Mane Question – Hunter Division

While I am not new to horses nor to Morgans, I am new to the Morgan show world. I have attended a few A-rated shows, although I have yet to show myself (hopefully in 2009). I have observed that most Morgans entering the hunt division have pulled manes. I realize that this is also customary for most breeds/shows, especially open and hunter/jumper shows. I believe the rules state that Morgans can be shown, unbraided, with a full mane, yet I have yet to see one shown that way. I have been working very hard for the last year on my mare’s mane (she had a huge bald spot right in the middle). I would now hate to pull it short in order to braid it. However, I think I would be very out of place showing with a full mane. What about braiding it long, then tying it up without having bump braids? Would have be acceptable? Any comments/advice are appreciated.

10 Responses to Mane Question – Hunter Division

  1. blondie says:

    We show my mare both western and hunt and do a nice, tight running braid on her mane.

  2. KayITM says:

    I agree with blondie. I know someone who has a horse that they will sometimes compete in the hunter divisions. He has a really thick mane so they will just do a nice french braid down his mane. I comes out really nice too.

  3. rubygirl82 says:

    I think the pulled mane looks much nicer braided…..about 10 years ago the french braid was still seen a lot, but not too much anymore. It’s all in your opinion and what you like….and especially if you show both western and hunter like blondie, by all means keep your mane long, it is after all, the Versatile Morgan!

  4. Merri says:

    I show my mare Hunter Pleasure and also do a nice tight running braid. Just make sure you give enough room for your horse to bend as you get closer to the saddle area. Being new to braiding at my first show (in 07)I made the running braid too tight and ended up with a near roach towards the bottom end of the neck (oops).

    For those of you that do the french braid/running braid what do you do with the end of the braid? My mare’s mane is almost at her her shoulders so I have a lot left over. I have been just trying to tuck it up and knotting it with a string but still have a hard time getting it to stay put.

  5. rubygirl82 says:

    Merri, you can sew it in with same colored thread as her mane, just braid in peice at the end and then sew it back in as you tuck it under, then knot the thread….this will make it stay. Practice before a show so you get the technique down.

  6. rubygirl82 says:

    I forgot to mention when I say sew, I mean really with a needle, just incase you were unsure.

  7. JK says:

    I also would do a tight running braid. This was about 10 years ago, so keep that in mind. I used to make the braid so that it was almost on top of the horse’s neck. I always liked the look and it got lots of compliments. The long piece at the end I’d usually just sew into the bottom (under the braid) very carefully. Sometimes it would end up not being a very long piece, so I’d braid to the end and make a small loop at the end of the mane… usually you couldn’t even see it.

  8. IED says:

    I agree with the running braid. I used to do that when I showed my old mare both hunt and western, so I’ve had plenty of practice, though I taught myself how to do bump braids about three years ago (one of the best things to know in the equine industry!!). My personal preference for a running braid is to ‘under’ braid it rather than the traditional ‘over braid’ (where you cross the pieces under themselves rather than over); it makes the braid stick out and, if you do it nice and tight, it ends up almost on the top of the horse’s neck and doesn’t detract from the neck at all; rather, it accents it much like a set of running braids will do. :)

    I will say that if you thin the mane a bit, the running braid will not only be easier to do, it will lay on the neck more nicely and not be so bulky – which looks better (imo).

    I would say that if you left your mane free in a hunter class today, you would probably have a mark against you the moment you entered the ring. I realize it is legally allowed per the rule book, but it will make you stick out, and not necessarily in a good way.

  9. cap1963 says:

    Thank you, everyone, for your responses. Has anyone heard of or seen the scalloped braid? You start the braids as you normally would, then attach them at the top to every other braid. Just wondering.

  10. rubygirl82 says:

    I have seen the scalloped braid, but mostly in dressage and jumping classes, it seems to be more of a “sporty” look. I’d stick to a running braid or a bump braid in the show ring.

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