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hey, is this horse's tail tied?

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  • hey, is this horse's tail tied?

    watching the video I posted in another thread http://vimeo.com/16440864 around 5:31 there is a very lively horse and looks as if its tail is tied off to the side, is this common?

    I took a snapshot but its hard to tell


    eta: it appears the traces are wound around the shafts as well that seems more than just peculiar. Does anyone know what purpose that might serve?
    Last edited by buck22; Aug. 19, 2011, 07:49 AM.
    Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

  • #2
    It looks to me as if it is caught in the 'britchin' aka breech strap.
    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


    • #3
      It's tied.....shows quite clearly at the beginning of the video (at least it was the opening screen shot); probably done to keep the tail out of the lines. If you look really closely, you can see where the tail hair is wrapped with some kind of 'string' and pulled downward.
      Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

      Member: Incredible Invisbles


      • #4
        the driver is George Bowman, I do not question things that George does. He is a GOD in combined driving. I bow to him.

        it is tied, I think that they may have tied it to show off this large hind end action. This cob has lots and lots of movement and it looks like this shot was purposefully done. I would say they tied it out of the way for the video.


        • #5
          I can't see the pict (work computer), but the traces may be wrapped around the shafts to shorten them up a bit. I've seen them wrapped around the single tree to take up some length as well.
          Visit my Spoonflower shop


          • #6
            Originally posted by MunchingonHay View Post
            the driver is George Bowman, I do not question things that George does. He is a GOD in combined driving. I bow to him.

            it is tied, I think that they may have tied it to show off this large hind end action. This cob has lots and lots of movement and it looks like this shot was purposefully done. I would say they tied it out of the way for the video.
            I would agree about George, he has been doing Driving at the top levels for MANY years. He does what works for him and his horses. That is a WONDERFUL horse, with AMAZING action, terrific extensions and NO *&#* TOE-FLIPPING!! I hate seeing toe-flippers faking the extension.

            Tail tied over is not bothering the horse, could be done to prevent his grabbing the reins with tail or to keep view of the hindquarters clear for the video.

            Traces wrapped is iffy. The Fine Harness folks have done this for years, is "how" they hitch the animals to their light vehicles. Never heard a good reason for it, just the way it is done in those circles.

            Perhaps Traces are too long, didn't want to go get another pair. Could be they get wrapped for training, changes the pull for young animals. Maybe they were anchored down for the video to prevent any flopping to distract, like the tail. Prevents singletree moving. Floppy or moving, working traces on the sides of horse will wear spots in the coat, so a mark against you in presentation. I can think of other reasons, but you would have to ask Mr. Bowman for his reasons for his way of doing things. May only do it for short times, not daily.

            However unless YOU KNOW WHY, it is not a good idea to copy stuff you see done. You get things taken out of context, could get hurt or hurt your equine with a dangerous idea. You have no clue to the history of what horse and (EXPERT) trainer in front of you have done in previous sessions, leading to ANY modification shown. You are GUESSING, like me on this photo, again might be dangerous thinking for you.

            I was busy drooling over the action of horse in video, didn't even look at the other details. Mr. Bowman has quite drool-worthy horses, homebreds, does a terrific job with them!!


            • Original Poster

              Thank you guys so much!!

              I was really intrigued by the idea of tying the tail when I saw it as I have a rein-grabber too and the horse in the video is clearly not bothered. I said to myself, 'ooh, what a clever solution!' But, your advice is great goodhors, never imitate blindly without full understanding.

              And I really appreciate your sharing who the driver is. The videographer made it clear in his artistic lead up that this was a person of note, but I wouldn't know any of the G-ds of driving if they bit me on the ear, so this is an extra special treat for me to learn. I'll have to google and see if George Bowman has any books or dvds out there, I'd love to learn if he does.

              Thanks everyone!
              Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


              • #8
                I absolutely love not only this horse but the whole video. Maloy is the best!

                Tail - looks like it is braided in a simple maintainance braid. Horse might have flicked it and caught it up in the harness in the beginning of the workout as well. But knowing GB, he put it there and for a damn good reason!

                Traces - breed people wrap for three reasons. One has merit, the other two not so much. One - in a highly animated horse, it stabilizes the shafts against the tremendous bounce and suspension that can reverberate down the shafts and cause some horses to be bothered and lose their timing. Two, because the traces are too long and trainers don't want to buy custom traces. Three, cause that's how Mr. big trainer did it, so that's the way we're doing it. Often, a skinny breast collar is the norm for finer harness but so is a wrap strap on the tug loops, not an open tug so the horse is pulling from the saddle slightly as well. Thus generally the lighter vehicles. It's all about the animation, which is fun. but the harness nor most fine harness type vehicles are of the lightest weights to not inhibit the horse from just praning along and showing off their cadence and animation. The work is not about pulling but about way of going so the breast collar doesn't tend to funtion like other harness. Often it's pushed so high up on the chest from the horse's high steps that it often doesn't bother the horse even if it's not function in conjunction with the single tree so wrapping the traces shouldn't matter.
                ...don't sh** where you eat...


                • #9
                  What a fun video!! I'm not a driving person, but it sure did look awesome.

                  I'm glad folks are keeping this art alive...and then some!


                  • #10
                    okay, watched the vid again. Of course I never get tired of watching that whole video so forgive me if it took me some time to come back with more findings!

                    Yes, taill tied to the harness or shaft. Why? I suspect that the horses tail was braided for maintainance purposes and a braid has a much worse chance of upsetting a horse if it gets hung up on the equipment than just a loose hair. So perhaps for ease of workout, the tail was just tied off to the side rather than risk it getting caught.

                    The traces aren't what I would define as wrapped like the breed fine harness traces that tend to grapevine down the shafts sometimes as many as three wraps. This trace is only passed up over and to the outside of the shaft before reaching under to connect. I suspect there could be many reasons, including what I stated previously regarding a high stepper not getting as much interference from a stationary breast collar. But some other possibilities include - traces too long? no trace hangers handy? horse doesn't care for the traces near his hocks.

                    regardless, me wantee! I wonder if it's a Dutch cross of some sort with that animation?
                    ...don't sh** where you eat...


                    • #11
                      George Bowman has his own breeding program that produces his "Cumberland Cobs", like the one in front of the training vehicle. He likes training, so most of his are constantly being sold to bring on the youngsters. He doesn't drive Dutch Harness horses at all that I know of!

                      If I remember correctly, he breeds them from Hackney Horses and Welsh Cobs. He seems to get a consistant product for his 4-In-Hand Teams, in color, size, markings and action. They appear to keep their brains screwed in during high level competitons, very capable of the demands of CDE, accepting of lots of changes, route alterations in Hazards easily, as seen on the many videos. Just maybe not a choice for lower level drivers.

                      I wouldn't mind having some in the barn! Probably can make your eyes water at the big trot!!


                      • #12
                        Might be Dutch in the front, but definitely not in the back! Nice horse, goes a little strange behind, but maybe just me.
                        Visit my Spoonflower shop


                        • #13
                          Tails are routinely tied in the breed show world. The Saddlebred and Morgan horses have long tails that drag the ground (and then some).

                          If the tails are not tied, there's a chance that they can get caught in the spokes of the carts ... something that makes me shudder to think of.

                          The video itself is lovely! What beautiful and talented horses!
                          The other female in my husband's life has four legs


                          • #14
                            As someone who trains and shows Saddlebreds and Hackney Ponies just a few commnets on my personal practices. This will over course very from person to person.

                            I only tie tails to the cart if the tail is so long it could get in the wheel. This is done by braiding up the very end of the tail and fastening it with a bit of elastic to the basket of the cart. Would break very easily if given a strong pull, and if the horse's primary job is as a driving horse I usually trim the tail to an attractive length while still being clear of the wheels.

                            I prefer to have the tugs go straight back. I will rap once if they move/bounce in such a manner that the horse notices them. Yes, some do notice! And when you are driving a hot little Hackney Roadster pony for example (and a roadster bike does not have a singletree anyways) the distraction of the trace bouncing against their side or making a snapping noise againt the shaft can matter.


                            • #15
                              Goodhors is 100% correct, George is in cahoots with a man that breeds "Cumberland Cobs". I have personally been to his farm in Penrith. He has fields and fields of black horses with chrome.


                              • Original Poster

                                How very cool, thanks everyone!
                                Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                                • #17
                                  Neat, Cumberland Cobs! Do they all trot like that? I totally love the suspension!
                                  ...don't sh** where you eat...


                                  • #18
                                    I don't know about 'fancy' lol driving horses, but I do know about stb race horses, we tie tails for a few reasons, to keep them up out of the mud on dirty days (rain days muddy tracks) in a bun, we tie them under their bellies braided, and not tight between their hind legs to encourage them to go forward in races, it only works a few times, for those horses who have quit trying, and we tie them to the cart/race bike straight back , and sometimes under a chain or rope for kickers to protect the driver/cart etc. We also tie them straight back, or to the side of the shaft, or to the harness for horses (usually mares) who horse all the time, switch too much, or who grab lines, Usually my stable simply ties them straight back if we have these problems, braided with a light rope and a snap, never too tight, so we can hook and un-hook it easily. I hade one confirmed kicker (Ice On Fire) who was so bad he had a chain and his tail tied tight under it, and he once colasped a bike he kicked so hard (before I got him) ran across a pond with various cart and harness parts on him, and this pond was only partly frozen, (in Flamboro downs on the back track), so I guess he was aptly named... :| He also on us once bent the link in his loggin chain when he disagreed with my husband... so having a tail tied can be for many reasons, and some of them safety... the end of Ice's kicking story was happy though-- we had him for some time, took his head check off, put on an open briddle (all mine wear this as a matter of coarse), and a simple bit, and over time were able to get him to quit hating his job so much and in the end he quit kicking... quite a feat as he was 10 years old by this time. and had kicked all his life... all do to my husbands never give up attitude, with a whole hell of a lot of kindness and patients thrown in.