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VanillaBean 04-26-2012 01:36 PM

Tail braid...Yay or nay?
Do you do a French braid on your horse's tail for dressage? I have seen some people with it, and some without. I always thought tail braids were for Hunters, but at the same time I think it really polishes the look of a Dressage horse.


~*~anebel~*~ 04-26-2012 02:10 PM

I clip or pull the sides of my horse's tail, as is the "norm" in dressage.

With a horse who is generally a pasture puff, pleasure horse or the owner just does not want to appropriately groom the horse for the sport they are doing, if I have been hired to braid I will generally finish off the look with an appropriate dock braid. However in dressage we don't want to braid the entire way down the tailbone, nor do we pinwheel or braid as finely as is required in the hunters. I like to keep the size of the french braid matching to the size of the braids in the mane.

I think a well pulled and clipped dock looks far more appropriate for the dressage ring as the lines are far cleaner and simpler than with a braided dock.

VanillaBean 04-26-2012 02:34 PM

Thank you Anebel. I have never pulled a dock; do you have any tips? Is it pulled like a mane?

Corporal 04-26-2012 02:37 PM

Neatly braided manes and tails ALWAYS look good, but I guess you should be following the norm on this one.
I don't think I've seen this done, just a neatly cropped tail so that all hairs are even.

equiniphile 04-26-2012 03:12 PM

I would say Nay for dressage. Just me, personally. Pulled tails look great, but the thing is, you have to keep up with them or the new growth starts to look silly.

Golden Horse 04-26-2012 03:27 PM

As a newcomer to dressage I've been told no to tail braiding, as it can make the tail stiff, and dressage is all about softness and mobility through the back.

wetrain17 04-26-2012 03:28 PM

A clipped tail looks much better than a braided tail, IMO. I clip all my horses tails, even the ones I dont compete.

CLaPorte432 04-26-2012 03:33 PM

932 Attachment(s)
Very interesting Wetrain17, do you happen to have any pictures of a clipped tail? I'm curious to see what it looks like...

Corporal 04-26-2012 03:48 PM

This might help. I've been watching this over the winter.
RFD-TV :: U.S. Dressage Symposium
These are some of our top USET riders, and you get a good look at the grooming.

Corporal 04-26-2012 03:54 PM

Also, if you search on Google images you can find a lot, like this:

Sometimes I forget that everyone is a "research nerd", like me. =d

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