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In case you might think I'm some weirdo with a webpage about
horse tails - this page was created for requests by many people :-)

I love long thick tails!
Shown here is a method of growing & keeping tails long and thick without
braiding and bagging them, leaving the horse to use it's tail for what
it's meant for. I have found it results in a thicker
tail then braiding and bagging
  it as well as much less hair loss and breakage. The hair on
the upper portion of the tailbone seems to grower much longer, too.

IMPORTANT! If you utilize this method, there must not be any things
in the horses living space for the loops to get caught on! Use caution!

If you desire a horse with a ground length or shorter tail
but with more thickness, I'd just leave the tail alone unless
there's a special occasion. Comb or brush it rarely & carefully.
Add conditioner regularly .Always soak in detangler prior to combing out.

I start using this method when the horse's tail is about fetlock length.

Here's my  show horse's tails.

CJ Dream Maker     Gus-TailFeathers2005.jpg (87998 bytes)
Photo on left shows it's length.    Photo on right shows his tail feathers.

Lady-tail1.jpg (85150 bytes)     Lady-tail2.jpg (83020 bytes)
Not excessively long, but nice & thick due to tail feathers not getting broken by braiding!

 Mystere
My 2 horses above are blessed with natural thick tails,
this black bay has a very thin tail, but using this
method has helped make it seem thicker, again due.
to the tail feathers not getting broken by braiding.

The Tail Method...
All credit for this method to Tracey McKay!

Here is a detail of the first loop

This shows the tail separated into the sections to work with. 

The ball in my left hand is the hair from the upper part of the tailbone that is not yet fetlock length. I tie it in a knot and electric tape it out of the way.

Below is the separate chunks of hair I will be putting up in crochet knots.

The hair in each chunk should come from the same area it attaches to on the tailbone.

The amount of chunks to use depends on how thick the tail is. The horse shown here has quite a thick tail, therefore many chunks.

THE FIRST LOOP

This shows the first loop completed as shown in the detail above.

It is a standard crochet knot.

Start the loop as close to the tailbone as possible,

THE FIRST FEW LOOPS

This shows the first few loops being being formed by continuing to loop the chunk back through the previous loop.

FINISHING THE CHUNK

At the end of the loops, when the longest part of the chunk has been shortened enough that it is higher then the fetlock,  the loops get ended by pulling the chunk through the last loop, as shown, leaving about 18" of hair loose at the bottom.

The amount of loops you will need depends on the horse's tail length, the horse shown has a very long tail, so several loops are required to lift it off the ground.

 

BLOW UP OF ONE FINISHED CHUNK

One chunk finished.

It must then be set with conditioner, preferably, or soaked with water or it will unloop itself.

CONDITIONING

Soak the chunk in condtioner from tailbone to the ends of the hair. It holds the loops in place.

Put lots on the loops and squeeze it into the loops.

Conditioner can be regularly added.

ALL THE CHUNKS FINISHED

This is all the chunks finished being looped and conditioned.

If they are unraveling, a bit of electric tape around the last loop holds it in place until resetting.

As the conditioner dries, it becomes less stringy at the bottom.

I add conditioner to this mass of hair monthly.

 

 

TAIL LENGTH WHEN FINISHED

This is how long the tail is when it's finished.

This tail, when down, drags on the ground nearly 2'.

 

 

THE TAIL COMPLETED

This is what it looks like after the top part of the tail is let down.

Sort of hard to see here, but the upper hair covers all the loops and it looks like a normal short tail.

The entire tail length is no longer then shown in the last picture.

 

 

 

MAINTENANCE

The loop's condition will deteriorate more quickly in the summer due to
swishing, same as a braid does. If you don't want to be unravelling a
huge mess, you can unloop it weekly, smooth the hairs down
with your hands (not combing!) and reloop and condition.

For a total reset, which I rarely do, I soak it in detangler & allow
it to dry. I then unloop the chunks loop by loop, carefully combing it
(I mean really carefully!). I then give it a good wash, especially the roots.
Soak in detangler again, dry, then comb out and reset the loops.


I'd be happy to answer any further questions about this method!


HAPPY TAIL GROWING!

"I'm a great believer in chance, in the opportunity of chance
- like in Don Quixote, they ask the old knight, 'Where are you going?'
and he says, 'I don't know… wherever my horse takes me.'"
~ Bartabas ~