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How to Braid a Horse's Mane & Tail With Ribbon

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Horse mane and tail comb

  • Ribbon

  • Scissors

  • Elastic Bands

Braiding a horse’s mane and tail with ribbon can make it appear more elegant. Braiding ribbon in its tale can make your horse truly stand out at a horse show. Braiding will also prevent the horse’s tail from becoming tangled. Don't be discouraged if the braid doesn't turn out well on the first try; practice makes perfect. With time, braiding your horse's hair with ribbon will become second nature.


Brush the horse's mane.

Take a small section of the hair, about 1 inch, and divide it into three separate, equal sections.

Wrap ribbon around the entire middle section of the hair tightly, as if wrapping a maypole. Specific ribbon for horse grooming is available online, but ribbon can also be purchased at a craft store. The ribbon should be around 1/8" wide, but can vary according to your taste. Secure the ribbon in place with a band.

Braid the section until you reach the bottom of the hair.

Secure the bottom of the braid with ribbon or a band.

Continue braiding small sections of the mane until the entire mane is braided.


Brush the tail of the horse.

Divide the hair evenly into three sections.

Place three ribbons along the three hair sections, leaving 3 or 4 inches of ribbon above the base of the tail. Make sure the shiny side of the ribbon is facing out. The ribbons should be approximately 1/8-inch wide and the length should be 3 or 4 inches longer than the length of the tail. Ribbon specifically made for horse grooming can be used or you can use ribbon of your choice available craft stores. While regular craft ribbon is harder to use and tends to crinkle, it is much less expensive.

Hold the ribbon in place at the base of the tail using a cooler clamp. Alternatively, have someone hold the ribbon in place.

Braid the hair sections. Continue with this process until you have reached the bottom of the hair.

Secure the bottom and top of the braid with a band or ribbon.

Cut the excess ribbon at the top and bottom of the braid. Make sure to cut diagonally to prevent the ribbon from fraying.


  • Wet the horse hair and ribbon to make braiding easier.

    To avoid being kicked by the horse, place the horse in a stable and braid the tail over the gate of the stall.

    Make sure to check the rules of a horse show prior to braiding your horse’s hair. Some shows do not allow braiding.