A horse’s tail is very important to him. Not only does it act as a fly swatter in summer, it keeps his “bottom” warm in winter! The area between a horse’s hind legs is the only part not kept warm by hair, so it loses the greatest amount of warmth if left exposed by too much trimming.
From a horse’s point of view, the best tail is a natural tail.
Some horses have thin ragged tails, while others have tails so thick they cannot be braided for formal riding events and shows. To make the best of their appearance, thick or thin, different tails are treated in different ways. Some styles even go in and out of fashion!
A “banged” tail is cut straight across the bottom to give it a neat appearance. It makes a scraggly tail look thicker.
Often inflicted on harness horses to prevent their tails being caught up in the harness. Tail docking is illegal in many places as it’s considered cruel.
The hair around the dock area, at the top, is pulled out to give the tail a more refined look. Show horses often have pulled tails
The tail is first thinned at the top and then braided neatly around the dock for showing. Both manes and tails are usually braided for hunter classes.