Banding for the Western Horse

What You Need

  • NRG Proplaits / NRG No-Nots
  • Bands the same colour as horse’s mane
  • Fine tooth comb
  • Small butterfly hair clip
  • Thinning scissors
  • Skinny hood (optional)

Some Points to Consider

  • Make sure that mane is washed and clean. Do not condition as it makes the mane slippery whilst banding.
  • If your horse has an extremely long mane, it is an idea to cut it to at least half of the eventual length as this makes it much easier to pull through. NRG No-Nots can assist with de-tangling.


You may wish to spray NRG Proplaits and secure the bands overnight under a skinny hood. Bands may be left in for a couple of days if you have a few days showing. Be mindful to always have them covered with a skinny hood to preserve their neatness.

Starting near the trimmed bridle path, use your comb to separate the first 1cm thick hair band at the bridle path.

Using the hair clip, hold the loose hair back from your first band.

Note: Use NRG Proplaits to dampen the mane as this makes the hair easier to pull through the band and stops any fly away hairs.

Comb the piece of hair straight making sure all the underneath hair is lying flat and there are no tangles.

When applying the band, hold the piece of mane still and run the band to the top of the hair, making sure you keep the piece you are banding still and tight and pulled down with your fingers.

While holding the hair, cross the band over and over running
it up the hair approximately 8 times.

Note: Crossing the band repeatedly makes it less likely to pull hairs which can result in rubbing or sores in the mane. Do not move the hair, but move the band around the hair. This way the finished band will lie flat against the neck.

Take the underneath hair of the band and pull it tight.

Note: You may notice that the band will be pulled closer to the neck.

Repeat this process to the end of your horse’s neck.

Trim the band to the desired length.

Note: If you trim your bands quite short, it enhances the look and line of your horse’s neck. Our preference for length is approx 2 inches. To thin the ends of your horses bands, angle the thinning scissors pointing up into the mane approx 45 degrees and snip the ends of the bands.

For the forelock, use the comb to separate a section of hair at the base of the fringe at the poll.

Apply a rubber band the same way as banding the mane and
pull it tight towards the base.

While holding the first band of hair, gather another section of hair approx 1 inch below the first rubber band.

Apply another band to create two bands joined together.

Repeat this process until you have reached the end of the fringe hair.

The result should be 4-5 bands joined into one fringe.

Comb the loose hair downwards across the forehead to lay flat between the eyes.

You have finished your Western Banding.