Friday’s Five – Steps to the perfect forelock braid

"I'm bored. Is it cross-country time yet?"

"I'm bored. Is it cross-country time yet?"

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Friday’s Five – Steps to the perfect forelock braid

There is nothing worse than a bad forelock braid. As wonderful as unicorns are, it is best that your horse does not have a forelock braid that resembles a horn. Forelock braids are tricky because you cannot braid the forelock the same as the rest of the mane and horses rarely stand still when you are attempting this special braid. Luckily with these foolproof steps your horse can sport the best forelock braid at the event.

Here are the five steps to a perfect forelock braid:

1. Tame that forelock. Like your horse’s mane, its forelock should also be pulled or maintained in some way (scissors if you are not into pulling). Braiding an unruly forelock will never yield top results. Make sure you do this several days ahead of the day you have to braid because otherwise it will be tough to convince your horse to stand still while you braid.

Ideal starting forelock.

Ideal forelock for braiding.

 

2. The trick to braiding the forelock is dividing the hair correctly. To split the hair into the three sections you need to braid – first take the top part of the forelock as one section and then split the lower portion in the middle, giving you your other two sections. This is the lazy horseman’s French braid. I use it because it saves my horse and I a lot of grief and fighting trying to spend the time to do a proper French braid. Once the hair is split braid it down as tight as you can and secure the bottom of the braid with an elastic.

The forelock division for braiding.

The forelock division for braiding.

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3. Thread your needle then tie it to the end of the forelock. After your flat braid is done, thread your needle with a piece of yarn or string. The string should be about 2 feet in length. Then take the ends of the string and tie them around the forelock braid at the bottom (where the elastic is sitting).

Ends tied around the forelock braid.

Ends tied around the forelock braid.

 

4. ‘Sew’ in a loop. Take your needle and slide it through the middle of your horse’s forelock, like up between its ears. The forelock braid will now be in a cute little loop.

The loop.

The loop.

 

5. Keep sewing until the braid is secure. Push your needle through the middle of this loop and up through the rest of the forelock again. Keep repeating this process, alternating from side to side, until the braid looks excellent and is not bouncing around in the breeze. You want to make sure you are observant when doing this because you will notice that if you push the needle through too off centre your braid will look asymmetrical.

Just keep 'sewing'...

Just keep ‘sewing’…

 

When you are finished simply cut the end of the strings close to the forelock, no tying is necessary.

Snip.

Snip.

 

Voila…

Finished product!

Finished product!

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