Figure 8 Alternative

Figure 8 Alternative

Fig 8

An ALTERNATIVE to braids....BIG HAIR and the BEAUTY of concealing nurturing. Nothing beats nature. So, how can we work with it for huge tails and manes?

This is a technique that comes from reiners. If you think about it, on the whole, western pleasure horses leave tails braided but need fakes. Reiners have huge tails. Here's why…

This is a figure 8 knot. The image is of an extra big for viewing ease. Successful grooms make several of these to sit at the base of the dock (tail bone). A huge tail may have about 18 or less. If they are too small or pulled tight, the turn of the hair prevents oils from sliding down. So, leave them in lightly. No taping or tightening. Loose. That way, you can leave them in a few days.

Here is the BEAUTY of this. If just the long hair is pulled up into the knots at the base of dock… the shorter hair can fall over the knots. SO, the tail LOOKS natural. You should not see the figure 8s. The hair flows. It looks like nothing is going on! Gorgeous. Smart. I love that.

More on naturally BIG TAILS & MANES.

This is how I personally manage tails so they get huge.

Special thanks to trainer Lucia Rittenhouse Montes at Rockleigh Equestrian Center, for sharing what she learned working for greats over so very many years.

Bio Pic

Ruthann Smith has spent a lifetime studying sound horsemanship- both as a groom for top international horses and as a renowned braider. Quietly twisting manes atop a ladder, she watched and learned in some of the best stables in the world.

As her passion for great grooming grew, Ruthann became focused on researching, collecting and sharing the best practices of the world’s keenest horsemen. Ultimately, Ruthann used her vast experience to develop exceptional equine grooming products to help raise the bar of horsemanship.

The knowledge she dispenses and the products Ruthann developed solve age-old grooming issues. Making quality horse care easier, they have received the highest honors in the equine industry*. Her Lucky Braids for Top Turnout coat care and braiding products are the best, most versatile, cost-effective and easiest solutions available on the market today.

Now Ruthann offers her LOVE, LOVE Guarantee. If not totally thrilled with a product she developed, Ruthann will refund you in full, regardless of where you purchased it.

It’s her life’s mission to empower horses by educating, motivating and equipping their people to be true horsemen. You can access Ruthann’s tips at: The Grooming Resource on, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and her Horsemanship Clinics.

*After testing 350 products, Lucky Braids All-In-One Horse Shampoo was named product of the year by Horse Journal, the “Consumer Reports” of the industry. They also named Lucky Braids Shampoo and Top Pick for greys and whites. Lucky Braids specialized braiding yarn also got stellar reviews.