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3 years ago

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At what point do you bob a horses tail.Is it normally done by a vet un. How long to healder anisthesia

Klaus Karbaumer says 2016-04-11 21:00:23 (CST)

It is not at all necessary to bob horse tails. That is a cruel and stupid relic of old times, when people didn't think much about the welfare of the animals, just their own concerns. There were actually two reasons: One was, that the short tails made it hard for the horses to catch the lines with swishing tails, especially in multiple hitches. But with the right position of lines and attentive teamsters that can be avoided. The other reason was that the hind quarters of hitches looked more massive when the tails were docked. On many hayrides when asked about the custom of docking I joked " farmers just liked to look at big rear ends".
But horses have those long tails to swish at flies over parts of their bodies they can't reach with their mouths. When horses are hitched and working the long tails are even more necessary since we do not allow them to turn around.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Koty says 2016-04-12 06:30:32 (CST)

Klaus.... 100% on the mark. An old and barbaric technique. Should never be done except for a legitimate medical reason, then only by a veterinarian.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Sharon says 2016-04-12 06:53:46 (CST)

While Klaus has some very valid points, I still do like the look of a NICE docked tail. It has become very much frowned upon by nearly everyone except the show folks now. A full draft horse tail is a chore to keep up. A tail does not need to be docked so short that you can't grab hold of it to put a crupper on. I once bought a mare that was docked, but I didn't know it for a couple weeks after I got her home. She had been docked long and grew a good tail. I mated her with a mare that had a long tail, and I could trim the two to the same length and nobody would know one was docked and one wasn't. But the docked mare was sure easier to keep her tail looking good. Most folks who dock use castrating bands and I believe it is done shortly after birth. I myself have never docked one, although I did watch a vet "amputate" the tail on a mature hackney stud at a training barn I worked at. At the time I didn't know that typically they were banded and I thought, "wow, do they have to go through this with every horse they dock??" If you do choose to dock, leave them enough to grow a bit of a tail.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

hayburner says 2016-04-12 12:34:46 (CST)

IMHO docking is not necessary or desirable. As noted, horses do much better when they have tails long enough to swat flies. My Belgian Fabio's tail is docked extremely short and he does suffer from biting flies during hot weather. My Percheron was also docked but significantly longer and wasn't bothered quite as much. For those who are concerned about keeping longer tails from tangling, the upkeep is just part of normal grooming and takes just a few minutes when done regularly. I may be mistaken but I think docking may be illegal (or at least frowned upon) in Europe. This issue is similar to current opinions about declawing cats: painful, debilitating and unnecessary.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2016-04-12 19:25:51 (CST)

Hayburner, you are right, in most northern European countries docking is illegal, but I also think a number of the States. do not allow it any more.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Dusty 4R says 2016-04-12 21:29:34 (CST)

Never necessary to dock. They need their tails and I can guarantee you my dog with a tail can out run your dog of the same breed with no tail. They need it for balance , and strength imo if you use a Yankee britchin . A tail is no work unless you want to. I never spend any countable time on tails. I heard if you cut your big toe off you have to learn to walk again, because you NEED it. Any volunteers to cut their big toe off to see if that's true? I'll wait here.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2016-04-12 21:44:37 (CST)

My colts were born on my farm. They both have their tails. The gelding that I bought has a docked tail. I let his hair grow as long as it grows. It is usually about 4 inches above his hock. I keep my other two geldings that were born on my farm, tails trimmed to match the one that is docked. I have no issues.

I stand with Klaus and Hayburner on this subject. There is no reason to dock tails. It is a barbaric procedure that is mostly to satisfy man's vanity.

The fastest way for the process to be abandoned, would be for the judges at all the BIG shows to start docking points for docked tails. That would stir up a discussion !

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Bertie says 2016-04-13 06:13:21 (CST)

Why is it, that no one really reads the question any more? It didn't ask for everyones opinion, they are asking for information.
The opening post, might not be asking because they are going to do it, they just might be wanting to know how its done.
If someone asked for your opinion, or for your experience give it to them, if they don't ask for your opinion, or if you don't have the experience, hush and maybe learn something.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Jim Horton says 2016-04-13 13:31:21 (CST)

Thanks a lot Bertie. I was asking for info. I have a barn full o Quarter horses but no drafts sadly. I really like Haflingers but their tail are long

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2016-04-13 19:52:36 (CST)

Now, now, so it's not alright to give an opinion, just the information. Well, I think I gave some pertinent information about the historic reasons for the procedure, but also my opinion. The opinion was also based on facts. All of us, who responded here condemning the docking have the horses' welfare in mind. What's wrong with that ? I wouldn't say to a person to hush just because I don't like what they say. Maybe I just like others here do not want to give information how to do a procedure which I do not approve of?

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Sharon says 2016-04-13 23:03:16 (CST)

I was responding to the other responses as much as anything, but I DID tell you what little I know about the procedure. Docking done by banding shortly after birth, mature horse required amputation. It appears you won't get any more detailed information than that here. If there is anyone locally that docks tails, I'd start there.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

BrianL says 2016-04-16 12:59:42 (CST)

There are currently 14 states that regulate tail docking in some form. Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Washington prohibit the docking of a horse’s tail. Connecticut, Michigan and South Carolina prohibit tail docking of a horse unless it is determined to be medically necessary by a licensed veterinarian. In New Hampshire, permission must be granted by the state veterinarian before a licensed veterinarian may perform a tail docking procedure on a horse. Illinois prohibits the tail docking of a horse unless it is proven to be a benefit to the horse and California prohibits the docking of horses’ and cows’ tails except in emergency situations.

The AVMA encourages the elimination of tail docking in all states, except when done for a valid medical reason.

As for the EU, the Animal Welfare Council of Belgium conducted a review and concluded that tail docking was not necessary for draft horses. Consequently it supported a national ban. Docking has also been described as cosmetic in veterinary literature, indicating that it is a non-medically necessary procedure.

Docking is banned in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners policy states, in part, that: “The American Association of Equine Practitioners is opposed to the alteration of the tail of the horse for cosmetic or competitive purposes.”

This should provide you with sufficient objective information.

Now for my opinion. Mutilation of an animal for aesthetic reasons or for the sake of convenience is ethically wrong and barbaric.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

NoraWI says 2016-04-18 08:58:59 (CST)

Well said all. I particularly resent and object to anyone trying to gag responses to a post. I believe that this is (used to be?) a country where free speech was valued greatly. Once a question or comment is posted, all opinions as well as fact should be welcome. Let the original poster wade through and sort the responses according to relevance.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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