Enquiry: Why do we braid manes and tails?

Braiding is a major issue and a crucial activity in the world of equestrianism, as I have assumed from the countless videos I have watched online And I regret to admit that I don’t like the result at all. I prefer a well-brushed mane and a rich tail moving the natural way as the horse moves or does whatever. But many others do like it (otherwise braiding would not be such a big deal). And I have to respect their opinion (as they have to respect mine). “About tastes no discussion”, says an old Greek proverb, and it perfectly applies here.

Why do we do that to horses? Is there any practical reason for this, or is it just for beauty? This is not a rhetorical question, it is a real enquiry, which I’m anxious to resolve. Can you help me?

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