While we are on the subject of tails and caring for them- some people subscribe to tail wraps, pouches, bags and all sorts of other options to getting or keeping them long and beeyootifull.
Each of the following items and pictures are from and available through Schneider's. First we have the tail pouch, in a pack of 6 for $11.95. I recall they used to come with strings on the bottom as well for use against flies.
Then there are also the braid in tail bags for $8.99 each
and the plain old Lycra tail bag- pkg of 3 for $12.95.
For the pesky, hard to protect tails, there is also the Dura-Tech Padded Full Length Tail Wrap- for $9.95
Now I understand that some people absolutely love those ground dragging tails, some horses are capable of growing. They are pretty, but many times at that length, they are quite thin. Dragging the ground behind the horse just means all your work to keep it clean and grow it out, just went out the window as it picks up debris and dirt. I thought you would appreciate that...
For reiners, it is not as described by the self professed hair growing guru in the last post. Spinning and backing presents opportunities for the horse to step on and pull hair out of their tails. JR's mare was spinning one night and ripped out a huge chunk of hers. Her tail is really thick so it was nowhere near visible or noticeable, but it must have hurt a lot because her attitude and willingness to spin suddenly changed. There on the ground was a huge wad of her tail hair. We tied her tail up so spinning could be ended on a good note and meant no more pain for her.
Cutters too face the risk of being down in the dirt while working a cow and stepping on their tail. For some horses- that can mean a moment or more of lost concentration. Anything can happen and it may result in you losing a few points. Don't think that makes riders happy, because sometimes even just one point can mean the matter of being in the money or not.
Backing any horse also leaves the door wide open for those long tails to get stepped on, pulled and cause some degree of pain. Since pretty much every discipline requires backing at some point- it could and does happen. Why raise the potential to cause your horse pain for doing what is asked of them? Think they would be so willing to do it again, just because you ask it of them?
The other problem I have seen with tail bags, wraps and various treatments people use is the way they are applied. I have dealt with and seen the results of tail wraps and pouches applied too tightly around the dock of the tail. If left on this way long enough, you are cutting off circulation and the tail can certainly fall completely off below that point. Surely, those are Not the wondrous results you or your horse hoped for.
When people go the route of braid in or otherwise attached tail bags, sometimes they don't make any effort to look at the tail. You still have to take care of it. Out of sight, should not mean out of mind. Check for dryness in the hair itself. If it is getting too dry, take it out and wash it, use conditioner and maybe leave the bag off for a while. Wash the tail bag too. It can collect dirt or bedding inside of it leaving the tail in a constant state of gunk. Would you wrap your own hair up with dirt? I'm not thinking many people would...
Dry hairs can become brittle and then breakage happens easily. I have seen dry, ignored tails come completely off. Leaving behind only what was not in the bag. That's something any of us look forward to either.
I am not against wrapping, tail bags or otherwise containing tails, but if you choose to use any of these products, please just inform yourself and be aware of what is going on with your horses tail. Things can and do happen, that you may not expect. Tail bags and wraps can get caught on fencing, latches, plants and all sorts of things you might not expect. The results of that are missing pieces if not the whole tail and pulled hairs, equalling pain for the horse. They just want to rid themselves of flies, a painfully destroyed tail is not their intent.
CCC on the last post mentioned her horse rubbing her tail. I will get pictures of my red mares tail, as it is coming back (Finally!) and if she would like to send pictures of hers, I will gladly address that as the next topic. It's a good one as many of us either have or will, at some point be faced with the issue.