How to Lattice Plait a Horse's Mane

Written by kay baxter
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How to Lattice Plait a Horse's Mane
Horse braids vary depending on the discipline. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The lattice braid --- also known as the diamond, afghan or macrame braid --- is used for showing in hand halter, dressage and English horse showing. This is not a good braid for performance classes such as jumping or barrel racing, because the braid will tend to fly up off the horse's neck and could interfere with the rider. Always start with a freshly washed mane to achieve the best-looking braids. Choose braiding bands that match the colour of your horse's mane.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Mane comb
  • Braiding bands
  • Bucket of water (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Comb through the mane with a mane comb to remove any tangles.

  2. 2

    Section off the mane into 20 to 24 even sections across the entire length of the mane.

  3. 3

    Place a band approximately 2 inches down from the top of the neck and twist at least twice to secure the band. Repeat this for each section of mane. You should now have a row of evenly-spaced ponytails across the mane.

  4. 4

    Start at the poll (or top of head) and take half of the first ponytail to half of the second (or next) ponytail, and secure with a braiding band approximately 2 inches down from the last band. This will create a diamond shape.

  5. 5

    Continue this pattern across the mane ending with half of the last ponytail banded to the next full ponytail.

  6. 6

    Repeat rows until you have the desired lattice braid length for your horse's mane.

Tips and warnings

  • Keeping the mane slightly damp as you band will keep the hair smooth in the bands.
  • Use small scissors to cut and remove the bands when finished showing.
  • Always remove all bands after your show is over; leaving bands in too long can cause the mane hair to break. Braiding bands can also get caught on fences in the pasture.

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