World-Class Braiding

Ah, beautiful braids. It’s such a treat seeing horses turned out at shows with their manes and tails in perfect order. For many of us, this magic happens at some point in the night or early morning, when the braiding fairies come to the stalls and turn our flat manes into show-ready works of art. 

The start of a Running Braid. Learn this braid by visiting our homepage!

And while showing with a groom and paying a pro to braid is common at shows (and a big relief for riders who are busy preparing for classes) it is a skill set that goes missed among riders. As horsemanship and basic grooming skills go, it is valuable knowledge to know how to braid your own horse’s mane and tail. 

A sick groom, an early class, and the value of knowing how to properly turnout your horse. You never know when good braiding knowledge will come in handy. The authors write:

“Horses show affection to each other by grooming each other, often on the neck. Braiding a little bit, and doing it often, can increase your bond with your horse, and convince him that it is a fun activity, rather than a tortuous event. That’s a win, even if you aren’t competing!” 

We could agree more. What a wonderful notion to connect with your horses while braiding. In this tack trunk guide, which we excerpted in our Sept/Oct 2021 issue, grooms Cat Hill and Emma Ford offer specific how-to knowledge of the most common types of braids for the mane and tail. With fantastic pictures and step-by-step instructions, this guide offers you a quick roadmap to stellar turnout, in a handy size that fits right in your trunk. Hunter braids, jumper braids, or beautiful dressage knots — they cover it all! 

A finished Running Braid

In our excerpt, we focus on Yarn Button Braids and the famous Running Braid. (You can read them both online, found on our homepage and starting at page 40!)

You’ll be a braiding master in no time. 

Big thanks to Horse and Rider Books for this excerpt from World Class Braiding — Manes and Tails, A Tack Trunk Guide. Check out the full book by purchasing it online at