December 2, 2010

To Pull or Not to Pull...

I have been out of the show ring for a very long time... about 12 years so I'm a little behind the times on trends.  Luckily I ride dressage which is cemented in tradition so very little changes, especially at the lower levels... or so I assume. 

But I plan on showing this coming season, so as I dust off my hat and breeches I have one question... what are the standards on braiding these days.  I have a Friesian Cross with a long thick black mane, and it kills me to chop it off and thin it out.  Ignore his head position below, we have since fixed his desire to avoid the bit (I promise I don't practice Rollkur).  This was 8 months ago when I first got him, its grown another 4 inches since. 

I have read that with certain breeds like Friesians and Andalusians, a running braid is acceptable.  But to me he looks more like a Thoroughbred/Warmblood than a Friesian.  So if I show up with a running braid it may be perceived as lazy vs paying tribute to his breed and thick mane.

The other option is to go a head and shorten and pull his mane.  But as I look at the pictures of current button braids they seem to be quite thick.  I'm imagining if I only fit 8-10 braids on his neck they are going to be the size of my fist, without completely thinning it out.  That is something else that seems to have changed.  When I was showing years ago, we had 15-20 individual braids, maybe I've been doing it wrong this whole time.  And where is the white tape?  That seems to have gone away too.  Geez I wonder what else has changed.  Are we still wearing white pants?  I hope so because they are the only ones that still fit :).

So I guess I have some decisions to make:  Do I keep Dexter's mane long even though he doesn't have the Friesian build?  If not how thin do I go?  Is it OK to have more braids?  And do I need more white tape?

Help!? :)

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't pull that mane! On the long maned Arabs in my barn we do a running braid for shows and they look great. My friend has an Arab/Friesian that has a lovely long mane, if yours is anything like hers I'd keep it. It would probably be too thick even if pulled short to make good braids. Braids are best for the mane challenged:)