Do not wash the mane before plating. The slight greasy hair will make the braids last a lot longer
I like to spray the hair with water first so that I don't miss any hair.
To be easier to wind up, hold really really tight! And after, I put on 2 or 3 elastics! I much more prefer plating the day of the competition, because I hold really tight and I don't want that my horse having his hair pulled all night long
To be sure that it'll take up, put on 2 elastics, as if you ride on 2 days, you don't have to do it again the second day :)
The hair have to be regular in the length, but also and most important in the thickness. The day before, I put hair gel, to avoid the small horsehairs useless!
I do my plating the day of the competition. I have a comb which helps me to separate at the same size, and I do the braids. When I did it, I fix it with an elastic!