How to…a Skinny Plaits Masterclass
People often comment on how beautifully Emma turns the horses out for events, as well as how perfect her plaits are, regardless of the mane length and shape of the horse’s neck. So we thought we would offer some top tips and helpful advice for “How To” create perfect plaits and further develop your plaiting skills. This is part two of our mini series, part one “A Masterclass for Perfect Plaits” can be found here.
The secret is in the preparations, there are some essential pieces of kit you will need before you start.
- A cheap plastic comb with teeth
- A small clean sponge
- Bucket or tub to hold water in
- Quality plaiting bands which match your horse’s natural mane colour
- Some people like to use a plaiting belt to keep plaiting bands in
For regulated skinny plaits
These require you to divide the mane into small equal sections, depending on how small you want to mane sections to be.
Some people like as many as 22 but most people will prefer around 14.
A good trick to ensure that the sections are all completely uniform in size, is to wrap a plaiting band around the end section of the comb which will then act as a spacing guide when dividing the mane into sections. This means that every section will be the same size the whole way down the mane.
Start by wetting the mane using the small sponge and divide the mane into equal sections. The comb should be used to ensure a straight line is achieved when dividing the mane into sections, then use the comb to flatten the hair, then divide into three equal sections.
To begin plaiting pull the three sections down and plait tightly using your thumb to pull each section as tight as possible all the way down to the end.
Once you reach the end of the plait, use the band to wind a round the end of the hair, once in place tuck the end of the plait under, this gives you a smooth, secure end to work with.
I don’t roll my plaits when using bands to secure in place, instead I fold my plaits. Lifting the plait up and away from the neck, fold the plait, depending on the length of the mane, will depend on whether you fold the plait in half and then in half again or if you fold the plait into three.
However many folds you use to ‘roll’ your plait, you should aim to keep the roll tight and as close to the crest of the neck as possible, once the plait is tight against the neck wind your band around the bottom one third of the plait, wind the band tightly ensuring the elastic strands are all laying flat together.
Repeat for the rest of the mane, remember to keep the mane damp, damp mane is easier to work with and helps improve grip.