Tail Bag or Just Braid? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Wallaby
  • 1 Post By ThePaintGirl
  • 1 Post By Yogiwick
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-05-2016, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2015
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Tail Bag or Just Braid?

My mare has a nice thick tail, but I was hoping to get it to grow a bit longer and the mud here is atrocious. I braided it tonight after washing it, spraying ample amounts of showsheen in it and let it air dry for about 30 minutes or so. (No worries, I also made sure I begun loosely braiding it after going down about an inch or more from her dock.) But, I just bought a tail bag (a lycra) and I'm wondering if it it safe to use. She is out about 8 hours out of the day and the rest of the time she is stalled. I have heard that the bag can get caught on things and rip the tail out, but of course so could braiding. Also, I don't believe the lycra is waterproof so would that mean I need to take it out before a storm? Thanks for all help. I'm VERY new to tail bags.

And as a side note, is it ok to braid the mane and just leave it without adding mane bags?
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-05-2016, 10:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Firstly, I would avoid using Showsheen in the future if your goal is hair growth. :) Showsheen [and other silicone-based detanglers - ie, most spray detanglers, Cowboy Magic, etc] ends up coating the hair strands with silicone, which makes the hair shiny and easily detangled.
That coating also inhibits the hair's natural ability to take in moisture, and, if the hair dries out too much, can encourage the hair to break.

I've had good luck using natural oils [argan, coconut, even olive oil!] to detangle and moisturize my gelding's mane and tail. The both look so much nicer now that they are super hydrated! :)

I've never removed a tail bag due to wet weather. I've removed a tail bag during wet weather and found a wet tail, but it's never been a problem for me.
However, I have heard of tails getting wet and getting moldy in tail bags. I haven't had that experience yet [hopefully never will].
I make sure to take the bag off, un-braid the hair, remoisturize, wash it if it's super dirty, brush it, then leave it down while I work my horse. I try to do that on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.
Bagging a tail isn't a "bag it and forget it"-type situation! :)

I've never used a lycra bag, so I can't really help you with the intricacies of that one. I've always made my own braid-in bags out of cotton-y material - the bag itself is made up of 3 separate bags. I divide the hair into three even sections, braid each section, slip each section into it's own section of the tail bag, tie the bag into the base of the braids, then braid the sections together and tie them together at the end.

I've never had one of my bags catch on anything, but I have had non-braid-in bags get caught. Thankfully the damage was always minimal!!

A bag will help the tail stay cleaner, but it's also more fraught with "danger." The best way to know if it'll work out is just to try it, unfortunately!

You can just braid the mane and not use mane bags. Mane braids also need to be taken out quite often to avoid hair damage.

Hair care can get a little taxing! :)
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-05-2016, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2015
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So would you suggest just simply braiding it and leaving it without the bag? I could always use the bag when she goes to shows. I will definitely use coconut oil from now on.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-16-2016, 09:33 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Wyoming
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In addition to what Wallaby said, I like to braid and tail bag because my horse's tail reaches the ground. I know my trainer likes to braid and vetwrap his horses' tails
KigerQueen likes this.

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post #5 of 10 Old 01-16-2016, 11:00 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Phoenix Arizona
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i like the braid in lycra bags ans they dry fast and even when its wet it drys fast and dries the tail too. the vet wrap method works well and im thinking of doing it again IF i show this year though its not likly (1 hour 20 min drive 1 way from the show grounds, i would need to pick up the trailer, drive an hour, pick her up drive and hour 45 for a 10 min class turn around and repeat. no thank you lol).
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-16-2016, 11:29 PM
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Like you said there are risks either way. I've seen horses rip out chunks of nice loose tail too.

The mane probably doesn't need to be bagged. That sounds like overkill unless you have a Friesian or something and want "the look".

No you don't need to take it out, just keep in mind it may be wet and rebraid accordingly.
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-17-2016, 12:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New England
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One thing I wanted to mention..

I never worried about wet, not even with my grey horse, though I noticed a blue tinge on his tail that went away quickly. However my new mare has a white white tail and her tail bag is green and for whatever reason I just have this gut feeling it will run. Hasn't yet but I washed it carefully on it's own lol. Just something to keep in mind with the light colors.
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-17-2016, 08:42 AM
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Location: Portland, OR
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If I'm putting my horse's tail up, I definitely prefer vet wrap over a tail bag. It lasts a lot longer and keeps the hair up higher off the ground.

For the mane I just do a running braid. I've never had my horse rub it and it can stay up for weeks at a time (it doesn't look nearly as neat by then but is still doing its job!) I've seen mane bags in pictures but never known anyone to actually use them.
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-17-2016, 04:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Phoenix Arizona
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you can leave a running braid in?! i thought it would pull! I just use maintenance braids with fabric covered hair ties (not the horse ones). her mane can stay up for weeks and be fine.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-06-2016, 07:04 PM
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