Marilyn Basset (GCC member, expert braider, and bander extraordinaire) presented the GCC annual educational event Saturday (July 13th) evening at the Rocking C Stables in Inola. Dante, Jetter, Bounced, and Blue provided manes and patience (mostly) for demonstrations.
Marilyn started the presentation with “Mane Pulling” on Dante. The objective is to shorten/thin the mane to about 4 inches as preparation for buttons, braids, or bands. The mane must be thinned enough to lie against that neck properly and “blunt cutting” leaves the mane less attractive and more difficult to control. Besides showing us how to use the pulling comb, Marilyn showed us a trick of trimming using half of a clipper blade to leave the trimmed mane feathered. Also, you can comb the mane over the neck to the wrong side, trim with scissors, and comb the mane back over to the right side resulting in more manageable layers.
Bounced was waiting for the “braiding/button” procedure. Marilyn showed how to push up or pull down the start of the braid to enhance the neck look of different types of horses. Pushing up helps flat necked or older horses look more buff and pulling down minimizes the cresty look of certain breeds. After braiding about halfway to the end, a folded 20-in piece of yarn is braided into the mane. At the end, both pieces of yard are looped to secure the braid. Using a latch hook, the yarn is threaded through the top of the braid, the ends threaded through a tapestry needle and the button folded twice and sewed in. Now that I know how to do it, I will hire Marilyn. Whew, it a good plan.
Moving on to Jeeter, Marilyn showed us how to do a netted “banding” look using contrasting color rubber bands. This is a look I can manage – it looks really good and is easy too. Start with fairly large segments of mane and band across the top. For the next layer, you divide each segment into 2 pieces and band adjacent half pieces together (except at each end where the end piece is used whole). Continue with the process as many layers as you like. Voilà.
We backed up a bit and Marilyn demonstrated a button on the forelock – made a little more difficult because Jetter really would prefer that we not tuck his ear under the halter. Sorry Jetter, but we needed to see the action. Then Blue was up with a three layer treatment that is a good look for thick maned horses. Two layers work for most but if the mane is really thick, 3 layers are needed. The result is pretty with a diamond pattern overlapping between the layers. The technique is basically French braiding picking up extra hair from above. After the demonstrations, we gathered in the bunk house and practiced with the braiding/button technique with pretend manes attached to our legs. Marilyn also provided latch hooks and tapestry needles for purchase as well has handouts over the various procedures. We finished the evening with vanilla ice cream floats – sounds like dinner to me.
You Tube Links –
Banded/Sewed in Buttons (Bobbles) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTmtWJfIsXo
Hunter Braids – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqb5zhNYVjU
Running Braid – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Bfurj3BbPs
The braiding/banding presentation was great but we didn’t ride any horses. Not to worry, we had the party lesson as a big group on Saturday morning so we could do lunch and come back for the clinic. Sheila brought her new guy, GUY! He is lovely and over 17 hands. Kathy, Ivy and I got to give him a try after the lesson. Sitting that big trot is not easy and his canter is like a rocking horse. BEAUTIFUL!! Congratulations Sheila. So, Ivy/Sister, Alaina/Sunny, Nancy/Norman, Kathy/Call, Mary/Beau, Alison/Black Pony, Sheila/Guy and me/Splash worked on leg yields and shoulder-in before we concentrated on canter transitions. I rode without spurs and without the german neck stretcher. Splash was pretty good with his transitions although he dropped the canter a couple of times. Our leg yields were not bad but he over-bends the neck in the shoulder in work. Then, off to La Mansion in Catoosa for lunch and to celebrate Ashlyn’s birthday – Mallory brought a cake and the restaurant staff provided cream pie and the BIG HAT for fun.