All about Smart Tails
Why use a Smart Tails to get the pulled tail look?
Smart Tails are thinning combs with curved teeth that grip into the hair and thin and shorten tail hair. On the underside of the curved teeth each one has its own blade, this allows the hair to be thinned as the rake is pulled through the hair. It also encourages the weak hair to come out naturally.
Smart Tails can thin and tidy thick unruly tails in moments and tidy existing tails giving a smart show ring finish without causing any discomfort. They are totally humane and guaranteed to work on the most sensitive!
Traditionally tails were “pulled” by hand to thin out the thickness at the top and sides of the tail to give definition and improve the shape of the hindquarters as well as provide a pleasing picture when the horse is ridden and “carries” the tail.
By pulling and thinning the tail in the traditional manner, meant taking several days to do it so that the horse did not get sore, or if done quickly, left the horse very sore, uncomfortable, and often very agitated. This would mean further tidying sessions becoming an issue and a risk to both the horse and the handler if the animal needed restraining.
In order to maintain a traditional look, Smart Tails make is so easy for anyone to create a beautifully finished tail, there will never be any sore or bleeding tails, the horse will be happy, and the handler will be safe. So why would you want to do it any other way now?
Firstly, select the grade of blade that you will need. A medium or fine blade work best when used on normal thickness, and regular tidies. For a tail that is coarse and bushy, choose a coarse blade and then finish with a medium for a tidy neat finish. Every horse is different, and every owner has their own idea on the finished look. Minimal tidying just for a little more definition but without looking like it has been tidied is ideal for Mountain and Moorland types who need to stay with a natural look. For the ridden show horse, a tail is expected to be very neat and tidy to enhance the overall appearance and be very defined when carried.
To get started you will need:
Smart Tails (choose the grade of blade to suit your purpose)
Mane and Tail Brush
How to create the look:
Use evenly both sides, doing two or three strokes down one side and then do the same the other, and then repeat. If you are doing a full tail which hasn't been pulled or trimmed before, do a bit each day over a period of a week or so, tail bandaging in between, so that you can judge just how much you do want to tidy. It is a bit addictive!
It is easier if the tail is a bit greasy and dirty, the comb will grip better, or wash first and tidy when still wet. It is also easier if there is a reasonable length of tail to thin.
1. COMB THROUGH
Thoroughly comb through the tail with a tail brush to remove any knots before starting.
2. LONG STROKES
Take the Smart Tails Comb and use it in downward strokes, and to the side of the tail, where you would normally pull.
Do not use it down the middle of the tail, leave the central top hairs long, the hair will lay better when tail bandaged and give the sleek, professional finish that you want to achieve.
3. HOW FAR DOWN?
Feel to the end of the dock and then go half to three quarters of the way down.
4. THIN THE MIDDLE
For thick tails you may need to tidy down the sides as well as including thinning the central part of the tail. Lift the top centre hair, and thin underneath, which will leave you a thinned middle part but leave longer hairs down the centre. Now… if you want to combine methods, you can get the worst done by using the Smart Tails and then use a mane comb and do the traditional back comb pulling, which will thin the tail in the normal way. It is a balancing act to get it looking even.
5. FINISHING OFF
Damp the hair down with a water brush and apply a tail bandage. Leave on for 30 minutes before removing to check the finish.
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