When she was 4 and her tail was getting long, I tied it up in figure 8 knots. When we took it down to show, it touched the ground:
At one point I kept her tail up in a tail bag in the winter. Then one brisk day while we were out on a trail ride, something caused Grace to move suddenly. The next thing I saw was my Blue Heeler swinging around from behind me with my horse's beautiful tail firmly grasped between the dog's teeth. That was the end of putting Grace's tail in a tail bag!
Now Grace's mane is another story:
I kept Grace's mane short for Western Pleasure. Her mane is as thick as her tail, which meant not only pulling it for length, but ripping it out by the roots to make it thin so it would lay flat. I don't think I will ever accept the idea of pulling a mane. Yes, it shows off my horses neck, but when her mane is long if we change directions the judge gets a full view of her neck.
I just think there is something really medieval about ripping out chucks of hair by the root all for the sake of beauty.
So I rebelled, and started letting Grace's mane grow. I'd attempted it in the past, but when it would get to an ugly stage, I would cut it or pull it again. Finally my friend Jeanni threatened to never ride with me again if I pulled Grace's mane.
As corny as it sounds I find a long flowing mane just belongs on a horse. At 7 years old, my imaginary horse did not have a pin straight 4 inch long mane. No, it was past his shoulders and in my mind I would be able to braid in ribbons and bows.
How did I get Grace's mane and tail to grow so thick and long? I would love more than anything to sell you a bottle of magic oil. But there just isn't one. Grace has good hair genes, I suppose I support them with good nutrition, but it's all her.
Now I know that the less I mess with her mane and tail, the less it will break and the longer it will grow. But where's the fun in that? What's the point of having all that hair if I can't play with it!
For the last year I've been washing and conditioning her tail once a week. The only time I skip it is when it's just too cold out. No fancy expensive horse products here, just whatever I'm using in my hair at the time. From the looks of this picture, looks like it was Garnier Fructis that week!
This is what it looks like when I take the braids out:
How could I ever pull that again? Now maybe some ribbons and bows?