do. When I braided Erik, who had a chestnut/blond/white mixed mane, I used white yarn and it blended nicely yet looked "showy" with his chestnut/roaning coloring.



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