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Pulled and presentable: Tail Turn Out (added pics at end)

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  • Pulled and presentable: Tail Turn Out (added pics at end)

    [Originally posted in the Eventing forum.]

    How is it that Robby got the front end and literally left me with the horse's ass?!

    Anyways, at his request, here are my thoughts on tails. Basically, I like to see them either pulled or braided at shows -- and I'd really rather see pulled, because unless you are going to go European and braid for all three phases, the unpulled tail will make an appearance at some point during the event!

    You do have choices, though. For those horses who won't tolerate pulling (or owners who can't bring themselves to torture their beasts), you can clip the tail -- be sure not to do it with a surgical blade! -- or use scissors, which I actually think turns out nicer, because it is easier to find the right line with scissors than clippers.

    If you are going to go the old fashioned way and pull, though, I first suggest that you find a wooden stall door to provide a barrier. Have someone hold your horse with his/her butt against the closed door, and put the tail over the top. You can pull from outside the door, safe from hooves. If such an arangement isn't available, you can use breeding stocks (may be even harder to find!) or just plain cautiousness. Stand to the side!

    Before pulling, wash the tail! Get it really clean (I use Listerine in the rinse if the horse has been rubbing his tail -- it gets out all the itchies) and use warm water to open the pores so that the hairs come out a bit easier. Let the tail dry a bit and comb it out, but don't spray on Showsheen, because you won't be able to get a grip on the hairs.

    Your goal isn't to make the horse bald behind. You want to pull hairs from the side of the dock from the base of the tail to the tip of the buttocks. It's usually a distance of 6-8 inches long, and you are pulling only on the sides!! The tail should lay neatly between the horse's hindquarters when you are finished. Start pulling from the top, taking just a few hairs at a time. I pull a few from one side, then a few from the other. Helps to keep things even and to give the horse a breather. You can use pliers to pull, but I really prefer my fingers. If you do use pliers, make sure that you still only pull a few hairs at once. It HURTS otherwise (come on, I know you've done your brows...). Pliers are convenient for tidying up or for pulling tails that have previously been clipped.

    I would much rather pull a few hairs every day, starting in the off season, than attack a whole tail at once. Easier on horse and groom. Also, though I'm a turnout freak, I really don't mind the look of a neatly clipped or scissored tail. You'll notice that a lot of the top three-day riders' horses are done that way, because it's much easier to do and maintain. If you use scissors, use SHARP ones, and make sure to trim the stubble level, about a quarter of an inch long. When it gets longer than a half-inch, time to trim again.

    Also, bang the tail below the horse's hocks. Have someone hold the tail the way the horse naturally carries it, then run his/her hands down to the bottom, palms together, pointing forward. This holds the hairs together. At the point just above where the tail begins to get thin and stringy, cut a straight, parallel to the ground line. Don't cut or pull too much -- you can always go back and touch up, but gluing it back on doesn't work well!

    Regardless of how you tame the tail, use a tail wrap immediately after, and then as a part of your grooming routine at shows. Regular Ace bandages make the best tail wraps -- start at the top, and wrap to the bottom of the dock. Be very careful about wetting the wrap -- it will constrict as it drys and can become too tight. Instead, brush the TAIL with a wet brush to get everything laying right, then wrap with a dry wrap. Don't leave it on for more time than a good grooming and warm-up ride, never overnight.

    I'm open to other suggestions -- what are your tricks? --Jess

    [This message was edited by JAGold on Jul. 02, 2002 at 01:06 PM.]

    [This message was edited by Erin on Oct. 10, 2002 at 02:29 PM.]
  • Original Poster

    #2
    [Originally posted in the Eventing forum.]

    How is it that Robby got the front end and literally left me with the horse's ass?!

    Anyways, at his request, here are my thoughts on tails. Basically, I like to see them either pulled or braided at shows -- and I'd really rather see pulled, because unless you are going to go European and braid for all three phases, the unpulled tail will make an appearance at some point during the event!

    You do have choices, though. For those horses who won't tolerate pulling (or owners who can't bring themselves to torture their beasts), you can clip the tail -- be sure not to do it with a surgical blade! -- or use scissors, which I actually think turns out nicer, because it is easier to find the right line with scissors than clippers.

    If you are going to go the old fashioned way and pull, though, I first suggest that you find a wooden stall door to provide a barrier. Have someone hold your horse with his/her butt against the closed door, and put the tail over the top. You can pull from outside the door, safe from hooves. If such an arangement isn't available, you can use breeding stocks (may be even harder to find!) or just plain cautiousness. Stand to the side!

    Before pulling, wash the tail! Get it really clean (I use Listerine in the rinse if the horse has been rubbing his tail -- it gets out all the itchies) and use warm water to open the pores so that the hairs come out a bit easier. Let the tail dry a bit and comb it out, but don't spray on Showsheen, because you won't be able to get a grip on the hairs.

    Your goal isn't to make the horse bald behind. You want to pull hairs from the side of the dock from the base of the tail to the tip of the buttocks. It's usually a distance of 6-8 inches long, and you are pulling only on the sides!! The tail should lay neatly between the horse's hindquarters when you are finished. Start pulling from the top, taking just a few hairs at a time. I pull a few from one side, then a few from the other. Helps to keep things even and to give the horse a breather. You can use pliers to pull, but I really prefer my fingers. If you do use pliers, make sure that you still only pull a few hairs at once. It HURTS otherwise (come on, I know you've done your brows...). Pliers are convenient for tidying up or for pulling tails that have previously been clipped.

    I would much rather pull a few hairs every day, starting in the off season, than attack a whole tail at once. Easier on horse and groom. Also, though I'm a turnout freak, I really don't mind the look of a neatly clipped or scissored tail. You'll notice that a lot of the top three-day riders' horses are done that way, because it's much easier to do and maintain. If you use scissors, use SHARP ones, and make sure to trim the stubble level, about a quarter of an inch long. When it gets longer than a half-inch, time to trim again.

    Also, bang the tail below the horse's hocks. Have someone hold the tail the way the horse naturally carries it, then run his/her hands down to the bottom, palms together, pointing forward. This holds the hairs together. At the point just above where the tail begins to get thin and stringy, cut a straight, parallel to the ground line. Don't cut or pull too much -- you can always go back and touch up, but gluing it back on doesn't work well!

    Regardless of how you tame the tail, use a tail wrap immediately after, and then as a part of your grooming routine at shows. Regular Ace bandages make the best tail wraps -- start at the top, and wrap to the bottom of the dock. Be very careful about wetting the wrap -- it will constrict as it drys and can become too tight. Instead, brush the TAIL with a wet brush to get everything laying right, then wrap with a dry wrap. Don't leave it on for more time than a good grooming and warm-up ride, never overnight.

    I'm open to other suggestions -- what are your tricks? --Jess

    [This message was edited by JAGold on Jul. 02, 2002 at 01:06 PM.]

    [This message was edited by Erin on Oct. 10, 2002 at 02:29 PM.]

    Comment


    • #3
      The only time I've really pulled, I did leave bald spots. Ugh, not attractive! Ben loves to have his tail done (weird horse [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] ) so I can pull and tug on it as much as my little heart desires. What I use is one of the fold over combs that has a sharp edge -- sort of a comb with a bite? They are about five bucks at Jeffer's. I use this to sort of "strip" the hair at the top of the tail. I've also used it when the mane is thin enough, but too long -- it can shorten without leaving the pageboy effect.

      On a red bay, does anyone else have a problem with the top of the tail appearing sunburnt, or just plain brown where his body meets his tail? Because those hairs are the ones on top, and they don't blend in, even when wet down and combed over, I usually have to shorten the top as well. The event groom's handbook says to never touch the top, and so does my trainer, (who used to work with the author of above book) but when I showed her what I meant with the different colored hair, she agreed that he looked better with a neat short "V" of brown hair at the top of his black.

      I dye his tail periodically because he has to be turned out in the daylight even in the summer and it makes the black tail hair appear reddish throughout when bleached. So, he has his own Miss Clairol [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] Very manly [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

      The throuroughbrat will be getting scissors, however, as I couldn't do his even while he was sedated and in the stocks at the clinic. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]

      Libby
      I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
      Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap

      Comment


      • #4
        My favorite technique for pulling manes or tails is to put on disposable latex gloves. They give extra grip and keep you from tearing up you fingers. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

        Comment


        • #5
          my horse has a great tail, thick and shiny and long - a little draft blood maybe? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
          I bang it and it looks great - but it needs to be trimmed at the top.
          I am in a hunter barn and NOBODY does this to a hunter, the eventers here are converted hunters and can't bring themselves to do this either.
          I don't have anyone to help me....my horse would look so nice with his tail trimmed.
          I am scared to death to touch it.
          Somebody tell me exactly how to start, where, how much etc etc. I can use scissors or clippers - I'm just scared of that first attempt.
          Help?????

          BarbB

          charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique
          Nina's Story
          Epona Comm on FB

          Comment


          • #6
            the tail in question...
            is on the right....

            charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique
            Attached Files
            Nina's Story
            Epona Comm on FB

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm terrified to do his tail, although its banged to a lovely length. He has a very thick tail at the top, and I cant use clippers, he HATES them, too old to fight about it. And he has a coon tail, Hereditary. So I would try the scissor thing, but I have no clue as to how much to trim, Just so it lays neatly in his butt??? See no clue! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img]

              "Those who would give up
              essential Liberty, to
              purchase a little temporary
              Safety, deserve neither
              Liberty nor Safety" Benjamin
              Franklin, 1755
              Founding member of The Fossils over Fences Clique!

              Comment


              • #8
                Jess--I cant even read the post. Waves of nausea and tremors have taken over my body.

                PLECH! no pulling tail hairs out for me!!!
                But I bet your synopsis is good [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

                "Beer. Now there's a temporary solution."--Homer
                FairWeather
                CANTER West Virginia

                Comment


                • #9
                  I love Gry's suggestion -- tried it this morning and wow, what a difference it makes in pulling.

                  Also, just a pet peeve of mine, but make sure you are only pulling (or clipping) hair from the sides. I hate the look of a tail when someone has attacked the center of it -- it looks like the horse backed into a lawnmower.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I always did Willow's tail with clippers. Pulling wasn't an option.

                    The thing with clippers, is that you want to do the tail 2 weeks out from a show, as it will have grown in enough to look more pulled.

                    I like the tail to be done pretty dramatically (like Genny Leng's Priceless always looked galloping), so I clip down the sides about 10".

                    You want to part the tail down the middle, then holding the tail with your opposite hand, with thumb atop tail, come down the side then, toward the bottom, you clip a small 1/2 moon shape back toward the horse. You want to clip the hairs mostly from underneath, not from the top.

                    Robby

                    You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
                    When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Aaah, I'm another old hunter convert who has taken a while to get used to the pulled tails. (What did it take; 15 years?) I clipped Hektor's tail with scissors and liked how it turned out, but I was so scared of messing it up, so I don't think I clipped enough. Can anyone post a picture of a freshly clipped/pulled tail?

                      OH, I would never actually pull poor Hektor's tail hairs; he would never forgive me. He also loves to have me play with his tail, but to pull the hairs out.....I think he'd lose his trust in me!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                      Superheroes of the universe, unite! http://www.allmightysenators.com/super.html

                      http://hometown.aol.com/bgoosewood/index.html
                      The truth is rarely pure, and never simple. Oscar Wilde

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ditto the request for a well-done tail picture... Chief's tail could probably use this treatment. It's the typical wispy TB tail, but it's very unkept-looking at the top... shorter hairs sticking out everywhere and looking rather bushy. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]

                        I usually like the look of the pulled tail, but I have to admit, I've never really studied how they look up close, and I'm a little bit scared to just start snipping away! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          I'll try to find a tail picture. If worse comes to worse, I could always take one this weekend [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] --Jess

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Here are a couple of pictures. These come from USEventhorse.
                            Attached Files

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Another pulled tail in action.
                              Attached Files

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                And a third.
                                Attached Files

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  OH.....heheeeee....I can see I hardly clipped anything at all! I'll clip some more for his starter trials on July 14.

                                  Should I braid? It's only a starter trials....I usually like to braid even for that, but the heat makes me lazy..... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] I don't think I will.

                                  Superheroes of the universe, unite! http://www.allmightysenators.com/super.html

                                  http://hometown.aol.com/bgoosewood/index.html
                                  The truth is rarely pure, and never simple. Oscar Wilde

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Also, a bunch of the photos Lindsay took at Rolex show pulled tails. I'll post links to some:

                                    Pulled tail at Rolex 1
                                    Pulled tail at Rolex 2
                                    Rather dramatically pulled tail at Rolex -- I don't usually pull quite this much, but it is an option.
                                    Isn't this a gorgeous tail? Nice horse, too!
                                    Last example from Rolex

                                    The tails may be a bit harder to see in these action shots, but notice that when the horses carry their tails, there aren't messy, short hairs hanging down from the dock of the tail to the horse's butt. Only a nice flowing tail trailing behind. --Jess

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I too had a hard time pulling all that way. What I really didn't like about unkempt tails was the broom bristle look at the top of the dock.

                                      My solution was to only clip the sides down JUST enough to get rid of the hairs that stick sideways. It's not as clipped as the pictures posted, but I think it finds a happy medium between the two extremes. I still wrap with an Ace bandage and some quickbraid just before I start to warm-up and then remove the Ace bandage when I'm ready to compete.
                                      We need health care reform, not insurance reform. Health care for ALL!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        ok, so if I understand this - I part the hair and pull it over to the side. Then I am trimming the hair on the side of the dock very short - like to the skin, and at the same time I am shortening the hair on top so it can't stick out to the side?

                                        sound right? I am going to go and try this....I can't horrify my trainer any more than I already did by banging the tail.

                                        BarbB

                                        charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique
                                        Nina's Story
                                        Epona Comm on FB

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