Braiding the tail - Loosing fly protection? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-08-2011, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Braiding the tail - Loosing fly protection?

Bought some mtg today to try and grow a longer thicker mane and tail. I plan on bathing him well this afternoon and washing and conditioning the mane and tail. Then applying mtg to the roots and braiding. But I would hate for him to loose his fly protection. I thought maybe I could braid the tail into three smaller seperate braids instead of one big braid. Would that help give a little swish to a braided tail so that he doesnt have to fight the flies? I will also apply some fly spray after his bath. Any suggestions or tips?
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-08-2011, 05:24 PM
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No offence to people that keep the tail braided, I just dont get it.....yeah yeah keeps it neater, cleaner, less knots blablabla, but with one huge braid or 3 smaller braids your horse can't get rid of the flies on his/her flanks (or anywhere else for that matter) as well as if the tail was unbraided. Arn't we sacrificing horse comfort for time? Also it cannot feel very comfortable having a big ol braid smacking against your side constantly lol. Flame at will
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-08-2011, 07:21 PM
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My horse has a braided tail in a tail bag but he also has a fly sheet, gets treated with fly spray and we don't have a fly problem at our barn to begin with. He's never seemed distressed or uncomfortable and certainly is not being pestered by flies. Call the humane society, he's probably abused because I do things differently than a handful of people on an online forum

I think it depends on where you live and what else you do to keep your horse comfortable and fly-free. If your barn/pasture is swarming with flies and your horse has to constantly be swatting at them, maybe you don't want to braid but you probably also want to do something else about the flies too.

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post #4 of 14 Old 05-08-2011, 07:33 PM
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I don't braid Lacey's tail in the summer time because I do worry about her fly protection abilities (and she's pretty sensitive to insect bites so I like to give her as much of a chance as possible to get those flies off). However, I put her trail up keep it braided+well conditioned from the fall to late spring, so it grows like crazy over the winter and is super strong by the time I let it out for the summer. And then, since it's really strong hair, it doesn't break easily at all and she's able to keep flies off without sacrificing her tail.

I think braiding his tail into 4 or 5 loose braids would be fine. Just make sure to take them out and re-braid regularly (I like to re-condition/re-braid every two weeks).

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-09-2011, 07:26 AM
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where r u from?? just cause I dont want to give an answer that would suit someone in florida if ur fromthe uk
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-09-2011, 10:17 AM
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Lots of tail bags have fringe on them to work for bug swishing. If you are not using a tail bag braid some strands of bailing twine in so they work for swishing.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-09-2011, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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The bailing twine is a great idea! Never thought if that.

I'm from louisiana, so it does get buggy in the summer, and the mosquitos are huge!
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-09-2011, 10:31 AM
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This week I'll be doing my horse's tail for the summer and I'll get pictures. I'm in ohio where there are lots of bugs and the humidity breeds them like crazy. I add in bailing twine, but I make it more natural by doing different lengths and unwinding some of it to act more like a natural tail. We had no problems when I did it last summer and that was a really bad summer for bugs.

My horse's tail is always up unless I'm washing and rebraiding or walking to the show ring. His tail drags 3-4" when it's down (he's not even 3 and I've has him for just over a year) and I'm not about to lose that length. Long, healthy tails are valued and expected in his breed, though. Other breeds don't have to worry as much.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-09-2011, 10:36 AM
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I braid my horses tail so it is long and natural for showing, instead of having to use a fake tail. I bought this so he still has fly protection- Kensington Tail Bag with Swatter -

"Equine-facilitated therapy employs a form of biofeedback for practicing self-awareness, emotional management, and relationship skills that human role-playing exercises and discussion groups cannot begin to access." Linda Kohanov (The Tao of Equus)
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-09-2011, 10:44 AM
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I leased a clydesdale who had a docked tail. Tell me how she's supposed to swat flies with THAT! I braided her tail and mtg'd we got a few inches of growth but not much. Her tail stayed braided so she had a shred of protection. I made a tail for her using strips of fabric but looking back maybe the decorative rope would have worked better.
I'm fighing everything I have to keep my geldings tail unbraded. Maybe try feeding her a bug off supplement? If your successful then who needs to swat flies if they don't land :)
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