New Poll-Should Tail Enhancers Be Allowed?

There has been so much discussion about whether ”fake tails” should be allowed in the Morgan breed that I thought we’d do a poll about it.  Vote in the right hand column.

 ***Last Poll Results***

It looks like the Forums have it…(Out of 66 total votes, 56 voted “Yes” to including forums on  We are presently working on them and hope to have them up sometime after OKC.  Thanks for everybody’s input!

22 Responses to New Poll-Should Tail Enhancers Be Allowed?

  1. Mocha Mom says:

    I wish you had an option to vote “maybe.” If I have to vote yes or no on the proposed rule change as written, I’ll vote no (even though I voted yes at the Jubilee Rules Forum.) I would vote yes if the proposal were expanded to limit the length of tail to no more than three inches ON THE GROUND. This would prevent tail accidents in the ring which would be a kindness to our animals. It would allow those with the inclination (or genes) to do so, to grow a very nice natural tail and those who want to (for a variety of reasons), to buy a nice tail.

    Hmmm, maybe I should propose a rule change…

  2. helkat says:

    Mocha Mom…
    You are on to something.
    I like the “three inches on the ground” idea for fake or real tails. You are right, it would prevent tail accidents in the ring.
    In all reality it might limit the amount of fake tails that would be bought because once you have a real tail touching the ground it provides the “look” that is wanted. A few more inches are not all that important at that point. The ones that would take advantage of the fake tails are the ones that should. Like horses with insanely short tails. I am blessed with long tails but if I had one that came to the horses hocks I would want to enhance his look. I would want to be known as the rider whose horse has an awesome overall picture…not a short tail.

    In my eyes it stands out the way a bad choice in fabric does on a horse or the way too much “bling” does. It just makes you focus on the negative and overlook the positive. I would not want that in a class…you are beaten before you go in.

  3. empressive says:

    I was hoping somwbody would set up a poll here. Last night at some God forsaken time I set up 3 polls concerning this on 3 other sites. I get updates on my phone and my phone has been vibrating off the hook! I am posting this right now on my phone and getting interrupted. Good Grief!

  4. cmbd says:

    Mocha Mom is definitely on to something. I really like that idea. Maybe it can be extended to six inches to keep the peace with those who like “long” tails. Thats an awesome idea though!

  5. ERTrue says:

    I like Mocha Mom’s idea as far as limiting fake tails to three inches on the ground, although I don’t know that I’d go for restricting natural tails. I can’t imagine being required to chop off several feet of my horse’s tail back when it was beautiful. It did get stepped on once by another horse though, and shortening the tail would have prevented that. I’ll have to think about that one. Legalizing fake tails only to a certain length would allow horses who have abnormally short tails for whatever reason to show without having to sit out a season or more while growing a longer tail. Because the majority of natural tails are probably already this length, everyone wouldn’t have to go out and buy an extra-long fake tail to fit in.

  6. denu220 says:

    I guess I’m the hypocrite here. I want natural tails only, but that’s because my horses have fabulously long, healthy tails that sweep the ground. BUT, if my show mare’s tail broke (which will all know it can) I’d be the FIRST one in line to petition for some sort of artificial extension… Soooo, I guess the partial switch idea is a very good one.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am totally against the fake tail idea BUT, if it were to happen, I think Mocha Mom’s length restriction would be a great idea- ONLY on the fake ones. The natural ones would have no length limit. That way, when we have a really, really impressive tail, you know that it’s real. It’s sort of a compromise in a way. The horses with no tail will be allowed a fake tail (of a certain length) but our natural tails could be as long as you wanted and they’d be recognized as natural because the fake ones wouldn’t be allowed to be that long. Good thinking

  8. Em says:

    My only qualm with the above comment is that wouldn’t it sort of defeat the purpose of having a fake tail- so that a horse who lacks a nice thick tail looks as nice and natural as possible? I don’t have any problems with limiting the lengths both, but only limiting the fake tails so you could tell the difference kind of takes away from the point doesn’t it?

  9. leslie says:

    I’d be for restricting tail length. I always feel so bad for those horses who step on their tails when asked to back, and it seems to happen constantly. It’s like punishing a horse for backing when you ask. But even with six inches dragging the ground that could still happen.

    I imagine a tail length restriction wouldn’t be very popular with exhibitors, though. And probably not officials either, because it would be a difficult thing to police. Would you have to take out the hoof ruler and measure the amount of tail dragging on the ground? And wouldn’t the length of tail on the ground vary significantly, especially if you’re into gingering your horse? I guess it could be worded vaguely (“Excessive length of tail shall be penalized”) but then it would probably never be enforced.

    It might be one of those things that will change when some BNT decides all the horses in the barn should have fetlock-length tails, and then the trend changes, not when the AMHA or USEF regulates it.

  10. empressive says:

    Tail length is a rather trivial thing. Especially when it doesn’t hurt anyone whether other exhibitors or horses. It is a nice idea but, a little controling.

    I almost expect someone to start controlling every little aspect of my horse care. Do this and that not that and this. Like a totalitarian government. Showing is supposed to be fun.

    Granted stuff happens but should we impose upon others our own ideas which do not concern the breed standard? No I do not believe so. Maybe some hair gets pulled out so what. It isn’t my horse and I flinch for only a second. Pinch me.

    Ah, thats my two cents. Oh yeah I put up a sort of poll asking other people outside the breed what they though about this tail extension thing did anybody want to know whats what?

  11. erikarose says:

    I like some of the ideas everyone one is coming up with, but my main concern is having the ring steward running around measuring every horses tail that might look too long. It just is impractical. They are busy enough with their job, it would be a daunting task, and adds even more danger to everything else they have to do. -

  12. ek says:

    okay, I have to weigh in on this. I have a friend who shows a paint, and the whole tail thing is just ridiculous. Consider this: fake tails are not just about length, they are about thickness and fullness. Once they are allowed, everyone will gravitate towards the thicker version. Naturally long tails will be a lot harder to find. (Why would you work all year to protect a “real” long tail when a fake one is right there when you need it?) The other thing I find mind blowing is the amount of time and energy spent on braiding the things in, and then watching to make sure they don’t droop or flip or whatever. What a waste of energy, money, talent. Morgans are better than that, and the exhibitors are better than that. Just say no.

  13. empressive says:

    Why do we have to conform? Can’t we be unique and different? Why should be lazy and what keeps us from maintaining our precious tails? Don’t people take care for their horses anymore?

    Yes things happen we all want to look our best but, shouldn’t our judges see past it? And if they can not isn’t there something wrong? There is so much pomp and pizzaz going into our showing and this is such a trivial thing. Why we shouldn’t even be discussing it!

    We work by the breed standard. Morgans have nice manes and tails, period. SO what some do not come out that way. They won’t die and horses most assuredly do not get embarressed because some mane or tail gets pulled.

    It’s us owners proud, egotistical, and vain selves that just have to look better than the next person and their horse. We have horse shows so we can show off. Why else would it be soooo expensive?

    Tell me how many “Morgans” have thin tails and manes what is the “average”? Shoot count for me how many you have seen in your whole lifetime in this breed like that? Then count how many did have nice thick, luxurious tails?

    We are known for being one of the most natural breeds around. Why should we change why should we conform? To every other artificial breed of horse and lie in bed with them? I like being unique and different too!

    My horses manes get stepped on and pulled out and rubbed off too. But I am proud to be a Morgan owner of a breed that God Himself made to help create almost every breed in America.

    I know this is a little on the vindictive side but, it is not like anyone will read it so there. (Sheepishly mutters, “Sorry”)

  14. denu220 says:

    I like the compromise idea—no restrictions on natural tails, only switches or actual extensions.

    >>>>>>>You didn’t hear it from me, but I wouldn’t worry about the ringmaster policing length…they don’t do it with *ginger* in the tail area…so I can’t see them having the time or resources to go around measuring tails.
    Measuring hoof length after a championship is another matter.

  15. GraceMorgn says:

    Maybe I misunderstood the above comment, but is it now illegal for Morgans to be gingered?

  16. denu220 says:

    Well…I once had my horses with a former president of the AMHA (not Mike Goebig) and, yup, it was illegal ten years ago… I remember him saying something about no judge going down the line with a gloved hand checking for ginger (and he was quite a famous judge himself). I’m not AWARE of any rule change now making it “legal” to use ginger, but someone who studies the rule book a lot more than I do may know. Sadly, I know the Saddlebred rules better than those of my now chosen breed…

  17. KarenL says:

    Tails carried “unnaturally” are supposed to be penalized. The rule that made ginger illegal was revoked several years ago mostly because it was unenforceable- there was no blood test or otherwise to prove guilt or innocence.
    I don’t use ginger on the horses I work with. Either they carry their natural tail nicely, or they don’t. I think horses standing still, looking bored at the front end, look absurd with their tails sticking up in feigned “animation”. While I understand the arguments for tail augentation for horses that have unattractive tails, I see inches turning into miles. (such as what happened with bands “oh, they are for the occasional horse that has a problem that’s getting over it, blah, blah, blah” but then we see horse after horse (often all from the same barn) with bands on- they really all have problem feet?!?) What next- what if my otherwise fantastic performance horse has a less than stellar crest- why, I’m going to get it surgically enhanced to look nicer! And then there my other horse who’s eyes just don’t quite pop the way I’d like… I’ll get a face lift to really open up those lids! Sounds absurd (and a little paranoid, I know), but bands & now hair are just a foot in the door….

  18. denu220 says:

    Thanks for the clarification, KarenL. That was the whole point—the ginger thing was unenforceable and I don’t believe the artificial tail thing can be effectively policed, either. You hit the nail right on the head; if the tail carriage LOOKS artificial, then it probably is…
    (a good ginger job won’t make the horse look like he/she has a broomstick up the back end)

  19. tailman says:

    I just want everyone to know that the artifical tail thing is no big deal. It’s not doing anything to thier motion or head sets or manners witch they are judged on. A nice long tail on a morgan is just a finished look.Maybe people should worry more about a finished look than a tail thats just been pulled out of a braid and not dipped or picked threw,that looks real good.

  20. kg52 says:

    Thanks tailman- because none of us knew that a tail doesn’t do anything to a horse’s motion or headset or manners. Thanks for letting us know that it’s “not a big deal”
    good thing you told us because we were all so lost before. That was our only hang-up

  21. Black Eye Beth says:

    Hey everybody…Let’s try to please keep this constructive. I realize everybody has their own opinions but getting snotty to each other isn’t particularly helpful. If you want that sort of action, please go over to the Yahoo groups.

  22. Black Eye Beth says:

    Poll Update:

    Looks as though the majority of you do not want any tail enhancers allowed. Of the 156 votes, 69% of you voted “No” while 31% voted “Yes”.

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