Learn The History Behind The Popular Trend Of Horse Mane Braiding

Horses are truly incredible creatures.  Not only are they amazingly intelligent animals, but horses are highly sociable and know how to play well with other pets.  I was absolutely floored by the results when I discovered the beautiful way equestrians were decorating their favorite horses.

Horse mane “braiding” is a tradition that dates back hundreds of years, and has its roots in European folklore. When horses became the main source of transportation in both everyday life and military encounters,

Braiding is a gorgeous way to maintain your horse’s hair health, as well as give them a polished, professional appearance.  Scroll through below to see the fascinating history behind horse mane braiding, and the stunning variety of knots and locks available today.

Let us know what do you think of these unique horse braids and share your comments for others to see as well!

horse mane braids

The idea behind horse hair braiding actually originates from the mythical practice of “elf knots.” According to ancient folklore, fairies would visit stables in the middle of the night and tie knots in a horse’s mane.

horse mane braids

Once the horse’s hair was tangled, these wild creatures would use the knots as “stirrups” and ride the creatures at nightfall, however a horse mane will get knotted for a variety of reasons, including “necking” with another horse.

horse mane braids

The other ancient myth attributes horse braids to a “marked” animal. According to this theory, a thief would braid the mane of a horse he was looking to steal, marking it as a potential target.

horse mane braids

Though horses naturally have a protective layer of grease in their manes, a stable horse will be brushed down daily, ridding it of excess knots and dirt.  A wild horse or one that’s kept outside, however, can easily form tangles due to the grease, wind, or frolicking with other horses.

horse mane braids

The beautiful and mythical “plaited horse” was also immortalized in literature.  “That plaits the manes of horses in the night. And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs. Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes.”

horse mane braids

These days, a stylish plait is a great way to stand out in an equestrian show.

Depending on the level of competition, a tight braid or knot presents a high level of professionalism in the care-taking of your animal.

horse mane braids