From Endurance to Dressage
A few weeks ago, Poor Woman Showing wrote about Braideez braiding wires and then offered to give away a set. I never ever ever win anything, but I entered my name anyway because I really like Carly's blog, and I wanted her to know I had read her post.
Immediately after entering her giveaway, I turned around and ordered myself a set of braiding wires - she made them sound that good. I've shared many times that I am not a lover of grooming and such. I happen to have the two cleanest, shiniest horses on the planet despite my ineptitude and lack of hair care products.
But you know what a sense of humor Fate has - try sending in a show entry early ... HAHAHAH - you're screwed! Pay a late fee and you'll probably win the class. Fate had a good laugh at my literal expense: less than twelve hours after ordering my very own set of Braideez braiding wires, Carly sent me this message:
So first, many thanks to Carly for the braiding wires. At first, I almost told her to pass them on to another reader, but I am greedy, and I know how hard on stuff Izzy is, so I sent her my address. Before I share my experience with the braiding wires, I have to show the amazing artwork that seems to accompany each shipment. I am keeping these envelopes and getting them framed. It might be worth the order just for the sketches! The one on the right even looks like Izzy.
The packaging is really awesome. Not many companies go to so much trouble to encourage you to like their product before you even see it.
While the braiding wires are easy to use, especially if you already know how to do button braids, I would still recommend looking at the directions that come in the package (they're made up of a pictorial on the back of the horse) and watching their video.
I followed the directions exactly, and the whole thing took me 40 minutes, including stopping and starting to go get something and cutting the wires to length. I did twelve braids. With practice, I could probably shave off 10 minutes.
I started off by braiding each of the sections and tying them off with a half hitch knot. The wire is coated with a thin plastic and tied without any trouble. To braid the wire in, I folded it in half and put one end in each hand as I grabbed the three strands of hair. The wire stayed put as I braided. After each braid was finished, I gave the wire a tug and straightened out the braids so that they hung straight down.
Then I went back and pulled each strand of wire through the base of teh braid as shown in the directions. I think that pulling the wires through really straight will give a smoother button. I kind of struggled with this part, but again, with practice, I think it will get easier. Once I pulled the wires through and brought them underneath and twisted them, I gave the braid a good "squish" and shaped it into a button.
After I had them in a shape that I more or less liked, I cut off the extra wire, but since I have a completely brand new EXTRA set waiting in the wings, I am not too worried if I cut them too short. Here's what the finished braids look like - from a distance ...
The true dressage queens out there are probably wrinkling their noses at the idea of using wires, but I simply don't care. I am not good at braiding. With the wires, it almost looks like I know what I am doing. I am sold!
Oh ... one last thing, I did leave them in over-night to see if that was an option for showing. You can see the results for yourself.
Clearly this is not going to work. Some of the wires were just gone - good thing I have more, and in other places, his mane was gone. Literally. It looked like someone had cut the braid off with scissors. Even with them looking like this, the wires were still super easy to take out. I just untwisted and pulled.
Overall? These are a no brainer, especially for the price and the artwork!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%