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What Your Bander Wants You to Know

I asked the best and most popular banders in the Northwest: what are your biggest pet peeves about the job? Riley Dosa and Tracy Bauman are here to answer this for you, but only to spread some knowledge to make their lives a little easier. We all know how important it is to have a great banding job for the shows; these professional banders are essential to the horse show industry! Let's make their jobs more enjoyable by avoiding these few common bander pet peeves.

Prepare Correctly, please!

No conditioner or detangler

When washing your horse, of course don't skip their mane. But contrary to what most people think, banders actually do not want a super clean and conditioned mane- it makes the mane harder to grip and harder for the bands to stay tight & in place. Just a quick wash with shampoo and a thorough rinse is good- stay away from conditioner and detangler!

Just don't cut it :)

When you get back to the barn to let them dry, rather than cutting their mane to get it the length you think it should be before they're banded, just leave it as it is! Let your bander do the trimming.

Here's Riley herself, with her gorgeous boy, Preston!

Plan before, and thin it out!

If your horse has a really thick mane, consider doing some thinning prior to the show. You can leave the bands in from the last show, or band it off in the winter. This will thin the hair by the roots & the horse doesn't even realize it since it's a slow process. You can leave the bands in for up to 2 weeks on horses with super tick manes! If you don't feel comfortable doing this, make sure you let your bander know so they can plan for extra time thinning it!

Leave your sleezy out for them!

It's important to have your bander's perfect banding job protected- so they need a sleezy. Don't hide it from them! If it's not already on the horse, make sure it's hanging right on their stall easy for your bander to find. They don't want to dig through your stuff or have to text you at 12am to ask where their sleezy is.

Keep Your Banders Informed

They need specifics

There are 73 bay horses in each barn, don't expect the bander to know which one is yours. Instead give them your:

- barn number

- trainer name (so they can easily find their decorations)

- stall number

- the color of sleezy & sheet they have on

- any other information you could give them to make your horse easy to find!

Anna Rodriguez & Belle, banded by Tracy

Know your horse

Is your horse headshy? Is this their first time being banded? Let your bander know. They're banding several horses late at night and want to be prepared for a more difficult horse so they can plan ahead and know what they're getting into. Another note: if your horse is newer to being banded (ie. won't stand still), or just hates it, it's important to not expect perfection. Your bander will 100% be doing their best with what they have to work with!

Just be good with communicating!

If you know you'll be running late or need to cancel your time slot, let them know as soon as possible. If you have another horse to add, don't expect them to be able to add them to their list without notice!

Show Your Appreciation

Like I said in the beginning of this post, our banders are essential to the horse shows and we are SO thankful to have professionals that do high quality work. I can't speak for every bander, but Riley and Tracy are the two of the nicest banders and people I know- make sure you show your appreciation for them! And this is where the big one comes....

Please, pay on time!

We get it. Horse shows can be kinda hectic, so forgetting a check or cash can happen. But this is 2020, we all have smart phones! Consider paying with Venmo, Zelle, Cash App, or PayPal (see how many options there are!? Technology is the best!) ahead of time and checking that off your to-do list early.

A girl kissing her grey quarter horse mare on the forehead, in Moses Lake Washington
Hannah Iwerson & Crystal, banded by Tracy

Banders work HARD and it's important for them to know we appreciate them. Two extra things you can do to help show your appreciation are: tip them & share the love! Tips are never required, but always greatly appreciated. And if you love their banding job, take a picture and tag them on social media letting them know how great they are!!

Thanks for reading & I hope this can spread some knowledge to help our banders out- we love them and want their jobs to be as easy as possible so the good ones keep coming back!

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