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We’ve brought home a horse who seems like a great match for my daughter!

Haven’t had the vet out yet, they’ll see him Wednesday.

One thing that is notable is his tail. It’s not necessarily clamped but it hangs snug to his body, I haven’t really seen him move it but he can raise it to pass manure and does raise it slightly when walking and moving.

There is a bump on his tail bone above where the tail hair begins.

It makes me wonder if it was blocked recently or done poorly in the past.


Is there anything I should know/ask the vet about.
It’s not a practice I support, doing a little research it seems like the procedure mostly wears off.
He is meant to be a 4-H horse so I don’t want to be penalized for an illegal procedure we never wanted.

Anyone have experience with this? Any good ways to tell if it happened and if there are any hidden worse effects?

Picture is her riding the fence line with him shortly after we got him. He was relaxed and good from loading up, to strolling into a new barn!
 

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No help to be had from me, only questions... Never heard of nerve blocking a tail - can't think of any medical/diagnostic reasons for it, but can't think of any 'illegal' ones either - What do they do it for??

If it were blocked, I'd imagine he couldn't move it at all, so seems obvious that it isn't still 'residually' blocked. As for 4-H or whatever, I can't imagine you'd be penalised for something that happened in the past before you had him, that doesn't effect him now, regardless of the legalities.
 

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No help to be had from me, only questions... Never heard of nerve blocking a tail - can't think of any medical/diagnostic reasons for it, but can't think of any 'illegal' ones either - What do they do it for??

If it were blocked, I'd imagine he couldn't move it at all, so seems obvious that it isn't still 'residually' blocked. As for 4-H or whatever, I can't imagine you'd be penalised for something that happened in the past before you had him, that doesn't effect him now, regardless of the legalities.
I think the idea is so that they can't swish their tail with agitation, like when they are cued to do something. Sort of like a dressage horse swishing it's tail would be frowned upon. But I don't know, it's thankfully not something I have had experience with since I don't show.

The horse in the photo......his tail looks pretty normal to me. It's raised away from his body slightly. But then again, I don't know.....
 

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@loosie I was curious, too, so I looked it up and found this:
https://equusmagazine.com/horse-world/tail-blocks-truth

"In contrast, the technique used to block a tail is to blindly inject ethanol along either side of the bones near the base of the tail, seeking to affect the function of the nerves that activate the muscles controlling movement."

Good Lord.
@farrieremily that same article had this to say, so you might look for it: "White hairs, which often develop at the injection sites, are telltale signs that a horse needs to be examined more closely."
 

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He doesn't look nerve blocked to me...just a low arch as he has elevation and indeed clearance of his tail off his butt.

Many horses are "blocked" whether it be temporary or as a permanent procedure done.
At one time pleasure horses were being done...yes against the rules but ever look at how those horses move and not a hair of the tail swishes?
Paso Fino's are taught to not move the tail and actually keep it tucked nearly all the time when moving or ridden it seems from the ones my neighbor has..
When in turnout though they can swish the tail easily for fly swatting so it is training done to them it seems.

Horse is cute...
If he can swish his tail at flies, then to me he is not blocked..
He may of been trained to have a quiet tail and that is not illegal.
Tails can show personality and irritation, anger or such emotions by how it is held, flagged, snapped in reaction to a riders cues...

Depending upon the prior training this horse underwent he could of been taught "quiet".
If in doubt, get your vet to exam and put it in writing so if you are showing and a issue arises you have professional proof of nothing was done to deter/change the anatomy adversely.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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@loosie I was curious, too, so I looked it up and found this:
https://equusmagazine.com/horse-world/tail-blocks-truth

"In contrast, the technique used to block a tail is to blindly inject ethanol along either side of the bones near the base of the tail, seeking to affect the function of the nerves that activate the muscles controlling movement."

Good Lord.

@farrieremily that same article had this to say, so you might look for it: "White hairs, which often develop at the injection sites, are telltale signs that a horse needs to be examined more closely."
That was the article I read as well.

Before that I knew it was done for pleasure horses, I didn’t realize it is also done in reiners.
I also didn’t realize how it was done and that it could have so many bad consequences!

That was more the part that worried me.

I’m just trying to recall if he swishes or does any other “bigger” movements.

Even if blocked they can usually raise it slightly but not a full range...
 

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It could also be that at one point, his tail was broken.

Many people when handling foals, will grab their dock and pull on it to get them to move forward

Not yet found a horse that clamps its tail down when trying to bandage it that an adjustment hasn't helped. When adjusting the relaxation of muscles around the withers is amazing
 

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Trust me - tail blocking is still being done in the Western Pleasure and HUS world. It is illegal but no one cares. I saw a horse a year ago that had permanent damage. she could no longer lift her tail to pee or pass manure and forget about swishing flies. It was so sad to see - she was young (under 10) and will spend the rest of her life like that.
 

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Trust me - tail blocking is still being done in the Western Pleasure and HUS world. It is illegal but no one cares. I saw a horse a year ago that had permanent damage. she could no longer lift her tail to pee or pass manure and forget about swishing flies. It was so sad to see - she was young (under 10) and will spend the rest of her life like that.
Well isn’t that righteous— right up there with with big packages on the performance Walking Horses:evil::evil:
@farrieremily, something else to look at is sacrum issues.

One of my horses has a twice fractured sacrum. He can swish his tail and lift it somewhat, but when he does, it looks like it is broken. The first sacrum fracture caused that to happen.

Meaning, I don’t see anything with your horse to indicate a fractured sacrum but the sacrum/pelvis area may need adjusted:)
 
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Trust me - tail blocking is still being done in the Western Pleasure and HUS world. It is illegal but no one cares. I saw a horse a year ago that had permanent damage. she could no longer lift her tail to pee or pass manure and forget about swishing flies. It was so sad to see - she was young (under 10) and will spend the rest of her life like that.
God forbid that a horse be allowed to express displeasure with what it's being asked to do. It's like cutting out someone's tongue because they complained about being forced to work. Sometimes I hate people.
 
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