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petitepyromaniac 11-09-2012 01:31 AM

Winter Tail Care
I realize this has been posted about many times, but in doing a search I couldn't find the answers I am looking for.

My horse lives in a paddock. He has a dry shelter, but all winter there's mud everywhere else. He has a thick, long tail, and I'd like to keep it healthy.

In the past I've always wrapped my horse's tails with vet wrap, leave it in all winter, and take it out in the spring. This helped with length, but I'd get some breakage at the top, and I don't think the payoff was worth it. How do I avoid this?

I had a couple ideas: Tail bags (instead of vet wrap), and/or simply redoing it more often throughout the winter. However, the more I have to redo it, the more I'd like to go the bag route, because I think that would be easier and faster.

I really like the idea of this bag since it's waterproof:
Dura-Tech® Waterproof/Breathable Tail Bag in Tail Bags / Protection at Schneider Saddlery

Would that cause more breakage though??? I'm starting to wonder if I should just spray his tail with leave in conditioner every so often and just leave it down all winter...

What have you had the most success with?

AQHA13 11-09-2012 02:59 AM

subbing! :)

Jore 11-09-2012 07:24 AM

I would just buy a waterproof tail bag (Indie's nylon tail bag keeps her tail nice and dry) and then re-braid once a week and bag it back up. I also use conditioner in her tail every time I braid it up.

CLaPorte432 11-09-2012 08:06 AM

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I trim my mares tail (thats exactly 1 inch from the ground normally) so it doesnt get ice balls and mud/urine frozen at the ends. Then she walks funny because the chunks hit her legs. By spring, its back almost touching the ground.

But i understand not everyone wants to trim. I cant bag, my mare loses them no matter what i do.
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Tianimalz 11-09-2012 08:58 AM

Indie too has a long and thick tail, I take a lot of precautions to KEEP it that way and that includes a special winter care program.

Once the flies die off, I trim off the split ends and coat the tail in coconut oil (which does harden in the cold) to "protect" the tail and hold it into a french braid. With the oil hardened, the braid doesn't come out nearly as easily and can stay in for longer periods of time, thus less work :lol: I too can't use tail bags, they somehow always come off. The hair I clipped has always grown back by spring time and riding season, and the past 2 years I've been doing this I think her tail has actually improved.

DancingArabian 11-09-2012 09:57 AM

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You can try tail bags but I would definitely redo it more often. A braid in tail bag will stay in.

Remember that horses tails (like human heads) have a certain amount of natural shedding of hair. When the tail is braided/wrapped/bagged that natural hair loss is stuck in the braid/wrap/bag and doesn't fall off like it would otherwise. When you take the tail down you're seeing all that loss at once which make make it seem like there's a lot of breakage.
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toosexy4myspotz 11-09-2012 10:27 AM

i would not use a waterproof tail bag because to me it would seem like the rain would run down the horses tail dock into the bag then you got your braided tail sitting in water. i use lycra bags and have never had an issue with my tails staying wet after a hard rain
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cheshirecat 11-09-2012 11:13 AM

subbing! also, I have heard horror stories of people who used braid-in tail bags then their horses tail got stuck on something and ripped out the tail along with the braid.

AngieLee 11-09-2012 11:37 AM

I do a mud knot in my horses tail when its really muddy. when its snowy and icy i normally just have a normal braid in to help prevent ice balls. either way i take it out, brush it, and re braid/ mud knot it every 1-2 weeks.

Its not very pretty or manly but i find it works best with my horse because even when he roles I don't get clumps of mud and what does stick is easily brushed out.

The ugly way, haha

and the new way im trying to see if it works better, and it maintains his dignity a tad more haha

TheRoundPen 11-09-2012 11:57 AM

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Subbing! I'm trying to think of ways this winter to do this, haha

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