A Tale of a Tail…

So I treasure Gen’s tail. Why? Well, for one thing I am like a total kid when it comes to long hair on a horse. The other reason is because my white horsey has melanomas on the dock of his tail. Three of them. And they are big. When I first got him and found those tumors the vet I was using at the time told me straight out, if the tumors kept growing they would basically “choke” the bottom of his tail and it would have to be removed. From that vet visit on I have been obsessed.

Gen does not have very thick hair, that was one of the reasons I used to love to braid his mane! When I first got him in 2005 he had an okay tail that went down just below his hocks. Not bad considering he hadn’t been touched in 2 years. The problem was that his tail was yellow. It was disgusting. I washed it at least once month for a year (even in the winter) and eventually it turned white and black.

Well, last week when I gave him a bath I noticed something. Gen’s tail has finally really grown out after all of these years. I mean look…

It was touching the ground. How cool is that? I love it! Especially since that is just another sign that the melanomas are not growing and cutting off circulation. So I marveled at the tail and enjoyed how long it was until it dried out. That was when I went to get a pair of scissors.

You see, it is not safe for a horse to have a tail that long. They can step on the hairs and pull them out creating an infection unless the tail is bagged. I can assure you, no horse of mine will ever wear a tail bag. Tails were created to swat at flies, but be wrapped and hidden. So I cut off about 3 inches. Yes, it sucked to cut his tail, but I am still glad I did it.

Plenty long enough still (although not white enough for my taste :P)


6 thoughts on “A Tale of a Tail…

  1. Yeah, the “tail bag” and “swatting at flies.” I’ve gotten swatted by a tail bag because I was between the horse and the fly–and it SMARTS, lemme tell ya! I agree about long tails, but banged is good for dressage–and you can tell everyone Gen is a retired dressage horse who likes to keep up appearances ;o)

  2. This reminds me so much of me and my horse lol He had never problems with the length of his tail, I often cut just a bit so that it looks like on the last of your pics. His father died cause of melanoms, so I have a look there quiet often. I wash his tail just 2 – 3 times a year, he lives outside all year, that s enough. But even if it s black and dirty, the end of his tail is still white (2 cm) lol

  3. Ozzy used to have this luxurious tail that dragged on the ground… then one of the track grooms hacked it off at the hocks. It has never been the same 😦

  4. My daughter JUST did the same thing with Axe’s tail- literally less than an hour ago! It was finally dragging on the ground -after almost 10 years!
    Axe’s tail looks like Gen’s in the upper photo- it’s on the thin side.
    She said it came out nice, after she screamed “Oh my god! WHAT have I done!!!”

  5. I share you view on leaving the tails unbagged or unbraided so they are effective on flies. I had someone caring for Janow in exchange for riding while I was out having a surgery. I instructed that his tail was not to be brushed except after it was washed and had dried, and not to braid or bag. I came to visit one day and found that both mane and tail were braided. I undid thema nd called her, leaving a message that they were not to be braided so they would be effective against flies. She braided them again the next day. Gr. It was MY horse.

    Additionally, a braided tail acts like a whip. OW!

  6. Your post inspired me today! After I read it this morning I rode then washed my horse Remmy’s tail with the help of alot of show sheen also! 🙂

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