Plaiting a Tail

A pulled or plaited tail is required at most types of horse shows. Although not difficult to learn, a plaited tail creates a neat, sharp result. However, it is probably a good idea to have a few practise runs before the actual show, as it does take a little while to figure it out. When preparing for your show, make sure you leave 20-30 minutes for the tail plait, as you will probably have to unravel it and start again a couple of times due to mistakes.

You will need:

  • A spray bottle of water
  • A mane and tail comb
  • A rubber band or needle and thread
  • Hair spray and/or hair gel

First off, if you plan to plait your horses tail, make sure you let the hairs around the top of his tail grow long. When you wash your horse before a show, don't condition the top of the tail, as this will make it too slippery to plait neatly.
Once you have your horse's tail clean, comb through the top of the tail so it is untangled. Spray the top of the tail with lots of water. The spray bottle is a (not so secret) weapon! If you plait the tail when the hair is dry, you will probably get more wispy bits. Don't put any gel or hair spray on until you have finished the plait, this makes plaiting very difficult, especially the top bit.

 Step One

Take a small amount of hair, from the very top of this side of the dock, on either side. For the purposes of this explanation, I'm going to lay the left (purple) strands over the right (yellow) strands, but you could do it the other way if you want. The smaller the bunches of hair you use, the nicer the plait looks, in general. Use a bunch around 7-10mm wide.

Step Two

Now take a bunch of hair from the right side (green) and lay it over the bunch from the left (purple). You now have the three strands of the plait that you will add too as you continue down the dock.

 

Step Three

Take the yellow strand, and lay it over the green strand. Make sure the plait is centred!

 

 

Step Four

Now take a bunch of hair around the same size as the other bunches, from the left side of the tail, and add it into the yellow bunch, by simply laying it on top. Make sure you're holding all bunches firmly while plaiting, but it is especially important that you are holding everything firm from now on.

Step Five

Now take the purple bunch and lay it over the newly added too yellow bunch.

 

 

 

Step Six

Take another small bunch from the right hand side and lie it over the purple bunch.

 

 

Step Seven

Hopefully you've seen the pattern by now. The next step is to lay the green bunch over the purple bunch, and then add in new strands from the left side of the tail to the green bunch.

 

 

 

Step Eight

This step is really the same as the step above - lay the yellow bunch over the green bunch, then add to the yellow bunch.

 

 

 

To complete the tail, continue to plait down, adding in strands from either side, until you have plaited down far enough to suit your hors (see photo at beginning of instructions). To finish off the tail, there are a number of methods. You can either normally plait down (not adding in extra bunches) until you reach the end of the long strands you are left with when you have finished the braid, and then secure with a rubber band and leave it hanging amongst the tail. A neater result is to then carefully push the long plait up inside the braid, or doubling it over and stitching together. You could also plait down hardly at all, and just secure the end of the plait with a rubber band and leave the long end bits free to blend in with the tail. To keep the plait neat, generously spray it with hairspray, and use gel to stick down any stray hairs.

Taken From Pandora

The Equine

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