Show Plaiting

What you need:

  • NRG Proplaits
  • Plastic or Metal comb
  • Scissors
  • Rubber bands
  • Cotton
  • Blunt needle
  • Blunt forceps

NRG Tips Before You Plait:

  • Start the plaiting process at the bridle path. Working down from the head is the preferred method as it will look neater if you don’t have enough hair to plait near the wither than near the head.
  • It is unnecessary to wash the mane prior to plaiting. A slightly dirty mane will be easier to plait than a clean mane.
  • Ensure that the mane is pulled to an adequate length and thickness before plaiting. The thickness and length is a personal preference however a mane that is 10-12 cm long is a good start. Note: Some people like to wash the mane before plaiting, but our preference is to plait dry.


  1. Spray the mane with Proplaits and then comb it through.
  2. Mark out the centre point or crest of the neck/mane. The largest of the plaits will be at the crest or middle of the neck and the smallest plaits will be at either end. This accentuates the curve of the horse’s neck.
  3. To start plaiting, mark out a ‘3-4 finger width’ section of mane. Use your comb to hold the rest of the mane back from your work area. Spray this first section with Proplaits.
  4. Using two fingers, divide the first section of mane into three sections. Begin plaiting the hair from right side to left.
  5. Your thumb must be used to hold the plait tightly during the process as you work downwards.
  6. To complete the plait apply a rubber band. The band must be applied by twisting the band around the hair. To complete the band, pull the remaining hair half way through the band to create a loop that folds back under the plait. Repeat this process to the end of the mane.
  7. If your horse does not have much hair at the wither, apply a band around the last section of hair. Plait downwards from the band to create a small plait.


  1. Take a short blunt sewing needle and thread with a cotton thread colour to suit your horse. Tie a knot at the end of the thread.
  2. Fold the plait in half and then roll the remaining half under the plait until it cannot be rolled any further. Note: This will take practice as it is all about the pressure whilst you are rolling the plait and the tightness of the initial plait.
  3. Once rolled, keep hold of the rolled plait in one hand, pinching between your thumb and index finger.
  4. Take the needle and thread, push the needle upwards (away from you) from the underside of the plait through the centre.
  5. Then push the needle back through the base of the plait (towards you) at a 45° angle to the first thread.
  6. Push the needle back up again through the underside of the plait. Then push the needle back through at the OPPOSITE 45° angle to the last thread. If the plait feels loose, repeat the process. To finish, thread the needle upwards from the underside of the plait, pull it through. Then trim the excess thread to complete. Repeat the process for the remaining plaits.

Braiding the Forelock

  1. Spray the forelock with Proplaits and comb the hair downwards. Take a 1 inch section of hair from the top, divide into 3 and begin the braid.
  2. Braid downwards to complete the rest of the forelock hair and finish with a band.
  3. Take a pair of blunt forceps, insert them underneath the braid along the forehead of the horse, grab the end of the braid at the rubber band end, and pull the braid end up underneath itself through the forceps tunnel to complete the forelock braid. Spray with Proplaits. Your show plaiting is now complete.

"I simply love the NRG Proplaits and No-Nots. Nothing else comes close in performance and value for money."

Chanele Hunter-Cooke - Show Rider and NRG Team Ambassador

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Fact Sheet