With the right care, many horses will grow beautiful tails. Whether for show or maintenance, there are many horse tail styles that will keep the tail looking beautiful and free of tangles. With the right practice, you can perfect all of these styles for your horse’s tail.
Depending on what discipline you ride, you may cut your horse’s tail at a certain length or let it grow naturally long. In hunt seats and jumping classes, the top part of the tail will often be braided to create a clean, elegant look. Braiding is also practical to keep the tail free of tangles and dirt.
Tips For A Good Tail Braid – Horse Tail Styles
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Before you get braiding your horse’s tail, there are some steps you want to take to ensure the tail will be healthy, strong, shiny, and beautiful. Without regular upkeep, the tail can become tangly, damaged, matted, and dirty.
Before you braid a horse’s tail, it is always a good idea to wash it and comb it first. This will get rid of any dirt, shavings, and tangles in the tail. It will also keep the hair looking shiny and healthy.
It is important to let the tail fully dry before braiding it. If you braid a wet tail and leave it up, the tail will not dry properly and can potentially cause the hairs to break off. Thoroughly towel dry and air dry the tail or use a blow dryer if your horse will tolerate it.
If you are braiding your horse’s tail for practical reasons, such as to keep it clean and free of tangles, be sure to leave the shorter hairs at the top of the tail out of the braid. Horses use their tails to swat away flies in the summer, so it is important to leave some hair to allow them to do this.
If you are keeping a horse’s tail up for practical reasons, be sure to rebraid it or check the braid every month or so. This will help ensure that no dirt or water has gotten trapped in the braid, which can be problematic. Using a tail bag, sock, or vet wrap can help keep the tail clean.
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Popular Horse Tail Styles
From the show ring to everyday wear, there are many popular tail styles for horses. Though some of the braids may seem tricky, with some practice you can get them right.
Classic Braid – Horse Tail Styles
If you are looking for a simple style perfect for the barn, the classic tail braid is a good choice. If desired, you can separate the shorter pieces of tail, around 1-1 2/2 feet long, out from the rest of the tail so your horse can use these to swat flies. However, horses can still use the braid to swat flies, though it will not be as effective.
Begin your braid just below the horse’s tail bone. Braid all the way down the horse’s tail, leaving just a couple of inches at the bottom unbraided, and use a braiding band to secure the end of the braid. If desired, you can place the tail in a tail bag to help keep it clean.
Hunter Tail Braid – Horse Tail Styles
The hunter braid is a popular choice among hunter pleasure and hunter/jumper horses. It creates a neat, elegant look that is perfect for the show ring.
The hunter braid is done only the length of the tail bone. It is often beneficial to mist the top of the tail and apply some hair gel to keep the braid in place. You will also need yarn that matches your horse’s tail color, scissors, a comb, and a latch hook.
Start the braid at the very top of the dock and separate three sections of hair out. The pieces of hair will likely be very short. Begin to create a tight french braid down the tail bone, picking up hair that is on the underside of the tail bone.
Approximately two inches above the end of the tail bone, stop French braiding. Continue the braid as a ‘pigtail’ braid and continue it for about six inches. Then, begin to incorporate the yard into the braid by braiding it in with the hair.
Braid with the yarn for a couple of more inches and then create a secure knot with the yarn. Use the latch hook to tuck the bottom of the braid underneath the tail to create a demure loop or pinwheel loop, then trim the excess yarn.
Tail Braid For Long Tails – Horse Tail Styles
Begin by separating the shorter pieces of tail, around 1-1 2/2 feet long, out from the rest of the tail so your horse can use these to swat flies. Then, begin the braid below the tail bone and continue braiding. With about 1-1/2 feet left, begin braiding a ribbon that is at least three feet long or longer into the braid.
At the end of the braid, use the excess ribbon to create a knot. Take the bottom of the braid and pull it through the top until you create a loop that is about 6-10 inches long. Weave the excess braid through the loop and then use the remaining ribbon from the tail braid to tie one more knot and place the braid in a sock or wrap with vet wrap.
Horse Tail Braiding Styles
Whether for the show ring or simply to keep your horse’s tail clean and free of tangles, there are different ways you can braid a tail. With the right tools and techniques, you can mater braiding a horse’s tail.
Do you have any questions regarding horse tail styles? If so, please ask your horse tail braid questions in the comments.
Why Do They Braid Horses Tails?
People will braid a horse's tail to keep it clean and from getting damaged or tangled. In addition, hunter pleasure horses and jumpers will often have a tail braid to create a neat, elegant look.
Is it Bad to Cut a Horse's Tail?
It is not bad to cut a horse's tail. However, you should leave the hair long enough so the horse can use its tail to swat flies.
How Long Do Horses Tails Get?
With the proper care and upkeep, horses' tails can grow to drag the ground, some by many feet. Though some people may trim tails so they don't grow this long, other people will let them grow as long as they can naturally.