From Endurance to Dressage
Moving on from yesterday's marathon post … How about a look at Speedy's new haircut?
I don't have a problem cutting my horses' tails, but I've never known exactly how to do a correct bang cut. I've tried in the past, but the results were less than "banged." Now that I know what the length should be, just at the top of the fetlock, I should be able to get Speedy's sparse tail to thicken up a bit.
Thanks to TM's advice, I am also going to condition both boys' tails more frequently. And according to my dressage pal, Jen, she cuts her horse's tail at least monthly. I am going to keep that in mind.
What do you all do: let it grow naturally, or bang it?
I cut Ava's tail about every 4 months or so. Hers grows fast, usually.
5/16/2014 11:20:33 am
right?! Is that a soft one or a stiff one? I never know either!
5/14/2014 11:36:34 pm
I was taught to bang close to the thickest part of the tail so that the bottom has that full look. So, using your picture above, I would trim another 6-7" off! I think that over time Speedy could have a fuller, longer tail, but mid cannon is where I would start for now. This has worked for many of my horses, even the TBs with less than desired tail genetics. I wash and condition my tails about every other week and brush with show shean daily (I know, some people hate show shean, lets agree to disagree ahead of time if that is the case :)
5/16/2014 11:22:23 am
How could anyone complain about Showsheen? That's just stupid! :0) I use a variety of products: Equyss (?), Mane and Tail, etc. I'll give his tail another look. Thanks for the tips! :0)
I bang Guinness' tail, I learned waaaaaay back in my Pony Clubber days. One thing you can do with a horse whose tail is a little sparse at the bottom is bang slightly higher. I've bitten my lip and banged Guinness' just below his hock (where it was thicker), and it has grown out to a nice an even thickness. It's right back to fetlock length now, and looks great.
5/16/2014 11:23:03 am
That was Ronnie's advice, too. I need to look at it and see how I feel about cutting more. :0)
5/14/2014 11:51:53 pm
You have a TB and you're banging the Arabian? *poke* ; ) Speedy carries his tail like a typical Arab in your photos, so I would not bang it if he were mine - the way Arabs carry their tails, banging doesn't fit. However, I always trim tails to make them appear thicker, but with my Arabian I always worked very hard to make it look natural, not trimmed at all if possible. I got pretty good with scissors, using them at odd angles (parallel to the tail, not perpendicular). Probably professional Arab grooms have specific methods for this, I don't know.
5/16/2014 11:24:59 am
I actually cut Sydney's tail, too. It was in one of the clinic posts. Speedy carries his tail in classic Arabian fashion. I don't need to cut for aesthetics, but I was told that by being too long, they step on it and thin it out. I definitely think that is what Speedy is doing. I am willing to cut a little to get a thicker tail.
Yeah, the stepping-on is a problem. The trick to banging a tail on a horse that carries it is to base your cut on where the tail will fall in motion. So manipulate the tail, reach down and grab where you want to cut, and go from there. I don't worry too much about getting a perfectly straight line; it always comes out looking okay.
I don't cut Simon's tail at all, a big faux pas in the hunters. If we move to a definite jumper direction, I will probably start banging it... although jumpers bang a bit higher than dressage horses tend to. He doesn't have a lovely tail, and I don't think it does him any favors being long and thin.
5/16/2014 11:26:16 am
I am not a big fashion girl, so my interest is more in thickening it up. If banging it gets the job done, then I am all for a bit of a haircut.
Hmmm... that is interesting! While I admit to being scissor-happy in my younger years when it came to manes and tails... sigh... I have not ever trimmed Lady's tail. She is an Arab and sometimes carries her tail in a breed-appropriate way, but when I bought her, her tail had been kept chopped off at the hocks (and her mane was in spikes... huh?). So anyways, I have never trimmed it and it is just now getting down to her fetlocks.
5/16/2014 11:27:04 am
About equine health care, I know tons. About fashion trends, I know nothing, so bang away at your own risk! :0)
5/15/2014 12:55:29 am
I've always been taught to bang it at the thickest acceptable point to make the tail look more full, unless the horse moves a little crooked behind--then you leave it longer to help cover that. ;-)
5/16/2014 11:28:07 am
the general consensus has been to cut short to get it thicker. I am definitely going to re-examine my cut length and see what I can do to encourage more thickness.
5/15/2014 03:14:52 am
I love a banged tail! I keep Roz's fairly short because it's thin and can get pretty scraggly at the ends.
5/16/2014 11:28:52 am
I've really not paid much attention, but now that I know how to encourage thickness, i'll probably pay more attention! :0)
5/15/2014 04:47:46 am
I, too, have been taught to bang at the thickest part of the tail, right as it gets thinner so it looks as full as possible. For maximum results I keep my horses tails in bags 24x7x365 unless we are at a show or I want to show it off. I take the tail out once a month to brush it out, put conditioner in, braid it back up and tuck it away. It really helps the growth because the ends aren't broken off with the swishing of flies.
5/16/2014 11:29:50 am
That's dedication!!!!! If I put a tail bag on my boys, it wold be there forever because I would forgot to take it off! :0) I can barely remember to wash my own locks!
5/15/2014 07:00:46 am
We bang so that the tail ends mid-cannon bone *when carried*. So you have to watch the horse in motion first to check how he carries his tail. The end of the tail ends up 4-6 inches above the fetlock when the horse is at rest. I grew my horse's out once so that it was fetlock level and the judge suggested I trim it :o).
5/16/2014 11:30:58 am
the friend who helped me do Sydney's showed me how to lift the tail to show where it would be while the horse had his tail lifted; that's where I cut it to. I think i could probably cut a bit more. :0)
5/18/2014 10:00:59 pm
No problem! All of these suggestions are very helpful. :0)
Comments are closed.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
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Third Level: 62.105%
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