Guest Post by Mary Beth Rohaly, Founder of Braid Secrets and the Frugal Equestrian Blog Did you know that judges form their first impression of a horse in just seven seconds? What message will your horse's turnout send to the judges this year?  Passionate equestrians create turnout that reflects all of the hard work they put into riding and caring for their horse. One of the ways they achieve this is by transforming their horse’s mane into perfect braids. The key to creating perfect hunter braids on your horse is knowledge. I too struggled with braiding -- but I was fortunate to find professional mentors who taught me their secrets and I worked hard to perfect my skills. I already knew how to braid when I met them, but what I didn’t know was what details to focus on each step of the way, and their braiding secrets. That’s what I’m sharing with you. So, let’s get started improving your horse’s turnout with some tips on mane evaluation and preparation, and how to braid down the mane like a pro.So what's holding you back from achieving top-notch turnout of your horse? Are your mediocre braids detracting from an otherwise pleasing picture? You can change that starting right now!

The other day I was talking to Lauren of She Moved To Texas about some of my confidence issues as of late. She recommended that I start visualizing Miles and I completing the perfect hunter trip. She said "think about any height, but I bet if you do that right now, your trip has lots of problems with it." And she was right. While I have a better mental picture of a 2' or 2'3" hunter course, at 2'6", the wheels fall off the wagon, so to speak. To document my progress, I thought I'd share what my mental picture of a 2'6" hunter trip with Miles looks like to me right now.