This is the George Morris measure for how long a bridlepath should be for braidable disciplines. I actually make them smaller. THE POINT IS: bridlepaths should be a means organizing the hair, NOT a punctuation point. You should not see it when the horse is tacked up. We use the bottomline of the braids or mane to lengthen the neck. A long bridlepath undermines what we can do to enhance conformation with proper turnout.
THE KEY IS: Halters sit further back on the crest than bridles. So, cut it with that in mind. This horse could have one more braid. 'Ole Pirata was not too pretty in the fancy way. But, a gorgeous bottomline did wonders for him.
YOU *CAN BRAID ALMOST ANYTHING!* Let a beastly bridlepath grow in! You can get the job done in the meantime. See here.
MANAGING HUGE FORELOCKS:
I don't like to pull forelocks. They never look right to me. Plus, I love enormous ones! So, I can teach you how to braid them beautifully. However, there is one little treasure treat to managing bushy foretop. You can take some of the bulk off by cutting the bridlepath a bit up the back of the poll. NEVER to the top. Growing out, that looks terrible. No unicorns. But, you can take some of the weight out of the forelock by making the bridlepath creep a bit forward of where the bridle sits. More on managing big forelocks.
CONSERVATIVE ROUTE: Because people often cut bridlepaths too long, some trainers set a no bridlepaths rule. This is how that plays out with a good braider.
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.
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