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Bagging a horse's tail?

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  • Bagging a horse's tail?

    My horse has a fairly long, and decently thick tail. It seems that no matter how short I trim it (fetlock) he steps on it in the stall and pulls big chunks out. I don't want to cut it any shorter as he tends to carry it higher when going around. I've started bagging it with a lycra tail bag. So instead of stepping on it and pulling it out, he's snagging it on the wood in the stall and pulling it out. ARGH. Any recommendations or suggestions? I feel like when its in the bag I brush out maybe 20-30 hairs each time I take it out and brush it. I am doing this every other week.

    Any other suggestions??? Is this normal? I've never really bagged a tail before.

    My adventures as a working rider


  • #2
    Maybe others here can give you more knowledgeable advice. I only have a second-hand suggestion since I have never bagged a tail myself. However, my friend had a grey mare whose tail she bagged to keep it white for showing. She just used an old sock, cut a few notches in the top of it so she could tie it in place. It worked super well, and maybe that material wouldn't snag as easily??? You can probably use any material you'd like so long as it's the right shape and does the job.
    ~*~*~*~Founding member of the Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique~*~*~*~

    The equine love of my life: Gabriel
    4/6/1993 - 8/23/2015 ...RIP my big, beautiful boy <3


    • #3
      You might try making a bunch of sections in knots and vet wrap each knot like the reining people do. Just a loose, simple knot, about six to eight sections.
      I never brush. Comb or pick with an Afro pick and lots of conditioning oil in an infrequent basis.
      My horse's tails are finally getting thicker and longer, six months after being home from the trainer and suffering from my purposeful neglect.
      For really thin, short tails, MTG really works but is stinky stuff.


      • #4
        benign neglect. The only time I completely brush my horses' tails out is after their baths with detangler liberally spread through.
        \"In all manners of opinion, our adversaries are insane.\" Mark Twain


        • #5
          We never cut our tails (saddleseat) so what I have found best is to use a long piece of shoe string and braid it into the tail from the bone down. At the end loop it around to secure it and then wrap the end of the braid through the braid so the tail is tied up above the hocks. Then use vet wrap or an old sock (cut the top of the sock in quarters - use the two from behind the tail to come through the braid and tie and use the two from the front to go behind and tie). If the tail is tied up higher it snags less often - I only take my horses tail down every few months if I'm not showing. For fly season you can attach some binder twine to the braid so they still have "hair". Hope this helps!


          • #6
            When I used to bag my old horses tail when we were doing some QH O/F stuff, I used a tail bag like this: http://www.nrsworld.com/istar.asp?a=6&id=BL044010!SLEAZ . I also used this stuff http://www.sstack.com/coat-condition...r-moisturizer/ in a spray bottle. Take the tail down once a week, only use a pick comb or your fingers and gently brush it.

            I think we also doubled it up somehow and taped it so they didn't step on them, but I honestly can't remember what exactly I did.

            My horses tail was to the ground after a while!


            • #7
              I always braided the tail, then put it in a lycra tail bag. Then added a nylon tail bag over top.


              The nylon will take more abuse then the lycra.


              • #8
                The absolute best thing is to do loose knots and vet wrap them.


                • #9
                  Agree with all above. If you don't want to braid or knot & bag, then just wash then use LOTS of cowboy magic detangler. Every 2 weeks. No brushing, just pick the tail by hand. It takes longer to get that full, long tail, but it works. Even on a white tail.
                  The world is best viewed through the ears of a horse.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mand_asbfan View Post
                    We never cut our tails (saddleseat) so what I have found best is to use a long piece of shoe string and braid it into the tail from the bone down. At the end loop it around to secure it and then wrap the end of the braid through the braid so the tail is tied up above the hocks. Then use vet wrap or an old sock (cut the top of the sock in quarters - use the two from behind the tail to come through the braid and tie and use the two from the front to go behind and tie). If the tail is tied up higher it snags less often - I only take my horses tail down every few months if I'm not showing. For fly season you can attach some binder twine to the braid so they still have "hair". Hope this helps!
                    This and Cowboy Magic. You can also you little tail bags that Schneiders sells, they even come with little "tails" so they can still swat at flys!
                    Quality Hunter Ponies


                    • Original Poster

                      Sadly what I normally do is benign neglect, but with this horse he was pulling huge chunks out in his stall from stepping on it.

                      When I say that he's snagging the tail, I mean above the tail bag, that first section of braid, he'll hang on something and then it will pull out of the base of his tail since it can't pull out of the braid.

                      I'm intrigued by the knot/vet wrap idea. How long do you leave them in? How thick of a section of hair do you use? I'd be afraid that I'd still have the snagging issue?

                      I found this website with what looks like instructions??

                      My adventures as a working rider



                      • #12
                        Yes, that's the way the knot looks. The, cover each knot with vet wrap. You can leave it in a week or two. Never comb a dry, unconditioned tail. Always oil or use a detangler first. I like the orange/ pinkish oil that you dilute in a spray bottle, I can't remember the name but it seems to last forever. I spray on liberally and pick out the knots very, very slowly. It takes me about 30 minutes to pick a tail. I dont even touch it unless I have the time.


                        • #13
                          PSA: Please be extremely careful when using nylon tail bags. DO NOT tie them up on the bone! Had a friend that did just that and literally cut the horses tail almost all the way off. Had to go for emergency surgery and lost 5 of the bottom vertebrae. So please please make sure you tie it below the bone.

                          For the record, I always bag my horse from fall to mid spring. I use a lycra bag and just braid it like the OP did. Never had much issues with this, so I am really no help with ideas. LOL Just wanted to give a heads up.
                          Celtic Charisma (R.I.P) ~ http://flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses/2387275281
                          Proud owner of "The Intoxicated Moose!"
                          "Hope is not an executable plan" ~ My Mom
                          I love my Dublin-ator


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Squirt View Post
                            benign neglect. The only time I completely brush my horses' tails out is after their baths with detangler liberally spread through.
                            The barn I ride with as well as my own, this is the system.

                            It also sounds like your stall needs some repairs. I used to have a hanging bucket on one of my horses stalls and removed it because the loops in the handles would catch his tail.

                            You may need to cut it shorter. I usually cut my horses tails about 6 inches up from the fetlocks.

                            Keeping their tails cut is also important chiropractic-ally. It can create back issues if you allow it to get long so they step on it.

                            I am not a fan of tail bags. Every horse I have seen or when in the past I tried them, it made their tails kind of thin.

                            Besides, I like seeing their tails everyday.
                            Live in the sunshine.
                            Swim in the sea.
                            Drink the wild air.


                            • #15
                              I had some Arab show horse friends show me how they put tails up and once the show season is over and most of the bugs are gone, up goes the tail! It's great and you just leave it alone. I think the bags look like a hassle.

                              I wash and condition and then braid all the long hairs in one long braid, a little loose at the top. You have to first separate the shorter hair and pull it up and out of the way. Then pull the end of the braid through the top, loose part under the tailbone and keep looping until it is all in a ball. Then vet wrap the ball, winding the vet wrap through the hole at the top a couple of times along the way to secure. Then dowse the top of the tail with MTG and you are good to go. I did this at the beginning of December and will probably check it next weekend and redo the vet wrap.

                              My H/J coach makes fun of us, but Roisin's tail will be loverly in the spring and require almost zero upkeep in the winter. I just MTG the top, pick out shavings and that's it.

                              Word of caution...make sure there is nothing in the stall that the tail could get hooked on (like bucket handles). And my mare stays away from fence and associated trouble, so I don't worry too much about her pulling her whole tail off! But there is that risk, I suppose.

                              I guess Arab show horses wear their tails like this all the time when they are nor showing because their tail actually drag on the ground.


                              • #16
                                We keep our AQHA and welsh ponies tails in bags. We wash them every month, only brush them an rebraid and ba every few weeks. I do put cowboy magic in everytime. We use nylon bags. Biggest thing I do is cut a half inch to inch off every 6-8 weeks. The tails are fuller, healthier and easier to manage.


                                • #17
                                  I started using a lycra tail bag on my mare when I first got her. Her tail was thin and barely came to her hocks, thanks to her old neighbor who enjoyed eating it. I braid it and keep it bagged, and take it down for shows, or to wash and pick out every two weeks or so. Her tail drags on the ground now and is very full. In the summer I use a fly sheet and plenty of fly spray to keep the bugs away.


                                  • #18
                                    I have done this for years. Wash it. Condition it. Show Sheen it. Pick it out with your fingers. Braid it only tight enough to hold in place. Bag it in a nylon bag. (Snap gave me the least problems). Leave it alone. Take down no more than once a week, depending on how nasty it gets and redo it. I had a TB baby with the worst tail ever and over time you would have thought she had warmblood in her with the thick, fat tail she had.