Originally Posted by Jessabel
I'm not fond of them. I saw a bunch of Saddlebreds at a horse expo recently that all had tail sets on. They looked rather uncomfortable and stiff and they had a wild look in their eyes. Now, it might not even have had anything to do with the tail sets, but that's what it looked like to me. Maybe the horses were mistreated at home, or maybe the equipment wasn't fitted properly. I don't know enough about saddleseat to tell the difference.
I was under the impression that saddleseat horses were supposed to have naturally high tail carriage. Tail sets look terribly restrictive to me. But again, I know nothing about Saddlebreds.
Saddlebreds have naturally high tail carriage like Dobermans have ears that stand up naturally. I'm in a rush, so I can't explain fully, but the tails are not broken at all. A tiny incision is made in the underside of the tail and the ligament that holds the tail down is cut. The horse still has 100% full use of its tail, and they can still clamp it down if they want to... the only difference is that when the tail is relaxed it stands up instead of down.
All Saddlebreds look a little crazy, haha. It has nothing to do with mistreatment or an uncomfortable tail set. If you saw a tail set being put on a horse you would see that every measure is taken to make them comfortable. And they're only put on after the tail is cut and a few weeks before shows. They don't wear them their whole lives.
I've gotta go now - I'll let LadyDreamer explain further.