How Long Is A Horse Tail Without Hair? (Question)

Depending on the breed it can be 10 to 20 inches.

  • How long is a horse tail without hair? Normally, a horse has about 18 inches of this bony tail structure, but in Soren’s case, only about 2 to 2 1/2 inches remain. Although the hair on a horse’s tail will grow back if cut, there would be no regrowth of damaged vertebrae. Should I cut my horse’s mane?

Is a horses tail just hair?

The Tail Bone A horse’s tail is not precisely like the hair on your head. Its hair does not grow straight off your horse’s rear end. Horses’ tailbones provide a center structure for the tail and allow the horse to move the tail as he pleases. The tail hair grows out of the tailbone, normally about a foot long.

How long is the bone in a horses tail?

Definitions. Docking—Amputation of the distal part of the boney part of the tail. 3 A horse’s tail contains 15 to 21 vertebrae, docking typically leaves a tail approximately 15 cm (6 inches) long.

Why do horses have hair on their tails?

On a horse, long, thick tail hairs begin to grow at the base of the tail, and grow along the top and sides of the dock. The tail is used by the horse and other equidae to keep away biting insects, and the position and movement of the tail may provide clues to the animal’s physical or emotional state.

Do wild horses have long tails?

Many wild horses naturally live in cold climates. During cold weather, a long, thick tail can help keep the nearly hairless skin beneath it warm and comfortable. What is this? Long thick tails are especially good for swatting away flies in the area surrounding a horse.

How long should a horse’s tail be?

If you just chop it off while the horse is standing, when the horse is moving the tail will look uneven. The banged tail should end about 4”/10 cm to 5”/12cm below the. Any shorter may detract from the look of the tail. If your horse has a short or skimpy tail, you might want to skip banging it altogether.

Is it OK to cut a horse’s mane?

In general, a horse’s mane is not trimmed for overall length. Trimming the mane with scissors tends to cause the mane to bush out. It’s also hard to get it even. A trimmed mane may also stand straight up in a mane-hawk.

Why do horses swish their tails when being ridden?

Tail swishing usually means that the horse is agitated about something. You need to be cautious, because this can be followed by a kick. Tail swishing warns other horses to back off. Horses swish their tails to keep off flies and other insects.

Do horses need their tails?

The tail has an important role to play. In just one day, a horse can lose a cup of blood to biting insects such as mosquitoes. Not only do the mosquitoes take blood, but they also give disease.

Why do horses lose their tail hair?

Thinning Tails And Hair Loss Bald spots are usually caused by tail rubbing. They may also result from a heavy tick infestation or a serious fungal infection. Another cause of horses losing hair in an asymmetrical or patchy pattern is another horse chewing on his tail.

Do horse tails grow back?

In general, a horse’s tail will grow back but not always. Most people don’t think about their horse losing its tail until it happens, and when a horse loses its tail, it can take a long time before the hair regrows – if ever at all.

Do horses have bones in their tails?

Just like dogs, elephants and giraffes, horses do have a tail bone that provides the core structure on which the tails grow. In fact, the tail bone allows horses to move their tails as and when they desire. The horse’s tail consists of bone, muscle and nerves.

What is a dock on a horse?

The area at the top of the tail is called the dock. Below the skin are muscles and the extension of the vertebrae from the spine.

How long is a horse’s mane?

The mane will be between 3 and 5 inches long, and lies flat against the horse’s neck. A roached or hogged mane is one that’s been shaved off.

Why are horses manes cut short?

A shortened mane is the traditional look for many stock breeds, as well as for hunter horses and dressage competitors. The short manes are tidy and easy to band for western classes and simple to braid for English events. Racehorses also often sport thinned or shortened manes.

Do female horses have a mane?

In general, males, or stallions, will grow thicker manes than mares. This is not all in the name of attraction, however — male stallions will often fight over a female, biting each other’s necks in the process, and manes can serve as protection.

Tail (horse) – Wikipedia

It is made up of two pieces: thedock and the skirt. The tail of a horse or other animal is made up of two components. Specifically, the dock is made up of the muscles and skin that cover the coccygeal vertebrae. Those lengthy hairs that hang below the dock are referred to as a “skirt.” Long, thick tail hairs begin to form from the base of a horse’s tail and continue to grow along the top and sides of the dock as the horse grows. It is found in several mule species, the zebra, and the wildPrzewalski’s horse, as well as in donkeysand other members of the equus asinus family.

On the bottom of the dock, there is no growth of hair at all.

Tail carriage may also be a characteristic of a particular breed.

However, certain procedures for regulating the tails of horses are similarly contentious, and some have been accused of constituting cruelty to animals.

Communication and behavior

When a horse is dissatisfied with a rider’s directions, it may move or “wring” its tail aggressively in protest. The horse’s tail can provide basic information about the horse’s physical health as well as his or her mental state. A tail raised high above the buttocks frequently signifies good spirits, but a tail tucked in firmly to the buttocks frequently implies pain. The quicker a horse travels, the higher and more away its tail will be carried from its body. The tail of a horse must be raised in order for it to defecate.

  1. Angry horses may vigorously swish their tails from side to side, and an exceptionally enraged animal may go so far as to wring its tail up and down in addition to swishing it from one side to the other.
  2. In cold weather, horses may choose to stand with their hindquarters facing the wind and their tails clasped close to their buttocks in order to keep their bodies warm and protect them from the elements of the outside world.
  3. A human handler, however, can generally pull the tail away by moving it sideways to protect these sensitive places.
  4. Occasionally, a horse on the verge of bucking will stiffen up and curl or “kink” its tail in a particular manner, however this motion will not be apparent to the rider, who will be looking forward.
  5. When spurs are used, it is possible that extremely powerful displays of discomfort will occur.

In horse exhibitions when the horses’ manners or responsiveness to the rider’s orders are being judged, tail-swishing is often discouraged since it might suggest a horse that is resistive to the rider’s commands.

Breed and color

A purebred Arabian with a high-carried tail, which is highly valued in the breed. The Peruvian Pasobred is distinguished by a low-hanging tail that is handled in a peaceful way. In certain breeds, having a high- or low-carried tail is considered an abnormal conformational feature. Thick or thin hair, as well as straight or wavy hair, may also be inherited as a breed trait. The color of a horse’s tail is connected to the color of the horse’s overallequine coat, and is therefore not considered a breed feature unless the overall color is chosen for within a breed.

If you have primitive markings on your horse, the mane and tail will likely be the same color as the striping that distinguishes these colors from other hues.

Grooming and styles

Performing basic tail grooming on a horse improves his look while also promoting his overall health, including his hair and skin. Horses that are used for labor or competition frequently have their tails trimmed, braided, or groomed in a variety of ways. When riding for pleasure, the tail is frequently cleaned or combed to eliminate tangles and foreign material before the ride. Horses used in exhibition or competition may require far more elaborate care than horses used for pleasure riding. A horse’s capacity to deploy its tail as a defense against insects may be compromised by some types of show grooming techniques used on the animal.

Occasionally it may be cropped, thinned, or even chopped to a very short length (banged).

“Natural” grooming

It is usual to observe a “natural” tail in many competitive disciplines, including most western performance disciplines and certain English ridingevents, especially at the lower levels. When not in competition, the tail may be encouraged to grow as long as naturally feasible, and the skirt may be braided to stimulate even longer development when not in competition. Some breeds require a natural tail that has neither been thinned or surgically boosted in order to compete in shows.


A “natural” tail is one that has not been clipped or braided and is widely seen in many competitive disciplines, including most western performance disciplines and some English riding competitions, particularly at the lower levels of competition. During non-competitive periods, the tail may be encouraged to grow as long as it naturally can, and the skirt may be braided to stimulate even longer development. The presence of a natural tail, neither thinned or artificially enlarged, is a criterion in several breeds competing in shows.

Cutting and clipping

It is fairly usual to bang one’s tail, particularly in European countries. Cutting the skirt hair straight across the bottom at the bottom, generally well below the hocks, is what this style is all about. This is a prevalent style in the world of dressage. In certain countries, pounded tails may be observed in a variety of other disciplines and may even be considered regular grooming practice. Tail extensions, such as those mentioned below, are frequently offered with a banged bottom, and as a result, the banged style can be seen in various western riding competitions where false tails are permitted by regulation.

Some of the shorter hairs on the dock are trimmed, sometimes only for a few inches from the base of the tail, and in other cases as far down the dock as approximately halfway down, roughly where the tail “turns over” as the horse is moving forward.

The horse’s hindquarters are supposed to be displayed in this manner.

Although it is less common today, a version of this style, which involves cutting the dock close to the skin for roughly half of its length, was historically popular among “three-gaited” American Saddlebred horses.

Polohorses that are used in competition nowadays generally have their docks trimmed or shaved, and the skirt is braided, folded up on the tailbone, and tied off with either a lock of hair that was excluded from the braid, taped, or a combination of the two.


French braiding, as well as its counterpart, Dutch braiding, are often used. For professional grooms, braiding a horse’s tail before a show or other competition is a common activity. A poorly done braid may slip out if it is too loose, and if it is kept in for an excessive amount of time, it may cause irritation and itching to the horse. The dock is seldom braided for more than 12 hours at a time since the horse will begin to itch and rub its hindquarters, causing hair to break or the braid to come undone.

  1. Dressage horses do not have their tails braided since it is believed that an unpleasant braid may lead the horse to hold his tail stiffly when competing.
  2. Horses are being shown in draft.
  3. Ford driving horses, keeping the tail out of the way is a safety concern since it might become entangled in machinery.
  4. A stray tail poses a safety hazard since it has the potential to hook on a polo mallet.
  5. In bad weather, many other show disciplines may enable competitors to tie the skirt of the tail into a stylized knot called as an amud tail, which is identical to the one described above.
  6. When the horse is not competing, the skirt of the tail is braided from the end of the dock to the tip, and it is normally folded up and covered with a wrap to keep it looking neat and tidy.
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Fake tails

It is usual to see French braiding, as well as its counterpart, Dutch braiding. For skilled groomers, braiding a horse’s tail before a show or other competition is a common activity. It is possible that an incorrectly done braid can fall out if it is too loose, or that it will cause irritation and itching if it is kept in for too long. After 12 hours, the dock braid is rarely kept in place since the horse will begin to itch and massage its hindquarters, causing hair to fall out or the dock braid to be rubbed out.

  1. Dressage horses do not have their tails braided since it is believed that an unpleasant braid may force the horse to hold his tail stiffly during the competition session.
  2. showcasing horses in the first round of competition and onLipizzanhorses that do thecapriole, the entire tail is braided, and the braid is folded or curled into a knot, with or without the addition of ribbons and other ornamental components to complete the look.
  3. The tail is braided, folded up on the tailbone, and securely fastened in most cases for polo and polocrosse.
  4. A polo braid is frequently held in place with tape, and the dock is occasionally shaved to give it a more professional appearance.
  5. It is not popular in shows to braid the tail skirt only, rather than the dock, although it is a frequent grooming technique to encourage the tail to grow longer.

It is possible that the horse will still be able to use its tail to swat flies if most of the dock’s shorter hairs are left to hang loose.

  • In order to keep it clean before to the presentation, the long hairs should be braided and stored in a “tail bag.” Tail braided in preparation for a hunting class
  • A tail that has been set
  • Tail skirt with braids that has been pushed up and wrapped

Controversial management

Nowadays, the phrase “docking” does not always relate to tail amputation, as it does in the case of some dog breeds. Docking was performed on certain horses in the past, usually on foals, but not all of them. The practice of tail docking of both light and heavy harness horses was popular prior to automation, and was thought to be a safety measure to prevent the tail from being entangled in the harness or on the vehicle. Given that most horse driving today is for show rather than daily use, and that even working animals have the time required to braid or wrap their tails, partial amputation of the tail is not generally considered to be necessary in this day and age.

It is also used in certain PMUoperations as a training tool.

In order to prevent the tail from being entangled in the harness, some horses used fordriving still have it chopped very short.

Even though it is less drastic than amputation, a horse with a very short tail may still find it difficult to effectively swat flies.


Nowadays, the phrase “docking” does not always relate to tail amputation, as it does in the case of some dog breeds. Historical evidence suggests that certain horses, usually foals, were docked at one time or another. The practice of tail docking of both light and heavy harness horses was popular prior to automation, and was thought to be a safety measure to prevent the tail from being entangled in the harness or snagging on the vehicle’s wheels. Given that most horse driving nowadays is for display rather than everyday usage, and that even working horses have the time required to braid or wrap their tails, partial amputation of the tail is not widely considered to be essential in today’s society.

Some PMUoperations also put this into reality.

In order to prevent the tail from being entangled in the harness, some horses used fordriving still have it chopped extremely short.

While not as dramatic as amputation, a horse with a very short tail may nevertheless find it difficult to properly swat flies away.


Another technique of fostering high tail carriage is to apply an irritant to the horse’s sanusorvagina, such as rawginger or ginger salve, to the horse’s hindquarters. Halterhorses of the Arabian and American Saddlebred breeds, in which high tail carriage and activity are prized characteristics, are particularly prone to gingering. The majority of horse show sanctioning bodies in the United States, however, expressly prohibit it and have the right to disqualify a horse that has been treated in this manner.

While it is not completely reliable, horse handlers who are concerned about being caught by anal tests have placed raw ginger in the vagina of their mares, despite the fact that this is not recommended.

Blocking or numbing

Because a swishing tail is punished in several horse show events, notably western pleasure and reining competitions, handlers may resort to treatments known as “blocking” or “nerving,” which numb the tail or block the feeling of the nerve endings, causing it to be immobile and unable to move. Because tail-swishing is frequently associated with bad training methods, inappropriate use of spurs, or a horse becoming “ring sour,” i.e. exhausted from competition, artificial means to inhibit the tail from moving are prohibited in practically every discipline where trainers would be tempted to employ them.

  1. Various procedures are employed to numb the tail, with the majority of them posing serious health hazards.
  2. This, on the other hand, left a visible scar.
  3. Eventually, surgery was performed to remove the tail.
  4. It is usually unnoticeable, however injections might occasionally leave two white spots above the tail dock, which are difficult to see.
  5. Grain alcohol, on the other hand, acts locally and destroys the myelin sheaths of the horse’s nerves, preventing the animal from moving its tail.
  6. Occasionally, the regular tail function does not return.
  7. It is possible that the damage could be so severe that necrosis will develop in extreme situations, particularly if the alcohol injected migrates from the tail to adjacent muscles and skin.
  8. The presence of a blocked tail may be detected by experienced horse judges because the tail hangs lifelessly, rather than swinging slightly in response to the horse’s movement.
  9. Because of the pain caused by the injection, the horse may move stiffly in the hindquarters in some instances.

Some show-sanctioning organizations enforce stringent penalties for competitors who are found to be riding horses with nerve-blocked tails, and some of these organizations are included here.

See also

  • Sandra Tozzini is the author of this work. The article “HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW: EQUINE COSMETIC CRIMES AND OTHER TAILS OF WOE” was published in Animal Law on May 12, 2003, pp. 159-181. Christy West is the author of the article. “Tail Blocking Gone Wrong,” The Horse, online edition, July 18, 2008, Article12310
  • “Tail Blocking Gone Wrong,” The Horse, online version, July 18, 2008, Article12310

Tall Tails – Dispelling Myths of Horse Tail Care

Everyone enjoys having long tails, but traditional wisdom about how to achieve them is based on a misunderstanding. The procedures now in use for conserving tails actually thin them out and prevent them from growing. After dedicating my life to mane and tail crafts, I’m writing this article to share what I’ve learned from braiding the tails of more than 12,000 horses professionally and inventing award-winning coat care products. Nothing can compare to first-hand knowledge. Chemical degrees and large marketing expenditures pale in comparison to being preoccupied with enhancing tails while having hands in horses’ hair for decades on end, typically 18 hours a day.

  • The information that follows may come as a surprise to you, especially if you have been trying your hardest to do the best you can for your horse.
  • 2.The “don’t touch the tails” guideline actually increases the amount of broken limbs.
  • In order to provide good care, picking alone is not the most crucial factor.
  • Tails that are in good health are quite gorgeous.

3. TwistHold

To protect the length and roots of the tail, twist it from the beginning. After that, grip the bottom. Begin from the bottom of your grip and gradually work your way up the tail, always starting from the bottom. Organize your hair all the way down to the roots. When it comes to some circles, tail bags are the standard. Tail bags are hard to come by in Wellington, Florida, where the world’s best hunter/jumper/dressage/polo horses winter. In fact, you’d be hard pushed to find one in the entire city.

  1. Despite the fact that the purpose of a tail bag is to protect the hair, oddly, horses that use tail bags tend to develop thin tails.
  2. Have you ever noticed that hair that is frizzy or nappy may be quite dry?
  3. All of these instances are founded on the same underlying premise.
  4. Grips are moved up and down as sections are structured, always starting at the bottom.
  5. The natural protective oils produced by the horse do not move over the turns to slide down and fortify the strands of hair.
  6. Similarly, the notion that keeping one’s hands off one’s tail will save it is false.
  7. As a result, oils are unable to easily penetrate the hair and strengthen it.

Furthermore, when you do need to make the tail ready to display, it is such a hassle that significantly more hair falls out as a result.

They suffocate hair or attract sunlight and dirt, which dries them out and causes hair to become brittle.

Shampoos that whiten hair may temporarily make it appear clean, but they drain oils from the hair, causing it to become dry and porous.

Have you ever had the impression that a grey is constantly dirty?

Pinch small sections of hair at the base and slide them down the length of the hair to comb the tail with your fingers to reduce the likelihood of breakage.

What if tails remained more ordered and tidy over a longer period of time?

Here’s how it’s done: Use of a multi-purpose solution that fortifies without removing hair might be a more beneficial method in this situation.

While tea tree oil is nature’s most effective anti-septic and anti-fungal, the quality of the oil can vary substantially.

Otherwise, you may be able to temporarily alleviate itching, but you may ultimately exacerbate it by making your skin more sensitive.

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Wet hair stretches more than dry hair, making it more forgiving.

Then take hold of the bot- tom.

After that, raise your grasp by 6-8 inches.

If you run into a roadblock, start from the bottom up.

When it dries, the hair will desire to split rather than wrap itself around the brush.

5.Construct a tail that leads back to the roots.

Separate the tangles from the bottom up.

Hold the brush very softly so that if you come across a tangle, you will be able to feel it and work it gently.

6.If the hair is sticking together because the tail is unclean and bathing is out of the question, apply an enzymatic spray designed specifically for horses to solve the problem.

Impurities should be removed using a towel and a damp comb.

Tails are the most advantageous choice.

Using your fingers, comb the strands down to ensure they are well combed.

If you pick your tool correctly, brushing might be a good alternative to scraping.

I prefer the inexpensive ones that are designed for blow-drying hair.

Otherwise, they snap off, leaving sharp edges that snag on hair and cause breakage.

After braiding 12,000 tails and being acutely aware that there were no products that handled everything properly, I created Lucky Braids All-In-One Shampoo as a consequence of my experience.

Hair is resistant to ringlets, stains, and other abrasions.

There is no need to use an additional conditioner or detangler.

As a result, you are free to experiment with this tried and true technique that has been demonstrated to work.

She watched and learnt at some of the most prestigious stables in the world, quietly twisting manes from atop a ladder.

Ultimately, Ruthann drew on her extensive knowledge to create remarkable equestrian grooming products that have helped to enhance the standard of horsemanship worldwide.

They have earned the top distinctions in the equestrian industry* for their efforts in making great horse care more accessible.

Ruthann is also offering her “LOVE, LOVE Guarantee.” If you are not completely satisfied with a product that Ruthann has made, she will reimburse you in full, regardless of where you acquired the product.

For more information, see The Grooming Resource on, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Ruthann’s Horsemanship Clinics.

The Lucky Braids Shampoo and Top Pick for greys and whites were both named by the editors. As well as receiving excellent feedback, Lucky Braids specialist braiding yarn received praise as well.

Information on Horse Tails

Photographs courtesy of IBananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images As a horse enthusiast, you probably don’t give much thought to the tails of your horses until they are knotted and in in need of brushing. Despite popular belief, your horse’s tail is an important element of his overall look, serving a purpose more than merely making his hindquarters more visually appealing to the observer, as shown below.

The Tail Bone

The hair on a horse’s tail is not exactly the same as the hair on your head. Your horse’s hair does not come out of his rear end in a straight line. Besides providing a core foundation for the tail, the tailbones of horses also enable freedom for the horse to move his tail as he wishes. It is usual for the tail hair to grow out of the tailbone and be about a foot long. When your horse eliminates, he rises his tailbone in order to get the tail out of the way and to make the tail hair swish wildly off his legs and sides.

Maintaining the Tail

Taking care of your horse’s tail is essential, else it can tangle to the point that it forms a solid knot around the tailbone. Brush the tail of your horse on a regular basis. Using your fingers, pluck the knots out of the tangle if it is particularly entangled. Brushes damage hair and pull it out, resulting in a thin and frizzy appearance to the tail. If you’re having trouble keeping your horse’s tail in good shape, try applying horse conditioner to it to help work the knots out. Furthermore, a well-balanced diet helps your horse to develop a strong and healthy tail.

Protecting the Tail

Horses with thin or readily breakable tails might rapidly appear to have practically no tail at all if their tails are thin or easily breakable. While this isn’t a big problem for horses that are only used for recreational riding, show horses are supposed to have long, glossy tails that attract attention. Tie the tail of these horses up and place it in a tail bag. These shield the tail from being damaged or contaminated by dirt. In order to ease the procedure of putting the tail into the bag and keeping it there as simple as possible, tails are usually braided.

The Fake Tail

Even though the tail has no functional purpose in terms of performance, an attractive tail is considered to be an important part of your overall presentation at a horse show, regardless of whether it is functional or not. It is common practice to braid a fake tail into the real tail of a show horse who has an extremely thin, short, or otherwise less-than-perfection tail. Fake tails are made of real or synthetic horsehair, and they are used in competition to make the tail appear full and healthy.

References Photographic Credits Biography of the AuthorJen Davis has been writing professionally since 2004.

Davis graduated from Berry College in Rome, Georgia, with a Bachelor of Arts in communication with a specialization in journalism in 2012.

Horse Tails: Care & Maintenance

The tails of other animals are something we don’t often consider. If, on the other hand, you are a horse enthusiast or even own a horse, you may spend a lot of time thinking about your horse’s tail. Horse tails are extremely magnificent in their beauty. Have you ever taken note of how effortlessly they swirl the water back and forth? When a horse has a great full tail, it makes them appear so much nicer. Of course, tails aren’t the only thing that matters. In this section, we will discuss some vital facts concerning your horse’s tail.

The Horse’s Tail Bone

For the most part, we believe that horse tails are just tufts of long hair, similar to the hair that grows on our scalps. This, on the other hand, is not correct. It is not common for horses to have their tail hair grow directly from their back ends. Do Horse Tails Have Bone? Do Horse Tails have bone? Horses, like dogs, elephants, and giraffes, have a tail bone that serves as the foundation for the growth of their tails, much like these other animals. In reality, the tail bone permits horses to move their tails whenever and anywhere they want.

  • The horse’s tail is made up of three parts: bone, muscle, and nerves.
  • In fact, the movement of a horse’s tail may provide a great deal of information about his current attitude.
  • They will occasionally even twist their tail backwards towards their head, which is characteristic of Arabian horse breeds.
  • Some horse breeds have their tail bones docked, while others do not.
  • In fact, one of the most common reasons for a horse’s short or docked tail is due to incorrectly placed tail wraps, which are a common occurrence.

Tales of Tails

It is reasonable to believe that animals such as donkeys and zebras are closely related to horses based on their appearance, and this is correct. But if you take a close look at their tails, you will see that they are vastly different from those of other creatures. Horse tails are significantly more voluminous than the tails of donkeys and zebras, which have tufts of hair at the end. Mules and hinnies, which are crossbreds between horses and donkeys, nearly usually have a gorgeous, full tail, which is inherited from their horse parent.

Grooming and Maintenance

Horses should be groomed on a regular basis to keep their coats in good condition. It’s also a wonderful method to strengthen your relationship with them. When it comes to the horse’s tail, adequate care is required in order for the tail to perform to its maximum capacity. The presence of a long, thick tail is extremely desired in virtually all breeds. Detangling your horse’s tail could be necessary if it hasn’t been groomed for a long period of time. That might be a significant undertaking, depending on the severity of the situation.

Once a horse’s tail has been detangled, brushing it on a regular basis can assist it to maintain its good health and appearance.

Whatever way you pick, you may want to consider applying a natural conditioner such as coconut oil on a regular basis to maintain the tail hydrated and healthy.

It is critical to provide your horse with proper nutrients so that its tail may serve as a symbol of its overall health and well-being and wonderful attitude.

Consider visiting your local feed shop to see if any of the products they have available can assist you in maintaining your horse’s tail in good condition.

How To Brush A Horse’s Tail

If your horse’s tail is tangled, detangle it with your preferred detangling solution to get rid of the knots. Before you begin brushing the tail, make sure to remove any major knots that may have formed in the process. You may even produce your own detangling spray at home using simple ingredients (check out my favorite recipes here).

2. Apply Conditioning Spray Through Tail

If you read my post on detangling a matted tail, you’ll see that I mention all of my favorite horse care items in the comments. Depending on whether or whether you needed to use a detangler in the previous phase, you may not need to use any extra products at this point. Picking up a portion of my horse’s tail and holding it horizontal to the ground is how I prefer to apply the conditioning spray to him. When I raise the tail, I allow the tail hairs to cascade down while I spray, creating a waterfall effect.

3. Start Brushing from the Bottom Up

To my knowledge, it makes no difference which tool you use to brush your horse’s tail; any tool can cause hair damage, in my view. What counts is how you choose to employ it. It is more probable that you will be able to reduce tail hair breaking the slower and more cautious you are when driving. Take all of your horse’s hair and place it in your hand. Initially, expose a few of inches at the bottom of your hand before securely wrapping your hand around the top of the handrail. Brush out this tiny piece with your brush, and then begin working your way up the rest of the wall.

Concentrate on a single part at a time.

4.Braid or Bag Your Horse’s Tail (If Desired)

If you intend to use a tail bag, you will want to braid your horse’s tail before you begin. Always remember to begin your braid at least one inch below the base of the tail bone. Find your horse’s tail bone before you begin your sections, and start about an inch down from the tail bone. It is not necessary to be accurate; the only thing to watch out for is that the braid does not cover the bone. Secure the tail with a little rubberband once you’ve reached the end of the length of the tail. I also like to wrap it with a piece of electrical tape to keep it in place for a longer period of time.

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Related Questions

Do horses enjoy having their manes braided? Some horses take pleasure in the grooming procedure, particularly when their mane and tail are braided. Others may be uneasy with you in that region since they can’t see you very well immediately behind them due of the limited visibility.

It is advisable to start off gently and observe your horse’s behavior to determine how to proceed. What is the rate at which a horse’s tail grows? Various variables, including as genetics, diet, and environmental circumstances, will influence the rate at which a horse’s tail grows.

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9 Tips for a Long, Lovely Tail

Use the tactics listed below to assist your horse in growing the longest and most attractive tail his genes will allow him to. The length and thickness of your horse’s tail are determined by four key factors: diet, environment, the level of care you offer, and genetics. You won’t be able to modify his DNA, but by paying attention to the other three elements, you will be able to urge him to develop the greatest tail possible. Here’s what you should do. Photograph courtesy of Jennifer Paulson Begin at the bottom of the tail and work your way up, holding the tail with your other hand to prevent hairs from falling out.

  1. Excellent forage (pasture or hay) is the foundation of your horse’s diet, which should be supplemented with any concentrates he need to meet his specific energy requirements.
  2. 2.Take vitamins into consideration.
  3. Hair, like hooves, need specific nutrients in the proper proportions in order to grow.
  4. Hoof supplements that include these minerals will also aid in the development of hair on the horse’s coat.
  5. Keep an eye out for obvious spots where tail hair could be snagged and pulled out, such as stall walls, gates, and fences (as well as trees or bushes in the field).
  6. 4.Get rid of the itch.
  7. Take precautions to keep your horse’s tail free of anything that might scratch it.
  8. Keeping your horse’s underside, udder, and fold between the hind legs clean is also important since irritation in these areas (where your horse can’t scratch) can result in tail-rubbing as well.
  9. 5.Wash with caution.

(A vinegar rinse is beneficial.) Conditioning the tail hairs after using a good conditioner and washing out the tail head thoroughly, but leaving some substance on the tail hairs Finish with a detangling product to boost the silkiness of the tail—it not only looks fantastic, but it also helps to prevent knotting.

  • (Keeping it braided or bagged—as shown in Figure 8—helps to limit the amount of washing and other handling required.) Tail care for mares may be found at, where you can learn more about how to cope with urine-stained tails.) 6.Use a light hand when brushing.
  • Others like the meticulous use of a wide-tooth comb, while still others assert that the correct type of brush, properly held, is effective.
  • To prevent hair pulls from going through to the tail head and causing hair loss, use your other hand to hold the tail hair securely above where you’re working while using a comb or brush.
  • Make a sharp incision across the tail at or just above the fetlocks to prevent it from getting trodden on as you are backing your horse up.
  • These alternatives provide an additional layer of protection.
  • Always begin a braid below the tailbone and maintain the braids as flexible as possible to minimize irritation and friction on the scalp.
  • Placing the braids in a commercial tail bag helps to keep them free of snags and can also help to prolong the benefits of conditioner.

Tail swishing, which can cause breakage and hair loss, should be kept to a minimum by employing meticulous fly-control procedures. No matter whether you leave the tail down or braid/bag it, this is a vital step to take.

What Your Horse’s Tail Tells You

The tail of a horse is undoubtedly his most attractive and flexible physical feature, whether it is wispy or luscious, flowing or braided, or pounded and twisted. The tail is much more than just an adornment or a glorified flyswatter; it serves a variety of functions. As a means of communication, it is simple and eloquent in its communication with both horses and humans; as a barometer of equine health, it transmits vital messages about an animal’s well-being; as a protective shield, it aids in temperature regulation and protects delicate reproductive structures from the effects of the environment; and as a mechanism of balance, it subtly influences the alignment of the horse’s hind end.

How is it possible for a structure that is primarily valued for its aesthetic appeal to also serve as a useful appendage?

Horses communicate with one another through their body language, and the tail is one of their most expressive “speaking” organs.

Anatomy of an equine tail

A horse’s tail is undoubtedly his most gorgeous and flexible physical feature, whether it is wispy or luscious, flowing, braided, or slammed. The tail performs a variety of functions and is much more than an adornment or glorified flyswatter. As a means of communication, it is simple and eloquent in its communication with both horses and humans; as a barometer of equine health, it transmits vital messages about an animal’s well-being; as a protective shield, it aids in temperature regulation and protects delicate reproductive structures from the effects of the environment; and as a mechanism of balance, it subtly influences the alignment of the horse’s hindend.

How is it possible for a structure that is primarily valued for its aesthetic appeal to also serve as a functional appendage?

Body language is used by horses to communicate with one another, and the tail is one of their most expressive “talking” organs.

The evolution of horse’s tails

In past waters, species that moved in straight lines by pushing with their tails rose to the top of the food chain, where they were joined by sharks and other fish. Even as their ungainly legs began to appear, amphibians preserved their strong propelling tails. Land reptiles (dinosaurs) had protruding legs that protruded from the sides of their massive bodies eons before the emergence of the horse species. The capacity of these animals to move from one location to another was dependent on their long, hefty tails.

  • It was already past the point of being usable as a locomotor device when the horse’s early progenitor hyracotherium first emerged somewhere during the Eocene era, indicating that the tail had become entirely nonfunctional.
  • Its knees were curled inside, its elbows were turned backward, and its limbs were tucked beneath its torso for protection.
  • “Hyracotherium relied on its ability to move quickly in order to avoid its predators,” he explains.
  • Essentially, it was liberated up in order to become what it is now.” According to Sumida, the horse’s caudal appendage performs only marginally better than the functional skills of other mammalian tails in comparison to their own functional capacities.
  • Why, therefore, was the horse tail kept at all, given its slightly lessened significance?

The natural world, she continues, “has a propensity to maintain some indication of the primordial.” Evolutionary processes demonstrate this repeatedly, says the author. The horse’s tail, on the other hand, does provide certain legitimate functions, such as defense and communication, among others.”

How horses “talk” with their tails

Horses communicate with one another through their body language, and the tail is one of their most expressive “speaking” organs. Within the herd, as well as between horses and riders, it is utilized to relay information about the horses’ physical and emotional status to one another. The horse is the quintessential herd animal, and his very survival is dependent on the cooperation of his equine companions. Horses have evolved a sophisticated system of tail signals over millions of years that allows members of a herd to “debate” issues that are critical to the group’s survival.

  • When in the presence of stallions, mares in heat will raise their tails up and to one side, in the manner of a “come hither” motion, to show their sexual receptiveness to the stallions present.
  • The capacity of the herd to communicate with one another and recognize danger is critical to the group’s survival.
  • Stop what you’re doing and await further instructions!” Protective stallions will elevate their tails, prance, and defecate in order to warn away intruders during their demonstrations.
  • In groups of two, long-time friends happily brush flies from each other’s faces as they stand head-to-tail in the sunshine.
  • Nevertheless, too loud children and aggressive upstarts are frequently deterred by an older’s bent back and twitching tail, which indicates that the senior is about to administer a good, rapid kick to the offender.
  • What Do You Mean, “That”?
  • And a horse owner who “tunes in” quickly learns to read and respond to the body language of his or her equine charges.
  • The tail is also a good indicator of the horse’s health.
  • As she explains, “the action causes him psychological or bodily distress,” and “the scenario should be studied to determine the main cause of the problem.” Two different methods may be used to decode another signal, which has a tightly clamped tail.

“Be prepared for a buck or a kick,” Houpt tells his audience. However, if the horse is standing motionless, appearing uncomfortable, and periodically stomping his feet, this is an indicator of discomfort in the horse’s hindquarters’ tummy.

Keep your horse’s tail healthy

Cleanliness and excellent condition are the most important factors in maintaining a tail’s attractive aesthetics and functionality. Unfortunately, even though the horse tail’s skin seems robust and its hairs appear impenetrable, the tail is not immune to damage or disease like the rest of the body. However, the distinction between lush and scraggly may be made by taking good care of the plant. Sebum produced by oil glands at the base of the hair follicles helps to keep tail hairs elastic and lustrous, which helps to keep them healthy.

These are the victims of the body’s ongoing replenishment cycle, and they are totally normal.

When it comes to cleaning, expert trainers and grooms recommend just washing the tail when absolutely essential.

A once-a-month once-over is sufficient to keep tail hair looking healthy and lustrous.

Indulge your hair all the way down to your tailbone, then massage a light wash into the core strands of your hair.

Wash your hair once more until the water runs clean, using a high-quality conditioner and allowing it to sit for several minutes.

If possible, wait until the hair is totally dry before picking out any tangles with a comb or your fingers.

However, avoid using hard plastic grooming aids, as they have a tendency to damage hair shafts and pluck out healthy hairs from the scalp.

Take a one-inch hunk of hair and fan it out to untangle the individual strands of hair.

When used as a grooming aid, baby oil improves the condition and shine of the hair while also assisting in the control of dandruff.

It first appeared in the August 1993 issue of EQUUS magazine, and has since been updated.

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