How to Make Money Braiding Horses

Can you make money braiding horses? Yes!

I’m Mary Beth Rohaly from I teach riders how to create perfect button or hunter mane braids on their horse or others to earn income.

In this post, you’ll learn how you can make money braiding horses to pay for your shows or save money braiding your own horse to stretch your budget. I’m also going to tell you about a fun experience I had due to quality braiding.

First, let’s brainstorm ways you could make money for showing. What could you do to earn $45 to $70 per hour that would:

  • Cost less than $100 for educational training
  • Take about two to three hours to complete the training
  • Require 20 minutes of practice a couple days a week

The answer? Braiding manes at horse shows.

Now, let’s brainstorm how you could save money to stretch your show budget.  What you could do that would:

  • Save you up to $70 per day at the shows
  • Give you the ability to add money to your show budget if you chose to

The answer? Learn to braid your own horse’s mane beautifully.

Now you might be thinking that braiding manes is really hard. Or that you don’t know how to braid a mane. Or that you can’t do it well enough. Or that you don’t have a “knack” for braiding.

Well, I’m here to tell you… Yes, you CAN! You can braid manes beautifully to make money or save money.  And here’s why I know this is true.  I have braided thousands of horses and I believe that:

  • Mane braiding is a skill anyone can learn
  • High quality knowledge is the key to creating perfect braids
  • You can braid horses faster than you think with the right speed tips
  • It’s important to learn what NOT to do when braiding so you can avoid braiding mistakes
  • You can perfect your skills by braiding a mini mane (just 6 braids) a couple times a week
  • Braiding other horses is a great way to earn income or pay for your shows.
  • You can save a ton of money braiding your own horse.
More From Savvy Horsewoman:  Escape the Ordinary with a Mongolia Riding Adventure

How I Got Started Braiding Horses to Make Money

So now I’m going to tell you exactly how I have been able to earn money braiding horses and pay for my showing expenses.

Let me take you back to where I started, because I struggled with braiding. But I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong.  I just knew that despite my best efforts, my mane braids were detracting from my horse’s turnout.  You can see just how messy my braids were in the photo below.

Braiding Horses

But everything changed when I met a professional braider creating the best mane braids I’ve ever seen. She taught me her secrets and speed tips.

I perfected my skills.  My braids went from mediocre to awesome!   You can see how much the knowledge transformed my braids in this photo.

Braiding Horses

This experience made me realize that having high quality knowledge is how you create top notch braids fast.

After I got “schooled” in braiding, I was able to earn money braiding other horses and pay for my showing expenses.

Your Own Horse Braiding is Your Best Advertisement 

With my new found knowledge, my braids were getting rave reviews.  At one show, I was walking my horse down to the schooling ring when a woman nearby gasped and came running out of the barn.

It was startling, so I immediately stopped and looked around to see what was wrong…a loose horse? Then she shouted “WOW, look at those braids!” pointing to my horse.

It was a cool experience which also demonstrates how top notch braids will get your horse noticed. Plus, your own horse is your best advertisement for securing paid braiding jobs.

More From Savvy Horsewoman:  Clicker Train Your Horse to Stop Grazing

Choose How and When You Braid

The nice thing about having the skill to braid for money is that it gives you options.  You can choose to braid at the shows you’re riding in or braid at shows you’re not riding in to earn money before you show.

I have done both and each scenario has it’s benefits. My suggestion is that you try each one and see what suits you best.

If you want to start braiding at shows, I would first ask your own trainer if there are any horses in their barn you can braid.

If not, you can post pictures of your braids on a show organization’s Facebook page and offer braiding services. Or find one of the professional braiders at the show (on schooling day) and ask if they need any help. Because usually they do!

If you’re also showing, these braiders can give you horses to braid at times that work best with your show schedule.  Another option is to ask around on schooling day to see if anyone needs their horse braided.

Sometimes you’ll have to get up really early to braid horses for the first class.

In this case, it  helps to have access to a camper at the show grounds where you can take a nap. Then you’ll feel refreshed and ready for your own ride.

One of the nice things about braiding at dressage shows is that they issue ride times. This allows you to plan your braiding around your ride times.

I like to use the down time between classes to braid and earn money without losing sleep.

More From Savvy Horsewoman:  How to Be a Better Equestrian

You can also braid just your own horse to stretch your budget. With the right braiding knowledge you can still get the impeccable turnout you deserve.

What to Expect When Braiding Horses at Shows

Mane braiding is currently paying $45 to $70 a mane depending on where you are located and the type of show you’re braiding at. And braiders are in demand.

You can braid at all types of shows from breed shows to hunter-jumper shows to dressage shows. Horses aren’t braided at some schooling shows so it’s best to stick with the bigger show circuits.

Most manes should take you about an hour to braid when you’re starting out.  With practice you can braid a mane in 30-45 minutes.

I would focus on doing a quality braid job first, as speed comes with practice.

Hunt seat horses typically require 35 to 45 mane braids and are rebraided every day. And the braiding at hunter shows is usually plentiful.

Dressage horses get fewer braids than hunt seat horses.  The average horse gets about 12 button braids depending on the mane. It’s been my experience that some dressage riders don’t rebraid for each day of showing. So your braiding jobs may be for one day only.

I would ask each horse owner or trainer what days they need braiding so you know for sure.

So if you find yourself short on showing funds, but you’d like to take charge and change your situation…you CAN!

I’m sharing my knowledge and braid secrets with you.  You can get started with a free video on Five Secrets for Perfect Mane Braids. Just click on the link to sign up for instant access to the video.

Are you ready to make money braiding horses? Let’s do this!

Mary Beth

How to Make Money Braiding Horses - Savvy Horsewoman


  1. Ally
    August 28, 2019 / 10:02 pm

    how old do i have to be to earn money off of horse braiding?

  2. March 23, 2021 / 5:38 am

    I was a teenager when I started braiding for money.

  3. Bradacia McCray
    January 1, 2022 / 6:07 pm

    I’m already a braider, I’ve never braided a horse mane before and I don’t own a horse. What would be the best way for me to start?

  4. Tonja
    March 6, 2022 / 11:38 am

    I am a retired cosmetologist and Love horses and would really like to get into doing this! I can do many kinds of braids and feel I would be very good at it! I prefer horses over people 😂

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.