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Tail Bags for Horses: Why Use Them and The 4 Best

Last updated: April 26, 2022

By: Miles HenryFact Checked

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Horses frequently have their tails wrapped or tucked in a bag before a competition. However, when my friend accompanied me to watch her first horse show, she was surprised to see horses’ tails covered and wondered why people did this.

Owners primarily use tail bags to keep their horse’s tails clean and dry. The bags are also helpful when growing longer, healthier tails, protecting against sun bleaching, and trailering your horse. Be aware that tail bags reduce fly-swatting capability.

Tail bags come in various colors and styles so that you can find the perfect one for your horse. They are made from durable materials that should last for years. Most importantly, using a tail bag helps keep your horse’s tail healthy and free from dirt, dust, and other debris.

Picture of a woman brushing a horses' tail.

Best Horse Tail Bags

Washing and combing out your horse’s tail is often difficult and time-consuming. You have to deal with the danger of being kicked, walked on, or flicked in the face with a wet tail. And, of course, the stuff you have to get off that tail is nasty.

A clean and brushed-out horse’s tail looks great. So, whether you like it or not, you should take care of your horse’s tail regularly. And once that tail is clean, you want to keep it that way for as long as possible, especially before a show. Here are some of the best horse tail bags:

1.   Showman Lycra Braided Tail Bag

The Showman tail bag has a unique braided design which adds to the overall looks. It is available in six different colors. It is made of lycra and is highly durable. There is a drawstring top present on this tail bag for added security. It is available in 42-inch length and is suitable for horses with long tails.

It can hold the tail in place, and the tail bag is pretty comfortable to wash and reuse. The braided design decorates your horse for various shows and sporting events. There are smooth tail loops that allow you to work up or take down the bag from the tail.

2.   Mustang Tail Sack

This tail sack is a top choice if you are looking for a waterproof tail bag for your horse. If your horse has a braided tail, this tail bag will work pretty well with it. It is made of nylon and protects the braid and the hair from breaking.

This tail bag is suitable for use during the winter or fall season to protect your horses’ tail from getting muck or dirt. But it is not highly breathable due to its nylon construction. So, you may have to wash the tail of your horse a bit more regularly.

3.   Harrison Howard Tail Bag

This tail bag comes with a fringe and is an excellent choice for sporting events and shows. It is available in six different colors and is pretty lightweight and durable. In addition, the tail bag is made of nylon, so it keeps water off your horse’s tail.

It is also a high recommendation for braided tails. The bag will provide the ideal protection to your horse’s tail when it is clean and fresh. You can also machine wash this tail bag for easy cleaning and maintenance. The tassel fringe that is there makes a good fly swatter and will keep the annoying insects off your horse.

4.   Tough-1 Lycra Tail Bag

Here is another tail bag made of lycra spandex, and it is designed to ensure no hair loss. It is available in a pack of 6 assorted colors. And it will keep your horse’s tail nice and clean.

The tail bag is pretty simple to use as you will only have to tie it up with the tail of your horse just under the tail bone. Cleaning and maintenance of this tail bag are pretty simple, and you can conveniently machine wash it. It is a top choice for regular use. Plus, you can use it to decorate your horse for sporting events or any other show.

And this is when a tail bag comes in handy. However, finding the best tail bags for horses from overwhelming options can be daunting, so we developed this guide to sort things out for you.

Picture of a horse eating from a hay net.

What Do Tail Bags Do for Horses?

Tail bags keep your horse’s tail protected and clean. They also save you time and make life easier if you use one correctly. Groom your horse and brush out its tail, and place it in a tail bag.

Ensure that you keep the tail bag slightly lower than your horse’s tailbone. It will not irritate your horse, and you can maximize the protection of its tail. When you’re ready to ride, remove your horse’s tail bag and reveal a nice clean and brushed-out tail.

When Should They Be Used?

It is best to use these tail bags for your horses in the winter months and the muddy fall. The tail bags will keep your horse’s tail safe and well-protected. It prevents muck or dirt from sticking in the tail hair, and when you take this bag off, the tail is clean.

But you can use these tail bags in other seasons because it’s always nice to have your horse’s tail clean and looking good. You can also use these tail bags and wraps for shows and sporting events.

Some draft horse owners use tail bags in pulling competitions to keep the hair from interfering with the carriage riggings, others shorten their tails using a method called docking.

Some owners believe that binding your horse’s tail may allow it to move more freely. I can’t entirely agree with this proposition and think horses perform better without their tails in bags or wrapped.

We use tail bags when we haul horses to shows; the tail stays clean during transportation and reduces our workload once we arrive at the competition. The bags also protect the horses’ tails from rubbing against the walls of the trailer.

Are Tail Bags Waterproof?

There are different varieties of these tail bags available on the market. You can easily find a regular tail bag or a waterproof tail bag without any problems. Waterproof tail bags are as comfortable to use as any other type of tail bag.

But they have the added advantage of keeping the tail dry, tidy, and clean. These waterproof tail bags are available in different sizes and materials. If you live in a climate that sees a lot of rain or snowfall, it is better to go for a waterproof tail bag.

How Long Are Tail Bags?

Tail bag lengths can range from 36 inches up to 57 inches. But because there are so many sizes available, you can easily find the right one to match the tail dimensions you want or need.

There are different sizes of horse-tail bags available.

Short tail bags are suitable for the tail lengths parallel to the chestnut.

You can also find a standard tail bag size that goes up to halfway between the fetlock and the hock.

In comparison, long-tail bags are suitable for tails that reach the bottom of the fetlock.

But you can find tail bags for just about any size horse or pony.

There are also specially designed ones for large draft horses and miniature horses.

Picture of a horse with a tail bags

What Material Are Tail Bags Made Of?

Tail bags for horses are typically made of lycra. Lycra is a stretchy material that can hold a tail in its place. Most of these tail bags come with hook-and-loop closures and tapes to carry the tail bag. This closure is better than tying strings in a bow.

You only have to insert one end of this tape right through the top braid and fasten it. You can also make this tail bag on your own, as you will only need lycra fabric and a hook-and-loop closure or tape that you can purchase at various fabric shops.

Some tail bags are made of water-repelling nylon and are suitable for you to use during the wet season. These bags will keep your horse’s tail dry and clean for extended periods.


Having a tail bag for your horse might not seem like a big deal, but it’s one more weapon in your arsenal to save you time and keep your horse looking good.

The tail bags work pretty well if you decorate your horse for various events. Some of them are waterproof, while others are available in different colors. And the best part is that most of these tail bags are machine washable.

Below is a helpful YouTube video that provides tips on how to bag your horse’s tail.

YouTube video