Braiding Tips

Braiding Tips

Braiding Tips

By Ruthann Smith
© 2010, Ruthann Smith, All rights reserved.
Originally Published in The Plaid Horse

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Tips to Twisting


Braiding is like salsa dancing. Its easy when you know the moves. Here are steps of my counterbalanced formula to keep in mind:


I like manes about 5” if thin and 6” if thick and tapered at the bottom. Blunt manes loosen. For showing, manes should be clean. Lucky Braids Shampoo reduces rubbing and does not leave hair slippery.


Tying up makes or breaks the braid job. And, the main objective is a clean bottom line. Leave an inch of loose hair below the knot. When pulled up just past the hairline, this tail acts as leverage to hold the braid stable on the neck. Before pulling up the braids, make sure all the knots are in a straight line.


If braiding hurts, you are doing something wrong. Braiding is like equitation. If your hands are in the proper position, it is easy to balance to the next movement.

For more details to consistently beautiful braids with no cramped hands, check out Ruthann’s Better Braiding DVD & Tool system from Lucky Braids. 

Bio Pic

Ruthann Smith has spent a lifetime studying sound horsemanship- both as a groom for top international horses and as a renowned braider. Quietly twisting manes atop a ladder, she watched and learned in some of the best stables in the world.

As her passion for great grooming grew, Ruthann became focused on researching, collecting and sharing the best practices of the world’s keenest horsemen. Ultimately, Ruthann used her vast experience to develop exceptional equine grooming products to help raise the bar of horsemanship.

The knowledge she dispenses and the products Ruthann developed solve age-old grooming issues. Making quality horse care easier, they have received the highest honors in the equine industry*. Her Lucky Braids for Top Turnout coat care and braiding products are the best, most versatile, cost-effective and easiest solutions available on the market today.

Now Ruthann offers her LOVE, LOVE Guarantee. If not totally thrilled with a product she developed, Ruthann will refund you in full, regardless of where you purchased it.

It’s her life’s mission to empower horses by educating, motivating and equipping their people to be true horsemen. You can access Ruthann’s tips at: The Grooming Resource on, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and her Horsemanship Clinics.

*After testing 350 products, Lucky Braids All-In-One Horse Shampoo was named product of the year by Horse Journal, the “Consumer Reports” of the industry. They also named Lucky Braids Shampoo and Top Pick for greys and whites. Lucky Braids specialized braiding yarn also got stellar reviews.