Friday, August 28, 2009

You be the judge

Over the past few years the use of tail extensions has become somewhat, one of the 'norms' when showing in particular recognized breed shows. Their use has also trickled down to schooling shows and 4H as well, while other breeds still prohibit their use altogether.

While I can understand their use on some horses, on others it just seems a step over the line in trying to do whatever it takes to get noticed or catch the judges eye.

The different companies and manufacturers who create these extensions, offer them in a couple of different styles- tapered or one length, different weights, different colors and a variety of ways to attach them as well.

The cost can vary greatly on a tail extension so shopping around is a good idea. Tails By Jill, so far has the lowest prices I have found and theirs start out at $45. Tail Source has pricing starting at $55, Custom Tails offers pricing starting at $80 and other websites such as Southend Tail Extensions where prices start at $190.

Then there is a website called The Show Pen. That offers an even wider variety of products. Tail extensions in 1 & 2 layers for the gaited horse folks and 'normal' looking tails in 4 different lengths and thicknesses in 9 different ways to attach them. Then they even offer these-

Anyone care to take a guess what they are and where they go?

They are forelock extensions, available in two lengths 10-13 inches for $10 and 16-18 for $12. Just band or braid them into the forelock to add volume and length.

Now I have not seen any of these in use yet, at least not that I am aware of, but it makes me wonder who does? The halter folks don't seem to look forward to this much hair covering or detracting from their horses head or face. Arabian halter people tuck long forelocks under the halter off to the side, if it is not braided up when showing in the sport horse division. Do the folks in the GV world attach them to enhance the amount of hair or even feathering a horse may have? Anything is possible anymore, and by now- very little surprises me either.


  1. I wish they were banned, yes, even in the saddle seat shows. But if I was dictator of the horse world, I'd ban a lot of things.

    And where do these people, many of whom probably oppose slaughter, think the horsehair comes from? Groomers that save it?

    ROFL, in a snarky way,


  2. Eeeewwww, hadn't thought of that...icky, haaa!
    I think horsie wigs are downright creepy, and I wonder which judges got together and started the company and then the placing so everyone showing has to spend the big bucks...okay, maybe conspiracy theorist.
    Isn't using wigs rather unfair to the people who show with natural and beautiful manes and tails? Kind of like extreme shoeing is unfair competition to horses who naturally go with the desired breed gait? I'd make shows fair. No extra points for bling, costume, or cash. Demerits for fake anything.
    Showing should be about a good horse and a good rider. Hmm, not only conspiracy theorist, rainbows and butterflies idealist, too.

  3. I don't know for sure, but I suspect the forelock extensions are for saddlebreds. I've seen some saddlebreds (5 gaited ones) with long forelocks braided with ribbon.
    Don't know for certain sure, but it seems likely to me.

  4. Cattypex here (of COURSE I'd chime in!)

    DANG I hate those fake tails for anything other than horses who've been in freak barn door or wild coyote accidents.

    Yeah, just THINK about where they come from.

    Actually, I don't mind rendering outfits picking up dead critters and using whatever they want.... with the $$$ these things go for, that almost pays for a dead horse removal all by itself! OK that's a ghoulish thought. A nice thing: places that will braid your horse's hair into beautiful jewelry & other things.

    You'd think that any add-ons that misrepresent a horse would almost be like "blemishes" in the show ring. (as opposed to "unsoundnesses," like we learned in judging. My sister and I used to point out that those zits in HS were ok, cuz they were just "blemishes.")

    All the emphasis on hair, when legs, backs and necks matter FAR more.

  5. That's what bothers me, is the weight. Why weigh down a horse's tail? Or forelock. They must be annoying, and tiring, I'd think anyway.

    kestrel, so diabolically obvious & oooh, ruthie.
    Nice question. Kudos..

    Where DOES that hair come from.
    Can you see the mystical magical donor farms?? In this paddock, we have golden dreams tail hair, in this pen Jet Ebony Black.


    good bucks to be made in high fashion. Horses too?
    Who knew??
    Thanks CNJ.
    Great post!

  6. Kaede I'm not sure about the Saddlebreds needing or using them.
    And I believe that almost all of the classes 3 Gaited Pleasure to Equitation etc., do braid the forelock with ribbons.
    Not a lot of hair is required to do that, and the ones who have a lot can make the job more challenging.

    I think the greater use is in reining.
    Long flowing mane and forelock.

    And I don't wonder where they come from CnJ.
    I know.
    Kind of makes me gag looking at all those tails on that rack and wondering where the hell the horses that should be attached to them are.

  7. Good grief , Didn't it used to be about function and ability?The horse industry is becoming a fashion show

  8. Reminds me of these poor horses:

  9. If I was the judge, I'd judge tail extensions as "dumb". Particularly on dead, packed, stock WP-type horses, where it just gets tangled unattractively in the legs as they shuffle around. At *least* the saddle-seat types carry them up and flying.

    While I think their best use might be for foundation Appys that don't have much of a tail, the lack of tail in those horses is not a fault in my book so I'd probably still do without.

    As for the little forelock extensions, I guess they're for horses like my Arab Bay. He grows good mane, great tail, and a stubby little inch-long forelock that isn't even long enough to braid and tuck in neatly. If I were showing him, I'd either get a little extension to braid (if they're even legal in Arab shows, I don't know) Or I'd consider just shaving it off completely. :~)

  10. Have I got an Avatar now? Trying to figure this out...

  11. Here's a pic of a Saddlebred in show braids. the one coming out from under the browband is the forelock braid. You can see the other at the top of the mane, by the bridle path. As an ex-show groom for ASBs, I can tell you that their forelocks are kept small.

    Nostalgically, Ruthie

  12. Dena. Reiners would not have any use for these.

    Actually the forelock extensions are used by one specific breed only. They are used Spotted Forelockless Hairless Scottish Warehorse. A.k.a. Nessy!

  13. They are used Spotted Forelockless Hairless Scottish Warehorse. A.k.a. Nessy!

    Perfect ,nearly spat popsicle all over the screen.

  14. Oh thanks, coffee mixed with popsicle on MY screen....

  15. I've braided ONE tail. It was for purely LEGIT reason. Rescued an adorable POA. She had NO tail other then wisps. The flys were killing her. I added a tail for her relief.

    I was talking with one of my barn mates. She used to show H/J. We were laughing at how "easy" folks have it. She used to have to take braids out every night and redo every morning. I'm looking at those forlock extenstions and cringing!!

    As for tail extentions...seriously??

  16. OT: There is a 14.1h AQHA. I R A Blue Man. Supposedly has Blue Valantine as Granddaddy on top. his mom is double bred Colonel Freckles...Question is this: this guy is a FLAMING asshole. He's got a major chip and will just be a prick...I thought it was from the Col. Freckles but went toe to toe w/a Col. Freckles lover...

    What are you opinions? Not looking to snark anyone just trying to learn. Thank you and now back to your regularly scheduled entertainment

  17. I ride dressage, and my four (rescue) horses' tails run the gamut from docked to insanely thick.

    What do I do with them? Each get conditioned and trimmed nicely, thats it.

    Personally find fake tails ridiculous. My stock bred gelding has an average tail at best, but it looks quite nice when he is moving, no additives needed.

  18. JR I was not clear. The reiners do use these in their stud promotion pictures.

    I know this for a fact. So there.
    Wanna fight?
    Naw...just kidding.

  19. With the exception of my red mare, the rest of our horses-9 of them- all have length and thickness to speak of as far as their tails are concerned.

    The red mares tail, I will be putting up photos soon and using it as a topic of itself.

    If I were to use an extension on hers, it would be pretty rediculous to use one that is thick and reaches her fetlocks. Flat classes with a huge tail, over fences with nothing? That would draw plenty attention... not for a good reason either!

    The forelock extensions- while reiners in general do not band, thin, braid or shorten the mane- use in the forlelock would be pointless. Halter classes- not much use for a 10-13 or 16-18 inch long forelock- no matter the breed.

    Hunters & dressage- pointless as well- generally braided up for neatness. Jumpers- well the horse needs to see the jumps to some degree... Cutters, working cow- same thing, gotta see the cow.

    Gaited horses & ASB's braided with ribbons, so pointless again...

  20. C3D- our Colonel Freckles mare is the 'couch' ride we discussed before. Only going to put out as much effort as asked for. Sounds like it could be the other side of the pedigree- or maybe just the handling up until now???

  21. CNJ:

    That pic looks like a row of scalps, kinda freaky.

    My poor Whinnie, she has such a scimpy forelock, her mane is thin but not bad and her tail (when she hasn't rubbed the crap out of the top) is nice. I have thought of getting her extensions. LOL!

  22. Adding fake hair is illegal at rated Arab shows, but people do get around that by adding strand-to-strand glued hairs sometimes. Tons of work, but it gets the job done.

  23. Arabs aren't crazy... Arab PEOPLE are crazy. ; )

    That HAS to be on a bumper sticker or T shirt somewhere...