Now that you mention it; it really has lessened over the years hasn't it!? Was much more popular years ago. I think less now because it's becoming a lost art. Folks don't take the time or know how. Or.....like in my case......just plain not good at it. EVERY time I've done one for hunting, every time....it has come out while out there. I can't seem to get them to stay. And that's not using tape too as I thought tape might be a faux pas....Besides I'd need a ton of tape. I think horses that aren't used to it sometimes whip their tails around hard to try and shake it loose. I could hear one of mine slinging his back & forth; kindof a whap, whap, whack sound!!! Don't go near his hind end or someone's gonna get hurt!!!
I've seen some locally this year tho'. Just 2-3 a meet maybe?
Someone taught me the single braid wrapped around kind but I can't get it to stay.
I used to braid mine in with yarn, but electrical tape was commonly used and accepted. Appearance aside, it really is a help to a horse in my opinion on a muddy day, that tail can really pick up lots of weight in mud and water. Maybe it is seen less these days because many hunts just hunt fewer hours in a day as opposed to 20-30 years ago when 4 hours was a minimum for a hunting day.
Briars and brambles on a dry day are a different fix, for me. Liberal application of show sheen or similar (WD-40 can work) in the horse's tail and a thorough detangling of tail before the meet. At the end of the day, the briars slide ride out. Then of course there are those nasty little seeds that accumulate on the saddle pads and etc...but that's a different thread I suppose.
Ok, I love the way this looks and am going to start practicing now. My question is, is there any time that it is really innapropriate? Does it have to be a muddy day? Obviously I wouldn't go into the dressage ring like this but maybe for xc. My horse has a massive thick wavy tail and it is better off "up" in some fashion. I also like the way his butt/legs look with the tail out of the way.
"look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."
Back when rivenoak was hunting Prozac Pony, she would sometimes put his tail up because he got the most bodacious diarrhea while hunting. I eventually put him on probiotics, and that helped, so the tail knotting stopped.
But here he is after Opening Hunt in 2007, in all his sweaty glory.
(I believe she used yarn & electrical tape. Maybe vet wrap sometimes.)
Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
"When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother
I'm a big fan of mud-knots when they are needed. That's in mud. It's also in thistle-or-other-sticker ladden country.
I'm also old, hence the instance on function being first. Being old also means that it was my job as a young'un to do up the tails for my elders' horses. That served me well because it also fell to me to put them away afterward.
So, put in a mud-knot if you need it. Do it yourself. Learn to do a good job so that you can have your turn-out signature for all those behind your fabulous horse to see.
I don't get the "put it in for looks" thing, and do think that ought not to be a criterion. (Told you I was old.) But if you do want to make your horse's tail look good, go get a polo player or groom to teach you their technique. Those guys can put up a tail in know that stays without any kind of tape.
I'll describe the polo technique I learned if you want. Can't say I execute it well. But then I'm old....
If you don't want to use duct or electrical tape, try zip ties. We do that with the polocrosse horses - french braid down the dock, braid the skirt in two pieces and pull the ends up through the braid with a coat hanger - zip tie in place and cut the ends of the zip ties off. Works very well and stays up all day.
After all my pontificating here, I thought I better re-try my method. It took me approx 3 minutes to give my horse a mud tail while he was eating his supper tonight, and I wasn't even hurrying (hay - maybe that's the trick!).
I used the method in the link I gave, so it's not braided, rather I just split it roughly in two from the base of his dock, and wound the two parts overlapping back up around the dock, and I'd left a long little strand out from roughly half-way up the dock that I was then able whip around the ends before tucking them back down inside the wound part. I didn't even have to brush his tail first, always a bonus, and I should think that, if I'd whipped in some black wool thread or similar, I could easily have finished it so it was secure enough for hunting. The horse has a long thick wiry wavy tail.
I don't like the look of the braided version - the end result is somehow scatalogical in appearance, to my eyes.
The staff at Middleburg frequently have a mud knot done on their horse's tails. It looks good on certain horses.
John really likes his mud knots. He taught me but I have since forgotten. If you don't use it, you lose it!
I love them, I think they look really cool, and make you look really smart at the end of the day when you don't have to wash copious amounts of mud out of your horses tail- their bellies are bad enough!
Lovely horse - and what a nice knot! No stray hairs!
And no burrs..... argh- the burrs.......
All these photos are great - thanks for posting them.
I think it is a skill I will teach my niece when she comes to visit. She's getting old enough to do more chores - ahem - I mean learn more skills. She has already learned to call the hairnet do - "hunter hair" and not "cafeteria lady" hair.
I love mud tails! I hadn't done one in years til this winter when I put one up on a percheron I ride. He looked adorable!
I use the divide 4 four parts (4th being a small section in the back) braid 3 part way down, turn that up and split it in 2, have a piece of bailing twine handy forming a loop along the tail, wrap the 2 pieces around the tail til you have about 6-7" left, take the 4th part wrap it around the 2 parts already wrapped til there's about 6-7" left, braid those 3 parts, turn that and put it thru the loop made by the twine, pull down til the twine is out and tuck the braid back in. No tape necessary and it will last.
JSwan - I'm with you - spent many Sunday afternoons learning how to make a wisp!
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Originally Posted by 2DogsFarm
Good job R&G!
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