The Braider’s Wishlist

Photo courtesy of McKenzie Gramling.

BY McKenzie Gramling

As show season ramps up around the country, here are just a few reminders for those of you getting your horses and ponies braided. As a braider, I think I can speak for us all when I say help us help you!

  1. Cut, razored, and blunt manes will not be braided. There will be no exceptions to this (for hunter braids). If you are unsure about a mane, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your braider with any questions or concerns!
  2. Absolutely no products in manes or tails. This includes, but is not limited to, Cowboy Magic, Showsheen, Baby Oil, MTG, the pink conditioning spray, Skin-So-Soft, etc. Please rinse soap thoroughly from manes and tails – we like a little bit of dirt, so if they aren’t squeaky clean….it’s OK!
  3. Tails need to be neatly combed/brushed out. Tails that are matted and have dreads will not be braided. No exceptions.
  4. Quirky horse or pony? Tell us! We’ve seen it all, but we need to KNOW.
  5. Label all stalls. Let us know exact stall information for each and every horse/pony. Please do not assume that we know. “Bay horse next to the grey with the pink fan” will probably not get you braided. Information should include: Horse/pony name, Barn number and exact stall number, the earliest class in which the horse/pony is competing.
Photo courtesy of McKenzie Gramling.

We don’t know things until we learn them. If you have any questions at all, whether my team and I are braiding your horses or another braider is braiding for you, I am always available to answer any questions and guide you in the right direction of being fully prepared. There is a big and mighty team ready to take care of everyone, but preparation, organization, and efficiency is key to making sure everyone is provided with the best possible braids.

Happy Horse Showing!


McKenzie Gramling, from South Carolina, is a professional braider and body clipper of 9 years. She is also the owner of Armour Equine Services LLC, and is a devoted wife to her husband, Trey, and mother of two amazing kids, Camden (5) and Jack (3). When McKenzie is not on her braiding ladder, she can be found catching up on much needed sleep, gardening, laying in the sun, or enjoying her family to every extent.