What exactly is the purpose for bagging a horses tail, and how do you do it ?! I'm really interested in this. What would I use?
Personally, I bag my mares' tails in the winter for different reasons. My Percheron/ Thoroughbred mare has a super thick tail and tends to form a lot of dread locks. She is also queen at getting grass, shavings, leaves, burrs, etc all in it. The tail bag helps her tail stay clean and dread lock free.
However, my palomino Quarter horse mare has the opposite problem. She has a thin, white tail. In her case the bag not only helps it stay clean, but also protects it from getting stuck on things and further thinning it.
My favorite kind of tail bag is the single bag (as opposed to using vet wrap or the braid in kind). To put in this kind of tail bag, all you do is just wash and condition your horse’s tail really well, let it completely dry, loosely braid the tail starting about an inch under the tail bone, end the braid with a rubber band, put the braid in the bag, and tie or snap (depending on the kind of bag used) the bag through the braid. I usually try to take it out to “air” and re-braid every two weeks, and usually wash and the condition it about once a month.
(this is the kind of tailbag I use on my mares: Pro-Craft? Tail Bag - Horse.com
How do you know when you should add another liner underneath the winter blanket?
Winter blankets come in different weights. I would think that if you lived in Canada, that you would want a heavy weight blanket. I live in north Georgia and blanket my mares with a medium weight Saxon (Weatherbeeta) blanket when it’s under 50 degrees at night or raining during the day. If it gets less than 25 degrees at night or during the day, I layer their Saxons with a cotton or fleece sheet. My mares also have full winter coats though, so they have “natural” protection as well.
Do you think its okay to clip their legs up to their knees in winter time?
I usually don’t clip my mares’ legs at all in the winter time. Unless your horse is constantly stalled, I would think that the “extra” hair would only be beneficial for your horse. Not only is the hair going to keep him/her legs warmer, but it’s also going to protect the legs from mud and other debris.
When do they start shedding out their winter fur? Around what month?
This answer depends on a lot of factors.
1) -if your horse was under lights or blanketed in the winter.—For example, since my mares stay warmer from being blanketed, their coats shed sooner and more quickly than my neighbors horses that stay outside and don’t have blankets.
2) – diet and worming schedule. A balanced diet and worming schedule will allow your horse to use the nutrients it takes in to shed out and produce a nice shiny, summer coat. Worming regularly and alternating products also is supposed to aid in the shedding process as well. So pretty much, the healthier your horse, the faster he will shed to a (healthy) coat.
2) –location. Since I live in the Southeast, and it stays significantly warmer and warms up sooner than other places in the country. My girls usually start shedding around mid-March, but do the bulk of it during mid-April. Normally they are finished by early May.