Protecting a long, thick tail

Discussion in 'Horse Grooming' started by StraightandTrue, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. StraightandTrue

    StraightandTrue Senior Member

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    What's the best way to protect a long, thick tail from sun-bleaching / breakage? I'm more than a little obsessed with my horse's luscious tail. Last summer I watched in horror as our brutal Aussie sun bleached the ends and made them dry as straw. I was using conditioning products to try and keep the ends healthy but eventually I had to face reality and chop them off (sob).

    I don't like thick cotton tail bags (the ones you attach to the rug with velcro) as my horse finds it difficult to swish the flies away with them on. Her skin reacts badly to fly bites and I don't want to take away her first line of defence. I don't mind the stretchy lycra tail bags the western riders use, but they get plaited into the tail and I'm worried about it snagging on something in the paddock and ripping out her tail.

    At the moment I'm thinking some sort of spray in SPF product might be the way to go? Like, hair sunscreen for horses? Does something like that even exist? Otherwise I'm open to other suggestions that won't restrict her ability to swish flies or put her tail at risk of being ripped out if it snags on something.
     
  2. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

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    What is in her field that you feel she’s going to snag her tail on??

    I think that’s the 1st question to be answered, as that can drastically affect what one can recommend.
     
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  3. StraightandTrue

    StraightandTrue Senior Member

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    I guess the gate and fencing would be my main concern, closely followed by trees? Not sure how she'd manage it but I've seen horses do some pretty insane things over the years, enough to make me paranoid.
     
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  4. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

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    So nothing major.

    Honestly, if you’re going to live your life in a state of paranoia b/c of what you’ve seen horses do - you’d have to have your horse live a bubble & never have any fun at all.

    I’m not a fan of tail bags as they tend to cause the hairs to break at the top of them. If you’re worried about a tail being pulled out then you’re not likely going to like the traditional vet wrap up-do. So I’d suggest a variation on the vet wrap thing. I use to do this with my gelding years ago. Wash, clean, dry & brush the tail then take sections in the middle about as thick as a pencil or pen and make a couple tight chain links about 2” down from the tail bone. Then cover the chain linked sections in vet wrap. This will keep the tail up off the ground/mud/etc, protect a bit of it from the light all while keeping the horse with a full regular tail feeling to swat flies. You’ll need to keep the tail well conditioned (like crazy well conditioned) in order to beat the heat.
     
  5. Kristal H

    Kristal H Senior Member

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    I use the soft tail bags and keep them bagged. They also have a UV fly sheet with a tail cover.
     
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  6. Kristal H

    Kristal H Senior Member

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  7. Arem

    Arem Senior Member

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    This isn’t my picture, but this is what I do. Braid the tail (make sure you are at least a fist width under the tail bone), bundle the braid up, add in some bailing twine, and wrap it in vet wrap. Stays for at least a month. :)

    E24AA831-D73F-4641-BB7F-6B454AF6910A.jpeg
     
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  8. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

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    ^ picture that but just bet wrapping pieces in the middle of the tail, so not twine needed. That’s what you have explained above. :)
     
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  9. emali06

    emali06 Senior Member

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    Wash, condition and Leave it alone. Wrapping causes breakage.

    I don't touch my horses tail except to wash and condition and bang it to the fetlocks when it gets near the ground.

    This was it just a few days ago, dragging on the ground LOL

    39442388_10217267595790735_3950771202468872192_n.jpg

    After I banged it saturday.

    40139593_10217342447101971_7990622607932129280_n.jpg

    Washed and braided for a show the next day.

    32419645_10216512920284319_6481531787729174528_n.jpg
     
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  10. StraightandTrue

    StraightandTrue Senior Member

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    @Rhythm 'n Blues so sort of like this but with vet wrap instead of a tail bag? And do you leave the plait to hang down or tuck it up? Also what conditioner products do you recommend?

    I actually don’t mind the look of this set up in the video. It seems like the bag would pull out easily enough if it got snagged, the bag seems like it would move quite naturally, and there’s still a decent amount of tail out for fly swishing.
     

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