Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Roughing It

Horse tails on the black market

 


Believe it or not there is a black market for horse hair, actually a very large one at that. The clippings of mane and tails are used for many different things, including jewelry, belts, horse tack, pottery, and even hair extensions for show horses.

A tail is very important to a horse, their tail is their number one defense against flies and pesky summer bugs, and also horses take pride in their tails-have you ever seen a happy horse running through the pasture with their head held high?

Notice their tail too, how pretty it looks, it has the kink in the top when they are holding it high, blowing through the air, they are proud.

During horse shows, judges love long, well-groomed, flowing tails, almost, if not, touching the ground.

With all this in mind, tails don’t grow back as fast as you might think they do, depending on the horse, it could possibly take years to reach the length it was when cut.

Different colors of hair vary in price, black, browns, and reds, are the most common and don’t bring as much money but are still, of course, valuable. White and flaxen are not as common and those colors can range from $100 to $500 for one pound of hair, depending on the condition and length.

Within the past week, there have been several reports of tail cuttings all within about a 200 mile radius of Kimball.

These crimes have been going on for many years, mostly in the midwest, but over time started to spread across the country.

According to the Wyoming Livestock Board these crimes normally come in spurts across the states. In 2012, more than 100 tail thefts took place in several counties in Wyoming, during that time 62 of them took place in Natrona County Wyo., just within two months.

With the recent cuttings in our area, I wanted to give all horse owners a friendly reminder to keep an eye on your horses, especially with fair quickly approaching.

 

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