Long Dressage Knots Tutorial

Written by Jaimie Lewellyn - 02 October, 2019


Can’t bear cutting your horse’s luscious long locks for traditional button braids in the show ring? Here is a great tutorial on how to get your long maned equine partners into coiffed dancing dressage beauties! This is a great alternative for the baroque breeds that require long manes. Braiding your own horse doesn’t have to be a daunting task, just follow these step-by-step tips and practice, practice, practice!

To start you will need to gather some tools:

  • mane brush
  • pulling comb
  • yarn cut to 12-16” lengths; 10-15 pieces
  • hair clips
  • spray bottle with water or braiding spray
  • scissors
  • step stool
  • large yarn needle (metal is best)
  • apron, or tool belt like I have pictured here



Step 1: Use your pulling comb to measure the width of your braids, and clip the excess hair off to the side. You can start at the poll or withers; typically, with horses that are not experienced being braided or a little head shy I will start at the withers and work my up to the poll. For long manes I keep the braid widths very even; about the width of my comb. For very thick manes you will have to make them a bit thinner than the width of the comb so that you will not have braids the size of softballs hanging off the horse’s neck.


Step 2: Wet the hair with spray of choice and braid the hair down placing the yarn folded in half into your braid about ¾ of the way down braid as far down as possible and tie the braid off using the yarn with a knot. You can continue to do this process to the entire mane.

Mane_BraidedStep 3: This is where things start getting serious! This is where you will take the long braid and tie it into a knot around itself. Snug the knot up to the crest of the neck. You will then wrap the tail around the knot several times (almost like making a cinnamon roll shape) until you have about an inch of braid left.

knot_looping1knot_looping3knot_looping2Step 4: Thread needle onto yarn and sew through the braid from the back on each side, pulling the needling and yarn down through the bottom.


Step 5: After sewing around the knot several times each way, remove needle and tie the two yarn tails into 2-3 knots on top of either to secure. Cut off tails, making sure you do not cut the knot you just tied!


Finished Product!

Knot_FinishedThese knots really hold up well. This is Hamlet after 4 days of competing!

Knots_Finished2There you have it! Stay tuned for forelock braids, running buttons, and Dutch fluffies!

Topics: Equine

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