wikiHow to Apply a Horse Tail Bandage

Three Parts:Applying the BandageRemoving the BandageKeeping Your Horse’s Tail Healthy

Your horse might need its tail bandaged for a number of reasons, including travel safety and protecting a mare when breeding. Ensuring horse tail bandages are applied properly is important, as tail bandages that are applied incorrectly could lead to serious complications.

Part 1
Applying the Bandage

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    Use only tools and products that are meant for your horse’s tail. Don’t use products meant for humans, like human hair brushes. Use a wide-toothed horse comb to comb out your horse’s tail and gently remove debris and knots.[1]
    • You might even consider using only your fingers to detangle your horse’s tail. Combing and brushing could cause hair to be pulled out, which could hinder the growth of your horse’s tail. Try a detangling product and your own two hands as an alternative to combs and brushes.
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    Gather your supplies. Use a gauze tail bandage. Make sure that when you begin, the straps, Velcro, or tape of the bandage is properly rolled inside, so that when you unroll it as you apply it, you will be able to properly tie or secure the bandage.
    • Get a wet brush and a small bucket of water. You will use this to dampen the hair at the very top of the horse’s tail before applying the bandage. Brushes meant specifically for using while wet on horse tails and coats (also called wash brushes) are available online or through your local tack store.[2]
    • You may want to use your horse’s stall door to protect yourself from being kicked. If you are concerned about being kicked, stand outside the stall door with your horse backed up to the door, and reach over the door to apply the bandage.[3]
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    Use the water and wet brush to dampen the top of the tail. This will do a few things: flatten the hair and allow for you to lie the bandage flat against the tail, and also keep the bandage from slipping down the tail.[4]
    • Make sure you don’t make the tail too wet. You just want to dampen the hair enough to flatten it and clean it. You could clean the tail and brush it out properly prior to applying the bandage, as well. Keeping the hair under the bandage free of dirt and debris will minimize any irritation the horse might experience when wearing the bandage.[5]
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    Place the end of the bandage underneath the tail. Start very high up—as high as you can. Bring the corner flap of the bandage around the front of the tail. Then, wrap the bandage around to secure it in place.[6]
    • Angle the corner of the end of the bandage up toward the top of the horse’s dock (tailbone). This way, when you wrap the bandage around, you will have a corner triangle piece sticking up. Fold this triangle down over the wrap, and wrap the bandage around again over that triangle. This will secure the bandage in place.
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    Continue wrapping the rest of the bandage around the tail. Overlap about 2 or 3 centimeters of the bandage with each pass. Make sure you are putting even pressure on the tail as you make your way down. Uneven pressure or tightness of the bandage could put unwanted pressure points on the tailbone and cause irritation, or constriction of blood vessels.[7]
    • Your wrap should reach the bottom of the tailbone. You should be able to feel where the tailbone ends, but it is generally about three-quarters of the way down the tail. If you still have some bandage leftover when you reach the bottom of the tailbone, move back up the tail with the remainder of the bandage. Just be sure not to let the bandage bunch up or apply extra pressure in certain spots.
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    Secure the bandage. Most horse tail bandages will come with straps sewn into the end, or velcro fasteners. Tie straps into a bow and gently tuck the loose ends into the bandage to keep them from coming loose.[8]
    • Don’t tie the bandage too tightly. This will cause a pressure point on the tailbone, or potentially hinder circulation of blood vessels in the tailbone. These can cause serious complications. Take care when securing the bandage in place. You should be able to lift the bandage enough to get one finger underneath it. If the bandage is bunching up anywhere, unwrap it and start over, taking care not to let it bunch up.

Part 2
Removing the Bandage

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    Pull the straps out from where you tucked them into the bandage. Untie the bow, and make sure the straps are completely undone. If you tied the knot too tight, carefully use scissors to snip the knot open.[9]
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    Start to gently pull back on the bandage. Tug the bandage down towards the end of the tail. This is why it is important that you completely undo the straps or fasteners. Once you get the bandage down from the top of the tail, it should slip off very easily, almost like a tube.[10]
    • Don't remove the bandage in one go as described if you have bandaged over a plaited tail. The bandage must be unwound. Trying to remove it in one go will ruin the plait and may cause discomfort to the horse.
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    Comb out your horse’s tail. After being wrapped in a bandage, be gentle with your horse’s tail when brushing. If the bandage was too tight or had any bunches in it, it may have put pressure points on your horse’s tailbone, and his tail may be sensitive.
    • Give your horse’s tail a thorough inspection for any signs of injury after removing a bandage, especially if it has been on for a prolonged period of time. Locate any sensitive spots on the tailbone, and check for bald spots.[11]

Part 3
Keeping Your Horse’s Tail Healthy

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    Keep your horse out of the pasture or paddock if his tail is wrapped. He may get the bandage itself caught on a fence post or gate, and this could have a damaging result. If your horse’s tail is wrapped, it’s best to keep him in his stall until you remove the bandage.[12]
    • Your horse may get the bandage on his tail caught on something and, as a result, become startled or panicked. He could potentially pull to free himself, and the pressure put on the bandage could injure his tail.
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    Watch for signs of rubbing. If your horse’s tail is irritating him for some reason, he may rub his tailbone against stall doors or fence posts. If you notice this behavior, make sure you identify the source and work to remedy whatever is irritating your horse’s tail.[13]
    • Pinworms are a common cause of tail rubbing. These are a parasite that lives in the horse’s anal area. Its eggs cause irritation and itching, which will then cause the horse to rub its tail for relief. A vet can diagnose this problem. Treating this issue is as simple as implementing and maintaining a deworming routine.
    • Treat any hotspots that rubbing may have caused. There are special creams and sprays that you can apply to any hotspots that might develop on your horse’s tail as a result of rubbing.
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    Keep your horse’s tail clean. Dirt and debris in your horse’s tail could lead to irritation, and consequently, could cause him to rub. By keeping your horse’s tail clean and moisturized, you can minimize the amount of irritants.[14]
    • Try using an antibacterial shampoo. These types of shampoos will better kill and eliminate common types of fungus and bugs that often cause skin irritation when caught in your horse’s tail.


  • Avoid circulation complications by not leaving tail bandages on for too long.
  • Never ever forget to remove it, otherwise your horse might try to rub it off and may damage its tail.
  • Always be careful around a horse, no matter how much you trust it.

Things You'll Need

  • A tail bandage
  • A wet brush
  • A bucket of water

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