Originally Posted by Solon
I was at the State Fair about four years ago and was walking through the horse barns. The horses were some sort of gaited horses, not sure what breed but the people had their tails hitched up to some contraption across their back and they were apply some sort of paste under the horses tails. Don't know what it was, didn't stay around long enough to ask, but the horses were stomping in place - they sure didn't seem to be comfortable with whatever was going on back there.
Watched the showing, same horses come out with their tails sky high like some 80s girl with the straight up in the air bangs. Made me sick.
That's called a brace/tail set. I don't really like a brace on the tail, but it's in the rules apparently.
However, they don't really hurt if they stretch the tail. Just push the tail as much as it can go up, and when the muscle is loose they put a brace on. Most people put a topical anesthetic on the tail in case. Still looks horrible. My flat shod horse flags her tail out. Not as drastic as those with a brace, but she carries it high. Cute on her actually.
As for the curry or mustard oil under the skin, unfortunately it does happen. But it can still cause blisters and scarring, which means they get caught. Plus it causes heat, and with the new machines they use, the trainer can get suspended. If they enforce the rules......