Plaiting a thick mane requires patience, precision, and a touch of creativity. In this step-by-step guide, we'll explore the art of plaiting a Connemara Pony, in collaboration with The Horsey Barber who has a secret technique to making plaits look even no matter how thick a mane.
Before we jump into the tutorial, meet Emer, The Horsey Barber—a seasoned equine stylist who loves transforming every mane into a work of art. She offers grooming and equine clipping services in the Meath, Dublin, and Kildare regions.
Trust us, she's totally worth checking out! 🐴✂️
Let's jump into our tutorial:
Step 1: Gather Your Tools
For successful plaiting, assemble your essential tools – a mane comb, plaiting wax, and plaiting bands that complement your horse or pony's coat color. We recommend Glas Equine Mane Pulling Comb and Glas Equine White Rubber Plaiting Bands for best results.
Step 2: Prepare the Mane
Begin by thoroughly combing through your Connemara pony's mane to eliminate tangles. Apply plaiting wax generously by starting at the base of the mane and working downwards to ensure those flyaways stay in check.
Step 3: Sectioning for Success
Use your comb to measure and section your mane, ensuring evenness to avoid cross hairs. We're using about 2/3 of the comb to get our section. We also use the tip of the comb to make a even split in the mane for a neater look.
When sectioning you can use your comb to keep the rest of the mane out of your way while you start working on your plaiting.
Step 4: The Perfect Plait
Divide the first section into three even strands and try to keep these sections as even as possible. Start slightly looser at the top, tightening as you go down. Get as close to the end of the plait as possible so that you have less fly away hairs when you create your rose bud.
As you work your way down the neck, expect the mane to get a bit thicker, especially with Connemara's. No stress, though! Make your sections a tad smaller – this way you'll keep your rosebuds looking even.
Step 5: Creating Your Rosebud
Tuck the end of the plait tightly to the base of the neck and fold it over itself. Secure with two Glas Equine White Rubber Bands for added security.
Step 6: The Backwards Plait (our little secret)
Now, as you hit the middle of your Connemara's mane and notice it's getting thick, you might be thinking, "How can I keep those rosebuds looking even?" Well, here's our little secret: The Backwards Plait!
As you reach the crest of the neck, your plaits naturally start to lift up. Plaiting backwards comes to the rescue by helping them sit lower on the neck, ensuring the rosebud sits evenly.
Plaiting backwards is like hitting the reverse button for your brain! Usually, the outer strands cross over the middle strands, but with the backwards plait, you cross the middle strands over the outer strands.
We recommend between 3-4 backwards plaits at the crest of the mane for best results.
Step 7: Repeat and Refine
Continue this process, working your way through each section of the mane until you've created a row of beautiful rosebuds. Take breaks if needed, allowing both you and your pony to stay relaxed and focused.
Congratulations! You've successfully mastered the art of plaiting a thick Connemara pony mane.
With patience, practice, and a sprinkle of creativity, you can turn your pony's mane into a work of art that will surely turn heads at any event. Happy braiding from Glas Equine & The Horsey Barber 💈🐴