Q. Is there a correct number of plaits to put in horse’s mane for showing classes?

Show producer Liz Clemence replies: “It is generally considered correct to have an odd number of plaits on the neck, not including the forelock. Nine, 11 or 13 plaits are most commonly seen, depending on the horse’s size and conformation.

Clever use of plaits can help disguise conformation weaknesses, so choose the number to best suit your horse. Generally, more plaits will make the neck look longer, so improving the overall picture of a horse thatis rather short in front. In the same way, use fewer plaits to help create the appearance of a more compact front end.

The plaits can also be made to stand up above the horse’s neck to make a weak neck appear more developed or plaited tightlyinto the neck to reduce the appearance of a strong crest. The size of the individual plaits will be affected by the length and thickness of the horses mane so take this into account when pulling the mane in preparation for plaiting.”