Next to riding, there's nothing horse people love more than to pamper and groom their horses. Particularly satisfying among grooming tasks, braiding manes and tails is a calming, centering routine, enjoyed equally by horse and rider. And, of course, handsome braids are a requirement for showing in many riding disciplines.Horse trainer and instructor Charni Lewis brings the wonderful process of braiding to life in her clearly described, step-by-step guide to 30 beautiful braids. Helping the braider along are full-colour photographs and detailed illustrations showing twists and turns that make each style unique and the hand positions necessary to hold those ropes of equine hair in place. To keep hands free for braiding, the book has a nail hole at the top of each page for easy hanging on a post or barn wall.Lewis begins with detailed advice on choosing and using appropriate tools, preparing the horse, and creating a safe area in which to work.
After a chapter on no-nonsense maintenance braids (used primarily to keep the horse neat and clean), she progresses through all the classic braids required for each riding discipline - from a Diamond dressage braid to the Three-rib- bon style favoured for gaited show horses. Finally, Lewis lets loose with braids that are simply fun to do. She encourages readers to experiment with a Scalloped Hunter mane braid or a Four- strand Weave for the tail. They look gorgeous, and when the novelty wears off, there are many more to try!
Charni Lewis is a trainer and instructor at Flintridge Riding Club in Pasadena, California. She is the author of Braiding Manes and Tails and has choreographed, produced, and performed in riding exhibitions all over the world. Lewis lives in Altadena, California.