I like to use a normal length Lycra one not braid in. Braid in may work for other breeds but saddlebred's tail will get too long for it. What I do with it is put it on the braided and rolled up tail. To fasten the end of the braid, braid in a string long enough that when you fold it in half the string it is 18" or longer. To braid in string have in half and put it in the two smaller parts of your braid once you are about 8 inches from finishing. I alway have two smaller and one bigger one since the part you take from the middle doesn't have as many shorter pieces. Once you come to the end tie up the string. Then run the end of your braid of through the top of the braided tail. And continue until there there is none hanging. You want the end of your braid to come to middle of your roll so that you can then wrap the string each in opposite directions around twice then pull tight and tie it in a bow.
Now time to put the tail bag on. Pull the strings on the tail bag up through the hole in the top where you rolled it up then take that extra amount of tail bag and put that through the hole pull it tight down to the other side then wrap your strings twice moving it down to the center of the tail then tie it off with a bow.
You see the extra amount of tail bag is actually beneficial in keeping the tail bag on and in keeping the tail cleaner.
Things to remember:
- don't start your braid too close the tail bone and don't start out too tight because when you wrap the tail up through it will make it tighter up on that tail bone
-since your horse dunks it's tail it is important that you take her tail down then allow it to completely dry then put it back up again. The tail bag does not make this process unnecessary. It only keeps you from having to buy vet wrap. On the same note be sure her tail is completely dry before putting it up. The saddest day is when you take the tail down and it starts coming out in clumps because it's rotted off. It may help if your horse is a tail dunker and has water buckets to use a chain to raise the water buckets above where butt is. Of course the depends on your water and stall set up.
- Another thing is to only condition the tail when it feels brittle. Conditioning every time can cause build up that will cause itchiness and then the horse may start rubbing its tail. It is better to just add conditioning spray to the tail below the tail bone. I really like healthy hair care.
- Don't forget to leave all feathers so the horse can swish at flies
Last note and I have found this to be very successful. If there are a lot of flies, the tail bag is always falling off or you notice that above your wrapped up tail is dread locking, take some(3-4 long pieces) baling twine and tie it onto the tail bag before you loop the end up through the tail. You want it to be decently thick and to come down to their fetlock. Then untwist the twine so it's spread apart and thicker. This may look super dorky but it is very effective. It seems to keep the horses from swishing their tail so hard.
Good luck and be patient.
The pictured horse came to school with his tail cut short it took him 2 years for it to grow to a decent length and this picture is after 7 years