A common question I get from my clients preparing for their shoot with me is: what should I do with my horse's mane? Should I band it, braid it, or leave it free flowing? My answer: it depends!!
In this blog post, I'll go over the times it makes the most sense to band, braid, or brush it and leave it alone.
The times it makes the most sense to band:
1. when you'll be wearing western show clothes during any part of your session.
2. if you have a horse who only shows in western events.
3. if you want to bring props such as trophies, ribbons, or anything else you've won with your horse while you were showing- and only if you band them in the events you won the trophies in.
4. if their mane is crazy & will stand straight up if you don't band it!
5. if you want to. simple as that.
The times when it makes the most sense to braid:
1. when you'll be wearing hunt seat clothes for any part of your session.
2. if you plan on putting hunt seat tack on your horse for any part of your session.
3. if you have a hunter horse.
4. if you plan on bringing props such as trophies, ribbons, or anything else you've won with your horse while you were showing- and only if you braid them in the events you won the trophies in.
5. if you want to, these are your photos.
The times when it makes the most sense to leave it:
1. if you horse has long mane that's more beautiful left alone.
2. if you plan on wearing casual clothes for your entire session.
3. if you have a reiner, ranch rider, or any type of cow horse (basically if you show with their mane free flowing, do the same for your session!)
4. if you're a rodeo queen.
5. again, if you want to!
Read my other blog post about how to get your horse's mane and tail to grow faster, better, and stronger!
Lastly, roaching it is always an option! I just wouldn't recommend you roach it specifically for your session, if you never roach their mane otherwise. The bottom line with making the decision of what to do with your horse's mane is to ask yourself: what makes the most sense for my situation? And of course, asking your photographer for reassurance is the best thing to do if you're still not completely sure with your decision.
Want to get even more of a head start on preparing for your session? Download my Ultimate Shopping Guide for Your Equestrian Session!