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Stance Blog

Top tips for creating perfect plaits!

Tess Lawrence - Tuesday, July 01, 2014

CREATING THE PERFECT PLAITS

BY ALYSHA FAETS

Stance Ambassador and plaiting extraordinaire Alysha Faets takes us through how to create the perfect plaits on your horse. Alysha has a strong presence in the NSW show and dressage arenas and has plaiting down to a fine art!

When entering the show ring, presentation is one of the leading factors of standing out in the crowd.

 Having the perfect plaits is something which takes a lot of practice, but is very rewarding once the skill is acquired! There is nothing better than the confidence you get when you go out into the ring knowing you are looking your best! Read on for some tips I have picked up on how to create the perfect plaits:


What you will need- Plaiting Up Kit Basics:
- Elastic Bands
- Horse thread and needle
- Scissors
- Comb
- Choice of product
- Unpicker


Instructions:

I prefer to plait up after I have washed my horse, so the mane is still damp. It is your own personal preference if you choose to plait up with a wet mane, or if you prefer a dry mane held together with products. I find it easier to plait up when the mane is wet.

Firstly, brush your horse’s mane and make sure it is an even length. Depending on the thickness of your horses mane, you may need to pull it or use a thinning comb to ensure the plaits won’t be too thick and become baubles against your horses neck. Practice with one rosette first, and critique ‘the look’ before cutting it shorter or thinning.

After this is done, follow these steps;




Use a comb to evenly divide your horse’s mane (about 7 or 8cm is a good width per plait). Then separate into three even sections. 
The goal is to have even rosettes of the same size. Obviously not every mane is perfect to plait, so keep the width of the plait the same size down the whole mane, even if part of the mane has been rubbed.









I prefer to plait downwards, keeping the top 
semi-loose and gradually plaiting tighter.











Finish the plait by using an elastic band. 












Then neatly fold the excess hair under the plait, and finish it with the band.














Roll your plait underneath, tight at first to make a ‘ball’.











If you're happy with how the rosette looks sitting against the neck, it is now time to start sewing! Before stitching the ball, put your needle and thread through the end of the plait as you are rolling it up.











Then use your needle and thread to sew it in place. Keep holding the rosette until you've pulled the thread through a couple of times to keep it in position.

 





TIP: Step back for an overall view once you have finished the first couple. This will help you picture how the rest will look, and encourage you to continue or unpick and try again.





When you have finished, remember to give your horse or pony a big pat! Then spray with any final hair product you have chosen to keep your plaits in place, and if possible, put a well fitted skinny hood and cotton hood on top so that the plaits cannot be rubbed out.

One thing to remember is that perfect plaits take a lot of practice. Once you have plaited up a couple of times, you will learn your horses mane and which part takes more time. Like with anything in life, practice makes perfect so if you think your skills leave a bit to be desired, just keep trying and you will be a professional before you know it! 

Lots of love, Alysha Faets
 
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Products

CoolStance

CoolStance copra is a unique horse feed because it has low Non Structural Carbohydrate (NSC), and yet has a high digestible energy content.
Learn More

 

PowerStance

PowerStance is a unique powdered coconut oil supplement.  PowerStance delivers the secret ingredient from CoolStance as a powder.
Learn More