Tail braiding for winter growth.

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Tail braiding for winter growth.

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  • Keeping horse's tail plaited in winter
  • Braiding horses tails bad

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    12-12-2010, 05:58 PM
Tail braiding for winter growth.

I've always been told braid horses tails in winter to help them grow out. I seem to be the only one at my barn doing this however so I'm beginning to second guess myself. My gelding has a short tail(just an inch past his chestnut) my mare has a longer tail but has rubbed a nearly bald spot off her dock. I braid with fabric.. I get a long piece and cut it iso it has 3 wide strips then wrap the strips around the 3 sections of hair and braid. It's very effective and stays in untill I take it out.(every week and a half)
This WILL help right?? Am I looney? I brush and showsheen with mtg on the dock..
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    12-12-2010, 06:14 PM
If you are looney, we are in it together. I do the same thing in the winter up north, as it keeps the snow and ice from breaking the hair. We braid it like you describe, then bring the end of the braid up to just below the tail bone, put the fabric strands through, around a couple times and tie it. Then we put Vet Wrap around the "nub" we just created...being careful NOT to put it over the bone at all. It really seems to help, but I did have one gelding who hated to be ridden with that arrangement....the nub kept goosing him.
    12-12-2010, 06:40 PM
I used to wrap my dad's horse's tail in a bag. It took a while, but I was able to grow it from hock length to dragging a good two inches on the ground. So it definitely worked for me, and of course also hid the fact that his "manly" horse had a nice LONG tail. He seemed to like cutting it to just about hock length for some reason. I can't wrap my mare's tail though, cause she's in the "baby" pasture, and the yearling and two year old rip out anything I put on her.
    12-12-2010, 06:57 PM
If you live up in the north were there is cold winter's and your horses are outside it is very bad to braid there tails! Cause when it is windy and cold outside a horse will put there butts againts the wind like that there tail goes inbetween there legs to protect there groin area!
    12-12-2010, 07:55 PM
Perhaps we don't live that far north. We are in NY., the horses are in at night, and have blankets and shelters in the day. Perhaps if they are out, 24/7 no matter what, and not blanketed....in the dead of winter. I would venture a guess that if someone is going to braid the tail, most likely they are the blanketing type too......
    12-12-2010, 09:12 PM
When I do my mare's tail I do it like franknbean's minus the vet wrap...I just put a small tail bag over the 'looped tail'.
    12-13-2010, 10:46 AM
Originally Posted by Frankiee    
If you live up in the north were there is cold winter's and your horses are outside it is very bad to braid there tails! Cause when it is windy and cold outside a horse will put there butts againts the wind like that there tail goes inbetween there legs to protect there groin area!
I have to say I have never ever heard that before. Likely because it's your theory and not exactly true . . . .

We braid tails every winter. Not to grow them but to keep them clean since we compete all winter.
    12-13-2010, 10:49 AM
The dock alone can be pulled in to protect all the various parts that need protecting from the wind.
    12-13-2010, 12:18 PM
I have a quesiton on this whole tail to the wind thing..... why does a horse or cow for that matter put their tail/butt to the wind?? It seems that the wind would ruffle their body hair up and lose all insulating properties... does that make sense?

Surely there is some smarty pants out there who has the answer to this silly question I have often wondered about.. (I often think of insane things to ponder!)

    12-13-2010, 12:39 PM
Their coat/skin is thicker on their butt than their chest. Besides imagine facing into the wind yourself, it's a lot less comfortable than putting your back to the wind.

I braided tails in the winter a couple of times, but I finally got sick of the ultra long tail thing. Soda ends up ripping so much of it out in the summer when it's down that I stopped bothering. Now I cut it approximately 3-4" above his fetlocks as soon as the bugs are gone. By the time spring rolls around his tail is at or below his fetlocks again and good for bug killing. I do braid it when it's really muddy in the spring to keep it cleaner.

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