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How to Bang a Horse Tail

Tidy your horse's tail for a super sport horse look with step-by-step photos and instructions.

April 2008

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What sets apart the pros from the amateurs? Often it’s the little details. Learning how to properly trim and bang a horse’s tail can give you that polished edge you desire in the show-ring. Banged tails are a popular "hairstyle” in dressage and eventing, and are becoming more common in many western events. The length can vary from the fetlock joint to the bottom of the hock, depending on the natural length you have to start with. In western classes, it is common to see longer squared-off tails, a couple of inches above the ground. A trimmed dock is seen almost exclusively in eventing and dressage. Here are some step-by-step tips to show you how to trim and bang a tail yourself: 

Bang a Horse Tail Step 1
1. To bang the tail, have an assistant hold the tail up to where the horse would carry it in motion.

Bang a Horse Tail Step 2
2. Hold the hair together and run the clippers across the bottom to square the end off.

Bang a Horse Tail Step 3
3.  To shorten the dock hair, blend carefully, clipping in the direction of hair growth. It helps to steady the clippers against the horse’s hindquarters.

Bang a Horse Tail Step 4
4.  You may also choose to edge the long hairs on top a bit. Keep blending for a smooth transition.

Bang a Horse Tail Step 5
5.  The hair has been shortened in a small crescent along the side of the dock, down to the natural breakover point where the horse carries his tail.

Bang a Horse Tail Step 6
6.  The finished tail: banged and trimmed.

How to Braid a Horse's Tail >>

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Reader Comments

MS    Browerville, MN

5/16/2014 7:35:28 AM

I wish they had better descriptions of these, or information about other ways to trim a tail.

KTd    International

4/24/2014 5:02:24 PM

Haha. I did this and it looked great!!

jj    po, AL

10/29/2013 8:31:15 PM

"How to bang a horse" lol

Annabelle    garner, NC

3/24/2010 5:46:43 PM

the term bang comes from the old fasioned method of useing a wooden block and knife/ ax like thing whare the tail was held against the blade then the block was "banged" aginst the tail giving a strait edge ...nowa days we have clipers XD

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