Perfect plaits to match your horse’s

By Nicola Jane Swinney on |


Plaited Arab

We’ve all seen them. Those cute-as-a-button little tots on perfectly polished ponies, with their bandbox-neat mothers — everything, but everything, matches. From the leader’s outfit — is there some shop somewhere that stocks these ensembles? — to the pony’s browband, to the tot’s plaits. And that’s just the boys…
But joking apart — and ignoring, for now, rules about hairnets and hats — what if every rider matched their plaits to their type of horse? Ladies only, of course.
Hunters, for example, are terribly smart, but much more workmanlike than a pony. So you’ll want plain, no-nonsense plaits for the rider. Smart for the show ring and practical when going hell for leather across open country, with your stomach left behind after clearing the previous gigantic hedge.

Plaited show hunter

Hacks, though, are altogether more graceful and sedate. How about a Scarlett-Johansson-style halo plait, where the braid is twisted around the head? It looks neat and elegant and, because hacks are supposed to have impeccable manners, a halo is apt. Although not all the time, as those who attend county shows and qualifiers can attest! With the new ladies’ show horse classes, which hacks can enter, manners are equally important, so perhaps we’ll draw a veil over it…

Brogan Taverner's hack

I’ve seen girls with their hair dyed all sorts of colours, from orange and pink to blue and green. So perhaps if you ride a piebald you should sport one black plait and one white. It would look fine in the show ring, but perhaps less so in the local supermarket.

Plaited piebald

Our wonderful mountain and moorland breeds aren’t plaited, of course, but to echo the gloriously abundant hair of the Highland and Fell and Dales, how about an up-to-the-minute fishtail plait? Not that there’s anything remotely fishy about our native ponies, but if you can think of a better idea let minnow…

I’m not sure what sort of plait could complement the hogged show cob. Shaving off all your hair seems a step too far — perhaps bang-on-trend cornrows?

Top image: Plaited Andalusian by Kersti NebelsiekCC BY 2.0


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