California Riding Magazine • June, 2013

Braideez
Flexible wire tames any mane or tail and makes a breeze of braiding.


Sometimes solutions are just too close to see.

Amateur dressage rider Sandy Rabinowitz is from a family of inventors. Craft tools for artists are their trade and Sandy grew up with Twisteezwire, plastic-coated copper wire used in various arts and crafts endeavors. But it was only as an adult equestrian with aching fingers that it dawned on Sandy that this wire might work as a braiding aid.

An artist herself, Sandy struggled with carpal tunnel syndrome to the point where she felt painful pins and needles tinges whenever she attempted tasks involving fine motor skills: the posterchild of which is braiding manes and tails, of course!

As a dressage show approached a few years back, she finally "put two and two together and decided to try my own wire" as she set about braiding her horse's mane. Even the very first time, the wire "far exceeded every expectation." Now in the slow process of receiving a patent, Braideez© (formerly marketed as "Braiding Wire") have exceeded the expectation of braiders throughout the U.S. and well beyond. They work well on tails, too.

Braideez are sold in packs of 25, 32" wires, in brown, black, white and bright multi-colors. The non-toxic, flexible plastic wires make a breeze of braiding, even for kids and beginners, and they help the braids stay neat and tidy longer than braids secured with the traditional yarn or elastics. When the show's over, they slip out fast, thanks to the plastic coating, and without damaging the horse's hair. They are also reusable.

Packs come with clear instructions on how to use them, and videos on Braideez' website illustrate how simply these can be used in hunter, dressage and fun and informal braiding styles. Folded in half, the wire is placed into the start of the braid, then its two strands are woven in along with two of the braid's three hair segments. At the braid's end, the wires are wrapped around tightly, then used to tuck and secure the end of the braid at the mane's base.

Wired braids can be easily re-shaped and re-positioned as needed and they are suitable or all kinds of manes. Braideez give shape and form to thin manes, and using two wires enables braiders to tame even the thickest mane or tail hair. Working with Braideez is quite different than working with yarn or elastics, Sandy notes. "It has a different tactile quality and you are best to think of it as a sculptural medium."

In addition to serious show ring competitors, Braideez have gained a following with kids and kids at heart who enjoy dressing up their ponies and horses. The packs of brightly colored wires can be combined with pom poms, beads, feathers and other frills for a fun playday look. Wave braids and other creative styles are easy to achieve with Braideez' help.

"It's really fun to fool around with different styles," Sandy says. When she's not busy fulfilling orders for Braideez, Sandy pursues her passion for art in various mediums. Unsurprisingly, her favorite of late is wire. She started with Braideez wire sculptures and is now working on giant pieces crafted of heavy gauge industrial wire.

"My interests are really all wired together!"

For more information on Braideez, visit www.braideez.com.