SHADBELLY Nation, we need your help. Among the tens of thousands of emails we receive daily here at SHADBELLY world headquarters was a particularly desperate plea from a loyal reader seeking advice about a false tail for her spindle-tailed dressage partner, writing "Certainly this is a topic SHADBELLY can really get behind!"
Ok, I must admit - there's an undeniable creep factor for me personally about the whole fake tail thing. Then again, my horses have naturally lush posterior locks. If that were not the case, I'd most likely be on the phone with those helpful gals at SmartPak discussing color swatches quicker than can say "toupe". After all, an appropriately ample tail adds visual balance to the overall silhouette - probably more than most of us would admit.
Given our naïveté on the subject, SHADBELLY enlisted the experts at Tail Tamers/Trophy Tails to get to the bottom of the matter. Trophy Tails supplies retailers throughout the U.S., including SmartPak and Dover. First off, you should know that Tail Tamers/Trophy Tail's premium quality tail extensions are hand constructed of 100% natural, un-dyed horsehair taken from live (and we are assured) well-cared for Mongolian horses, known for their (apparently) over-abundant, thick hair.
The hunter folks are all over this trend, but finding the best options for dressage horses wasn't as obvious. Trophy Tails recommends their standard Trophy Tail Hunter Tail Extensions for dressage use, and they advise us that generally, most warmbloods will look best with a full, 1 pound tail extension. Trophy Tail's l pound tails come in a standard length of 38" that can be trimmed or banged as desired.
Prices vary - black is the most common color so a 1 pound extension starts at around $149.00, while the much more rare grey and white extensions will set you back $349.00 or more.
- We all love the idea of "highlights", but for a truly natural look, order your extension in a color to match the darker hair on your horses tail, close to the tailbone;
- Once in place, be sure to trim the tail to the fetlock or higher ... for everyone's safety;
- Take care of your extension by using a good quality horsehair shampoo and detangler, and keep it bagged (but not wrapped) when not in use;
- Plan ahead, read the rules appropriate for your level and be sure you receive the necessary approvals before attempting to compete with a falsie (Example: current Procedure for the Request to Use a False Tail on Dressage Horses in FEI Events).
Hey, sometimes we all could use a little help here and there with what nature dished out to us, and when appropriate, a well chosen and correctly attached tail extension should look completely natural. In fact, we were surprised to learn that one of the well-known horses we've featured on SHADBELLY wears a falsie. Can anyone guess?
So, SHADBELLY readers, Falsies: Yea or Neigh? Tell us your thoughts, advice, your stories ... or should we say ... your tail "tails".