Horses are growing hair on different parts of their bodies. The very common part that gets the attention of the crowd is their long, polished tail hair.
It is captivating to see a magnificent horse running and jumping with its perfect, flowing tail.
Horses have tailbones where the hair grows; acting as a middle structure and helping them move their tails the way they want to.
The tail is very important for a horse as it is being used to drive away flies and other insects. A horse can also move its tail to express its emotions. Tails can also show indications about the physical state or health of your horse.
So, let’s talk more about your horse’s tail hair.
Do Horses Tails Grow Back?
Definitely, a horse tail hair grows back once it is shed off, trimmed or cut off.
With proper care, patience and enough time, your horse will have its long tail back again.
However, if the tailbone gets amputated, there is no way it will grow back which also means no growing of tail hair ever again.
How Long Does It Take For A Horse’s Tail To Grow Back?
Are you checking and measuring your horse tail almost every day or once a week to see how it grows?
A study conducted by the scientists of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria showed that on average, a horse tail can grow one centimeter in 13 to 19 days.
The time it takes to grow back a tail varies depending on various contributing factors such as genes, diet and environment where a horse lives. The tails of typical domesticated horses that you own will grow by one centimeter in 13 days while those wild horses will take up to 19 days.
What a short growth, right?
Generally, tail hair grows slowly, that is why it is important that you take good care and highly maintain the current hair of your horse.
It can be both frustrating for you and your horse to wait for quite a long time to achieve the shiny, flowing long tail again.
Does The Horse Die If You Cut His Tail?
Your horse will not easily die if you cut its tail hair. It is actually a normal thing to do as part of its hygiene and helps it to move freely while working or training.
Cutting the tail could be only one of the reasons why a horse could acquire a disease and eventually dies if not treated immediately. If the tail is too short, your horse might not be able to drive away all insects or parasites that can make it sick.
When it comes to the tailbone itself, your horse will still not die if you cut it. Just like the cutting of tail hair, cutting of tailbone is also a common and safe procedure.
Cutting the tailbone is called docking where the tailbone will usually be 6 inches long after removing its distal part.
However, you should consider various factors before deciding to dock your horse’s tailbone as there are some researchers showing that this can negatively affect your horse’s health.
How To Grow Horse Tail Faster?
Even if you do nothing, a horse will grow a long tail if having a long one is in its genes. The DNA is certainly one important factor that is, unfortunately, beyond your power to control.
So, if you want your horse to grow the best possible tail it can faster, you must ensure that you provide it with nutritious food and supplements, a clean environment and gentle loving care.
Ensuring a well-balanced diet is important to stimulate the healthy growth of your horse’s tail. A healthy horse means healthy tail hair as well.
If you want to ensure that your current horses’ diets are sufficient for their needs, you can always check with an equine nutritionist or a veterinarian.
Basically, you must feed your horse with high quality hay or pasture. However, this alone would not be enough to fully help your horse grow its tail faster. You must also serve other nutrients and supplements.
The environment where your horse lives must be also considered and inspected as it affects tail growth and maintenance.
When was the last time you checked your horse’s living quarters – de-snag, do some cleaning and repairs?
You should check for possible hazards where your horse’s tail can get caught and just ripped out. Inspect the walls and gates. Also be observant of broken fences, wires and feed tubs, some metals like hinges, bulging nails and even trees or bushes that can damage the tail.
Providing proper nutrition and a safe environment are not fully enough to help your horse’s tail grow faster. A very special and incomparable thing that you can do is offering your loving touch.
You should personally care about your horse. Use hair growth shampoo for horses and never attempt using dish or laundry soap. Give regular baths to keep them from being filthy that can cause knots to their tails. Leave-in conditioner is helpful to moisturize the tails and prevents tangles also.
Combing the tail is quite a crucial task to do so it is important to use the best comb that will suit your horse’s tail to prevent any breakage. Likewise, you must brush the tail hair gently and not too often.
Another, braiding the tail hair of your horse can prevent tangles and knots; however, you should know how to do this properly and safely to not cause any harm and discomfort to your horse.
You can also use tail bags so the tail will not stay on the ground, stepped on by the horse’s feet or get tangled if it is moving its tail too much to shoo away flies. The tail will be protected inside while it is growing longer.
Best Products for Mane and Tail Growth?
For growing a silky, healthy mane and tail, you need to provide your horse with high quality food and supplement; likewise use hair growth shampoo, conditioner and oil.
Sometimes, food alone is not enough to provide all the nutrients that your horse needs. Horses need dietary supplements that will provide them with Vitamin B, trace minerals and essential amino acids.
Bio-Bloom PS is one brand that can offer biotin, methionine, zinc and iodine that are essential in growing not just healthy mane and tail hair, rather shiny coats and stronger hooves as well.
BioMane Equine Pellets is another product that can supplement your horse with amino acids, nutrients and proteins which are all essential for tail hair growth.
Hair growth shampoo and conditioner like the Mane ‘n Tail brand has active ingredients like Vitamin B, protein, oil and antibacterial ingredients which all helps in achieving a shinier, thicker and longer hair.
Another product that might be unusual for some to use on a horse is oil. So, where do you usually use your coconut oil at home?
Putting coconut oil on your horse’s mane and tail will make it smoother, stronger and prevents hair loss.
How Long Should A Horse’s Tail Be?
Commonly, the tail hair of a horse can grow approximately 12 inches from the tailbone.
The recommended length for a horse’s tail varies depending on its breed and what kind of life it has daily.
Banging your horse’s tail is a procedure where you make a straight horizontal cut to the bottom part of the tail. Usually, the tail must be 4 inches to 5 inches long below your horse’s hocks after banging.
Reasons for Not Leaving Horses Tail Too Long
Horses can have long or short tails depending on their breeds. It is more significant to consider the practical reasons and benefits for not growing too long tail for your horse rather than the cosmetic basis.
Here are the reasons why you should not leave your horse’s tail too long:
- Long-tailed horse is less hygienic as the ends of its tail can get too filthy from manure and other dirt which would be an ideal place to reside for parasites.
- When it comes to mating, a mare with a long tail can possibly cause lacerations to a stallion.
- Horses’ safety is at risk if their tail is too long as it can get caught in anything that can pull out the tail and cause them injury.
- Short tails are preferred for some, especially draft horses, so their tails will not obstruct with carriages’ ropes or other things that they pull.
Can You Cut A Horse’s Tail?
Yes, you can cut the tail if it will be more convenient for you and your horse. No need to worry much as it will grow again; however, the growth is a slow process.
You can actually choose various grooming styles to make the tail practical for work purposes or look classy for a show.
Just like the tail hair, you can cut the tailbone of your horse too. Docking is the practice of cutting the tailbone which can be done in two procedures – amputations or ligature. With amputations, tailbones are removed through a surgical method.
As for the ligature process, the distal section of the tailbone will be wrapped and tied tightly until it dies and fall off. This is way longer, crucial and painful compared to amputation.
Why Would Someone Cut Off A Horse Tail?
As an owner, you would probably cut off your horse’s tail for practical or cosmetic reasons.
However, lots of heart breaking news can be heard and seen worldwide about thieves cutting off and stealing horses’ tails. Aside from civil or criminal cases, this wrongdoing is a clear act of animal abuse.
Thieves are cutting off horse tail to sell it expensively to the black market. This is because tail hair is a major material for products like baskets, cloth, jewelry, wigs, violin, fishing nets, and extension for both humans and horses competing shows.
BioMane. (2017, September 12). BioMane equine pellets – Hair nutrition for horses. BioMane.com. https://biomane.com/collections/biomane-equine-pellets
Blocksdorf, K. (2018, December 20). Bang your horse’s tail for a neat look. The Spruce Pets. https://www.thesprucepets.com/how-to-neatly-bang-your-horses-tail-1886807
Boynton, L. (2019, July 16). The ultimate guide to growing your horse’s mane and tail. Equine Wellness Magazine. https://equinewellnessmagazine.com/growing-horses-mane-tail/
Cherney, K. (2019, June 7). Horse shampoo and conditioner for hair: Benefits, precautions, uses. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/horse-shampoo
Coates, J. (2017, November 16). Thieves cut tails – Why horsehair theft is on the rise. Benton County Enterprise. https://www.bentoncountyenterprise.com/content/thieves-cut-tails-why-horse-hair-theft-rise