Broodmares frequently have their tails wrapped close to foaling time to keep the them clean and out of the way during birthing. Performance horses have their tails wrapped to keep them sleek in competition. Regardless of why you wrap your horse's tail, you need know what you're doing. Wrapping the tail too tightly can disrupt the blood supply in the tail, causing permanent damage.
Start with a clean and tangle-free tail. You don't want to wrap the tail if it is dirty, because the bandage can put pressure on debris in the hairs, pressing it into the skin and irritating your horse. Even if it doesn't create sores, if it bothers your horse, he may rub his tail against the walls of his stall, seeking relief and potentially rubbing bald patches in his tail. Use a wide-tooth comb to work through the tail, starting at the ends and working toward the base of the tail.
Start at the top of the tail. Hold the end of the bandage against your horse's tail and start wrapping around the tail, gradually working down. You want the wrap to start as close to the point where the tail connects to the body as possible. Slip one hand under the tail, close to your horse's hindquarters, and pass the wrap from the top hand to the hand underneath the tail as you wrap. Wrap the tail all the way to the end of the tail bone. If you reach the end of the tail bone and have additional bandage, work your way back up the tail.
Secure the tail wrap. Some wraps secure with strings, others have hook-and-loop fasteners. You'll find one strip of a hook-and-loop fastener on the flat portion of the wrap and the corresponding strip sewn to the end of the wrap. When you finish wrapping, fasten the piece on the end of the wrap to the piece sewn on the flat section. Don't pull the wrap tight before fastening -- it will put uneven pressure on the tail bone.
- The Foaling Primer: Cynthia McFarland
- Grooming To Win: Susan E. Harris
- Do not use self-adhesive wrap for wrapping the tail. This type of wrap is easy to apply too tightly, which can cause permanent damage to your horse's tail.