To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Advance show prep

After last week's braiding attempt, I turned to Google for some ideas and tutorials. The most helpful one I found was here. Not only were the instructions for braiding clear, but she also shared her secret for an all-day French braid, plus an important tip: Braid and ride before a show, as some horses may be bothered by things feeling different. I figured Lance might be such a horse, because he seems to care about the where of his hair.

So today I did a quick and dirty French braid (sans yarn ties), then schooled the boy.
Freshly braided and ready to tack up
Mounted and ready to start schooling
At the end of our schooling session
After schooling, with the sun behind a cloud
Lance didn't seem bothered by his new hairdo in the least. As you can see, there was some loosening, but I doubt it would be noticeable from the judge's stand. I need to tweak my technique just a bit and will take more care when doing this for shows, but am basically happy with this method of braiding. It's fast, and lets Lance keep his beautiful mane! His forelock will be the problem area; I might have to muzzle him to get that bit done. :-/

After riding I decided to take advantage of the partial sunshine and give Lance a shower. I left his braid in so I could clean his neck thoroughly, then loosened it and took him out into the pasture to enjoy some fresh spring grass while drip-drying.
His suspensory injury rarely crosses my mind these days, but the shaved area (so Rick could do the final ultrasound check) really stood out today after his shower. I hope we never need to shave that – or any other – area again!


Alanna said...

I think it looks good. No one will care that is loosens up a bit when you are riding him.

Mare(+Missy) said...

That video really mad me want a horse with a long mane:(

Anonymous said...

Good braiding job for the first time with a new method! By the time of the next show you'll have it perfected.

Lori Skoog said...

That braiding should work great and he looks handsome with it.

Theresa said...

Thanks for the braiding link, although I have to admit, I will probably roach everyone's mane this year. The curly manes are both hard and easy to keep. Most people leave them alone, but my guys always seem to give a rub in pitch and then, it's a big snarl up. Hopefully Mary sees your post as I know she'll be keeping Nick's mane ( I always roached his). He has such a pretty neck....
Lance is looking quite handsome BTW and what a pretty color he is. His mane looks peachy!

Mary Ann said...

Love the braid and Lance looks so nice and clean, but ALL I SEE IS THE GREEN!