Solutions for Rubbing Braids

Solutions for Rubbing Braids


There is a lot you can do to reduce rubbing. Here are the primary cause, some which may surprise you:

  1. Grooming. Vigorously grooming crests is a sound daily practice. Knock off the crest with lots of short, quick strokes of a medium of stiff dandy brush. Work on both sides of the crest. Not to get into the length of the hair, but just over the hairline from both sides. It will stimulate oils and exfoliate to release them. That’s natural skin protection and conditioning.
  2. Cleanliness. Dirty manes are itchy. They dry out my braiding hands, so the crest can’t feel good either. If you have good finger form technique and one of the few shampoos without petroleum, clean manes can be beautifully braided. Plus, you are showing! Manes should be clean.Product. Most shampoos and soaps parch the skin. They strip oil. Dry skin is easily irritated. Choose wisely. For starters, let the horse comfortable be in his skin.
  3. Uniformity. Look at how smoothly the hair goes into the braid seen here. If the pressure is even, the braids can be comfy. Those are my braids. They are comfy on my hands and the crest.
  4. Experience. Normally it takes 2-3 ties being braided before greenies catch on.
  5. Temperament. Some horses are contentious, with a lot of questions. They may tend to rub more. I can usually see it in their eye.
  6. Position. Pay mind to his rubbing venue. Sometimes not letting the horse stick his head out a dutch door is the solution. It may be that you just need to tie him so he can’t get his all the way to the ground. (Read: hind foot to crest)
  7. Safety. Normally, we tie to 6 strands of yarn, so it will break when it should. I also let the lead touch the ground. That way, they can lay down, yet not use their braids as a pillow.
  8. Stress. NEVER tie a horse too short. It can lead to colic. Give the head *at least* 2.5 feet.
  9. Schedule. Try to braid in the morning. If you get good, it won’t take long. Consider it time to gel with your beastie before the class. Show jumper Peter Wylde was 3rd in the world and still braiding his own grand prix horses for that reason. It was integral to his winning program.

So, do your homework. Be sure you are finessing your braids like true pro. Get great. It is easier than being mediocre. I’d use a shampoo that not only cleans, but also moisturizes and soothes.

The lack of such sensible options inspired me to develop Lucky Braids products for Top Turnout.

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.