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Braiding in a Tail Extension with Braided Horsehair Ties
You can braid in a tail extension anywhere from the lower third of your horse’s tail bone down to the end of the tail bone. Where you position the tail extension on the tail bone depends on how long you want the extension to hang – braid the extension in lower on the bone for a longer tail, braid the extension in higher on the bone for a shorter tail. We suggest hanging the tail extension no lower than the point of the fetlock – any lower and you run the risk of your horse stepping on the tail extension.
The first time you use your tail extension, wash and dry it for maximum fullness. Your horse’s tail should also be clean and free of tangles. Reach deep into your horses’ tail hair in the area where you want to attach the tail extension, and section off a portion of tail hair about as thick as your little finger. Divide that hair into three sections for braiding. You will add the two horse hair ties from the tail extension to two of the three sections that you are going to braid. Begin braiding the three sections of hair, incorporating the horse hair braids into the braid. BRAID TIGHTLY, and braid in a downwards direction, so the braid will blend into your horse’s tail.
After you have crossed over two or three times, stop and pull on the horse hair braids of the tail extension – this will bring the top of the tail extension up snug against your horse’s tail bone. It is very important to keep the top of the tail extension up against the tail bone – if the extension hangs down away from the tail bone, it can swing free on it’s own, and separate from your horse’s own tail hair, causing a pendulum effect with the tail extension.
After you have pulled the horse hair braids snug, continue braiding (tightly!) until you are one or two inches from the ends of the horse hair braids. Holding firmly onto the end of the braid, use two banding rubber bands in a coordinating color to tightly band off the end.
At the 10 o’clock position at the back of the tail extension, separate a small section of hair from the top of the tail extension. Take the same amount of hair from your horse’s tail hair, split it in two, and braid the three sections together, tightly braiding down about two inches. Band off the braid. Make the same type of braid at the 2 o’clock position at the back of the tail extension. These “stabilizer braids” will offer extra stability, and keep the tail extension centered. Stablizer braids are a must if you are braiding in a weighted tail extension. The additional weight of the extension needs to be supported by more than your main braid. Using only one braid can cause the weighted tail extension to slip free from your braid, or pull out the hair from the tail bone. Use your stabilizer braids!
To secure the three braids between the tail extension and your horse’s tail hair, part the tail extension in two towards the top of the tail extension. Pull your first braid through the opening, and band it together with your 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock braids at the back of the tail extension. This hides all your braid work between the tail extension and your horse’s tail hair, creating a smooth, tight look. Your tail extension should be up snug against your horse’s tail bone. Brush through your horse’s tail and the tail extension to blend all the tail hairs.