Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Banging" a Tail

Maddy has been blessed with a thick, healthy tail. It grows so fast, sometimes I trim it up and it seems a few weeks later it is brushing the floor again. I do put a conditioner on about once a week and I use Laser Sheen every time I brush it out. She also gets a cup of flax a day which may contribute as well. Some would look at that long tail and scream "Don't cut it!" I trim it because of a horror story I heard once.

A friend of a friend had a Lipizzaner with a tail that dragged on the floor. Well, one day he was lying down and went to get up, stepped on his tail and tore half of it out. The tail is so sensitive, it got badly infected and he couldn't be ridden for a couple weeks because he was in so much pain.

So I think of that story and out comes the scissors! After combing out completely, the secret to a good trim job is to use a leg wrap, towel, or boot and position it under the tail. This raises the tail up to is natural set so you can get a perfect straight cut. Make sure your horse is "ok" with putting something there before you try this.

Next, figure out how much you want to lop off. I think this time I did about 5 inches. Grab the tail in your hand and just cut straight across in one snip. Be conservative on your first cut, you can always take off more if you want it shorter. That is it. A perfect straight cut. Don't forget to remove your leg wrap and give your horse a treat for tolerating their makeover.

12 comments:

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

That is one gorgeous tail! I wish my hair would go so luxuriously thick and long. Maybe I should begin eating flax? hehe!
Maddie is a beautiful mare. Is her coloring considered buttermilk buckskin?

My mare's tail grows long, too, but I've just trimmed it with no special techniques and it tends to look ragged.
I will be trying your tips on cutting her tail next time.

Thanks!


~Lisa

Grey Horse Matters said...

Maddy's tail is luxurious, she is such a beautiful color too. I love a horse with a great tail like that. I think it's safer to 'bang' it also. Thanks for the info.

Now come to think of it Dusty could use a trim too.

jane augenstein said...

Maddy has such a gorgeous tail!!! I wish Gilly could grow a tail like that. Isn't much chance of that with Pokey the donkey in the field, he keeps chewing it off and chunks of mane too! Maybe I can teach him to just trim the tail off straight at the bottom? LOL I doubt it though!

Kate said...

Lovely tail! I don't groom my tails in the winter at all in hopes of getting them longer. Maisie's is very thick and long, and Dawn is fairly wispy but it's getting longer too. Noble has a lovely long tail but it's not very thick. When I do brush in warmer months, I always use Showsheen or Lasersheen.

Laura said...

What a nice tail!

I wish my horse had a half-decent tail... His just barely touches his hocks (it's grown!) and it is thinner when bunched up than my neice's ponytail! Poor guy...

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Thanks for the tip about putting the towel under the top of the tail - I'm definitely going to do that next time!

Lori Skoog said...

You do nice work! and Maddy is looking great.

jill said...

Scout has a great tail too. I'm always banging it. And his mane too! Wonder if it's a color related thing?
She looks so pretty!

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Wow, that is a gorgeous tail!! I do love a buckskin - such a beautiful color.

allhorsestuff said...

Madds and The Wa don't have problems with thickly growing tails eh!
I had to do it again...jsut last weekend to keep her from muddifying and poopifying it..as she could'nt lift it with the wieght!
Nice job...like the length!
KK

Lulu said...

I trim my mare's tail as well, but I don't go quite as short as you do. To avoid the "scissor cut" look, I comb her tail straight down and pull the hair toward the coronet band. I use the coronet bad as a guide, which leaves the tail a few inches off the ground, but not looking like I just cut it with scissors.

I had a show gelding some years ago that use to step on his tail while backing up, so that is when I began the practice of keeping tails trimmed.

Drillrider said...

Thanks for the tip! Up until now, I used my hubby's arm to get the "lift" under the tail. I use Cowboy Magic for detangling manes and tails.