Monday, April 5, 2010

Tall Tail

Phantom apparently managed to rid himself of his tail bag over the weekend. Since his tail is long and thick (I'm not complaining!), I braid it over the winter so it won't get quite so muddy and tangled. More recently I've been stuffing it into a Lycra tail bag to keep it clean. So far so good -- with the unintended result that his tail gets longer over the winter (see the results of last winter above).

We've been having blustery weather of late with horizontal rain and hail storms between glimpses of blue sky. Rattling and banging doors aren't conducive to a relaxed ride in the covered arena. So Friday was a "barber shop" day. I brushed out Phantom's forelock, mane, and tail and re-braided and banded them. His tail was so long that he actually stepped on it! Not my goal -- since I've witnessed horses (specifically Arabians) back up onto their tails in reining classes and just about pull themselves over backwards!

Anyway, when I collected Phantom today his tail was unbagged and the tip was damp and coated with mud. Yuk. I could have sworn I put it in the tail bag on Friday. I didn't see any signs of the tail bag in the little barn (brain fart: leave it out instead of applying it to the horse). So him or me -- somehow the tail bag is missing.

My first mistake was buying a basic black tail bag. It matches everything -- including the mud. Today was not the day to explore the turnout for the remnants of the tail bag. It's likely lost forever, orbiting Saturn with all those mismatched socks that mysteriously disappear from driers.

Knowing full well it was useless, I knotted Phantom's braided tail before turning him out today. Then I made a detour to Wilco to buy wormer and a new tail bag. I liked the black bag with red and orange flames, but it cost too much to lose in the turnout. I bypassed the hot pink one (sure he's gelded, but he's got some male pride). Instead I settled on the lime green one! It doesn't match a darned thing. It will get wet and muddy. But dang it, the shreds should be visible in Phantom's turnout if he manages to shimmy out of it!

Come summer, Phantom will get his full length of unbraided tail back to swish all he wants. I'm counting on losing an inch or two of length from repeated use.


wilsonc said...

Do you find his tail gets thinner in the summer when you leave it down?

Beth said...

Nice Tail! I love a long tail. For my mini mare with an extra long tail I don't use a tail bag, I just make my braid, and after I pull it up I wrap the the whole thing, excluding the tail bone of course, in vet wrap. Keeps things from getting snagged in the weeds. Also a great tail sock if you need one is an old tube sock. Cotton so they break down if you can't find them in the field, white (or occasionally pink :) )so they are easy to see if the field. And free . . . we seem to have a ton of old stretched out tube socks.

Cara said...

Oh, nostalgia! I gave up all that fastidiuosness when having a toddler did not leave enough time for riding/training and neatnikiness. We became much more seat-of-the-pants in attire and grooming. Now I find it impossible to begin again.

Oregon Equestrian said...

Char: Phantom is blessed with a thick mane and tail. I've never seen signs of thinning during the summer.

Braiding and bagging his tail actually requires less time than dealing with mud-caked dreadlocks. I lopped off his mane to sport horse length years ago, then decided to let it grow back. Not sure that was such a good idea because his mane is more trouble to care for than his tail.

Then there's the mystery from a couple of years ago -- who cut his forelock?