Perfect Your Horse Mane Plaits for Competition Day

Written by: Lauren Daly



Time to read min

Do you find yourself standing in front of your horse's majestic mane, feeling a mix of excitement and uncertainty? Don't worry, we've got your back! In this blog post, we've crafted a handy guide just for you, filled to the brim with tips and tricks to take your plaiting skills to the next level. Say goodbye to the overwhelming sea of products and options, and say hello to confidence and style. Let's spruce up those manes and get ready to turn heads in the competition ring!

Mane Prep

Firstly, we need a clean and short mane in order to create our plaits. 

Wash your horse’s mane thoroughly with your favourite shampoo. Make sure not to add in any conditioner or spray products which will make the mane too slippery to work with. 

If your horse’s mane is very thick and long, you’ll want to thin and shorten out the mane using one or a combination of the following tools:

Pulling Comb

Using a Pulling Comb, such as this featured Aluminium Pulling Comb & Hoof Pick, provides a manual way of back-brushing the horse's hair and forcibly removing from the roots. 

Smart Manes

Smart Manes thins the mane by raking through with a comb and blade combo.

Plait Prep

Before starting the plait, make sure you use a mane comb to smooth out the mane and remove any tangles. Create the sleekest plaits and tame all those flyaways with a roll on wax or gel. This will help to keep the hair in place and make it easier to braid.Our products below use essential oils to create a smooth, shiny hold.

Hairy Pony Taming Wax

The Hairy Pony Taming Wax is healthy for hair, and won’t make your hands sticky.

There’s also some handy combs that will help you segment and hold the mane whilst you plait. An old wives tale says you should aim for an uneven number of plaits  like 9, 11 or 13.

Hairy Pony Mane Sectioning Comb

The Hairy Pony Mane Sectioning Comb is the most stylish gold comb with three different widths for sectioning the mane.

Plait down

Now let’s watch it all come together, time to plait and secure your mane! Firstly, start from the top of the neck and plait each section and secure it with an elastic band, moving down the neck until all your sections are plaited. Repeat the process for each section of the mane, making sure that all plaits are the same size and shape.

Be patient and take your time when plaiting, the more careful you are, the better the plaits will look. If your show is the next day, pop a hood on your horse in preparation for rolling up the next morning.

Rolling and securing your plaits

When it's time to roll up your plaits there's a few different options to choose from depending on what you're after:

Rubber Bands

Rubber Bands have good hold, and are easy to use. If you're a beginner this is definitely the best and quickest option for you!

Quick Knots

This is the most advanced mane clip on the market for creating professional plaits. Not only are they reusable, Quick Knots are easy to use and even easier to remove, saving you time in competitions.

Needle and thread

Needle and Thread is the traditional and most secure method especially if you’re leaving the plaits in for more than one day.

Final touches

Finally, spray the horse's mane with a light coat of hairspray or a specialised plaiting spray to help keep the plaits in place. This will help to prevent the plaits from coming loose or unraveling during riding or showing. Be sure to use a spray that is safe for use on horses and avoid getting it in the horse's eyes or mouth!

Here are some of our safe sprays for longer lasting plaits:

Pro Plaits

Pro Plaits reduces fluffing with no harmful agents. Proplaits helps reduce fluffing and is ideal when plaiting up the day before competitions.


Whispaway is excellent if you missed any whispy pieces, or you want to revamp your plaits for a second day, try Whispaway. It’s a mascara wand with hair gel to tidy your plaits and secure loose pieces of hair.

You’re now ready to trot out with style and ease!!

Taking out horse mane plaits

  1. Start by removing any decorative ribbons or bands that may be attached to the plaits.

  2. Use a pair of scissors or a seam ripper to carefully cut the rubber bands or thread that secure the end of each plait. Be sure not to cut the horse's mane hair.

  3. Gently unravel each plait, starting at the bottom and working your way up towards the base of the neck. Be careful not to pull or tug on the hair, as this can cause discomfort or pain to the horse.

  4. Once all the plaits are unraveled, use a comb or brush to gently remove any tangles or knots in the horse's mane. Be sure to be gentle and avoid pulling or tugging on the hair.

  5. Finally, you can wash and condition the horse's mane to help remove any hairspray or other products that may have been used during the plaiting process.

We've listed a couple of products below that will help with this process:

NTR Thread Cutter

You can't go past the nifty NTR Thread Cutter for cutting the thread to undo your plaits.

Hairy Pony Straight Scissors

The Hairy Pony Straight Scissors will make you feel like a professional whilst cutting out any remaining bands.