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The Friesian Bridle Braid 
 all text and photos by Laurie Menzel Kasperek, copywrite
The configuration of the throatlatch and neck of many Friesian Horses, compounded with their heavy manes and forelocks, often require that both driving and riding bridles be fitted loosely in the throatlatch. For many horses this means that the bridle can easily slip or be pulled off accidentally. Most Friesian owners in the Netherlands choose not to cut bridle paths, allowing much of this hair to become the glorious forelocks seen on many of the breed. In order to secure the bridle in a way that it is not going to be pulled off, they adopt the use of a handy braid in the mane that literally ties the bridle on to the horse. With the braid properly secured, the bridle might slip off over one ear, but it is not coming off the horse (believe me - I've tried!).
 
 
  A halter is used for demo purposes. The unsecured braid is hanging just behind the crown of the bridle. A long rounded black shoe lace is tied and braided into a 3 inch braid, with tails hanging on top and bottom. This is the top tail that shows.
Wrap the braid over the bridle and then back under. Leave the top shoe lace tail hanging out on one side. Continue wrapping the braid until the shoe lace tails are on opposite sides of the bridle. Here are the two ends ready to be knotted.
The ends of the shoe lace are now tied together. I use a square knot. Some folks tie a bow if there is enough tail to do so.  All set to go! The tail of the braid is tucked into the rest of the mane, the wrap is hardly noticeable, and the bridle is now secure!
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