Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Review: Shires Arma Tail Guard + Bag

Brace yourselves for a metric buttload (lol puns) of pictures of Charlie's rear end. Because today I want to talk about the latest piece of essential equipment to join the team: the Shires Arma Tail Guard + Bag.

charlies face in this pic kills me lololol
pictured: just the tail guard, notice the bottom closure strap has externally facing velcro too
First, the Problem: Like many horses, Charlie will often, ahem, relieve himself while riding in a trailer. Usually multiple times. We're talking a veritable mountain of manure.

Plus, ya know, he's a big boy for even my over-sized trailer - and he frequently leans into the back bar of the trailer. Which, to give you the straight poop about the situation, means that after even only a moderate length trailer ride, his tail is absolutely saturated with schmeared shit.

like so.
pictured: the problem i want this tail bag to resolve
This obviously poses problems if you're arriving at a competition with minimal time before having to enter at A.

Tho... the absolute worst is going to a destination xc lesson or clinic or something, and trying to get studs in without being swatted across the face and body by poop dreads. Those greenish brown streaks reeeeally aren't the kind of flair I'm going for with my #rootd, ya know? And you all wonder why I wear dark colored breeches so often LOL...

sorry not sorry for posting a pic of charlie's other brown eye, exactly 3sec post poop. #dealwithit
the nylon sleeve attaches over the external velcro of the neoprene guard, and protects the whole length of tail in this exact situation
I've tried a few different solutions previously, with disappointing and/or messy results. So after seeing a friend use an older version of the above tail bag, it seemed to be worth a shot.

Details: This tail guard + bag shipped from the UK, and took a couple weeks to arrive. It cost just under $30.

behold, my hi-tech, state-of-the-art tailgating deterrent system
It arrived in two separate pieces - the guard and the bag.

The guard is made of a thick squishy neoprene with a rubberized inner surface. This adds grip to prevent the guard from slipping down the base of the tail. It also has an extra gel-like pad that extends up to the very top of the dock.

Four velcro straps make up the closure, and the whole thing is squishy enough that I think you'd have to make it prettttttty fucking tight to even slightly risk compromising circulation in the tail.

everything appears to still be in place after the ~30min trailer ride!
The bottom velcro closure strap also has velcro on the external facing side, which creates the connection point for the second component -- the bag.

The bag is basically a big long nylon tube that's open on both ends with a fairly wide slit and velcro at the top. You stick your hand up through the tube from the bottom as if you were doing a rectal exam, grab the tail, and pull it smoothly through the nylon tube. Then adjust the velcro at the top such that the slit (which I guess exists to make this process easier) faces away from the poop factory.

clean tail underneath! without any of the crimping you'd normally see with a tail braid!
It's easiest to put on the horse in two stages - first the guard, then the bag - rather than trying to do it all at once. I put the guard on right before the horse goes on the trailer, and then attach the nylon tube once he's loaded. The idea is that he's less likely to swish it off once he's already on the trailer. Maybe? Idk.

Because honestly my biggest concerns were first: over-tightening the guard on Charlie's tail; and second: whether the guard would stay in place or slip down to be lost on some anonymous country road in rural Maryland.

all that mess would normally be smooshed into my horse's tail. instead, i can just hose it off the guard!
So far, tho, it's stayed put. AND, it's kept Charlie's tail completely dry and shit-free. There isn't any absorption through the material -- not even any wetness or seepage. The tail comes out glossy, dry, and shiny -- without any of the crimps or weirdness you sometimes get from braiding. Plus, the guard actually seems to smooth it down a little bit.

As for cleaning the guard, couldn't be easier. I literally just hose it off haha. It dries quickly and somehow doesn't seem to attract or cling to any dirt or debris.

So.... Overall, I'm actually pretty pleased with this solution. Charlie has an absolutely gorgeous tail and I'm excited at the prospect of being able to show it off straight out of the trailer vs spending any time cleaning it up first.






17 comments:

  1. That's a pretty cool invention! Glad it's working so far! As someone who had to bathe their horse the morning of every.single.show ever, because if I bathed her the night before all I was doing was guaranteeing she'd lay in a puddle of pee and smoosh it around (and it was *worse* if I put a sheet on her to avoid this), I totally get this :-P

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    1. Ughhhhh for real tho. I still bathe the night before bc I’m a hopeless optimist (and my horse is the color of dirt LOL) but it’s always a tense moment hiking out to the pasture wondering what I’ll get....

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    2. I learned the hard way that you can still see urine stains on a dark bay with no white LOL

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    3. sad but true....! these nasty creatures lol

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  2. OMG I'm so glad it's working because the "before" to this situation sounds absolutely disgusting!!!

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    1. Dude. So gross. Charlie is legit so gross hahaha

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  3. Wow - a product that is reasonably priced AND works? Sounds like a keeper, esp. since green tail goo is not fun. In any way, time or place. lol

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    1. Lol for real I’m such a miser that even $30 felt steep for this sort of product but.... now that I have it, it feels totally worth it haha....

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  4. I am a fool and bought a gigantic trailer, so my horses always have like a foot of room behind them. Ive seen these tail guards and wondered wtf they were for but this review makes so much sense and is perfect.

    The 'flicked with a shit covered tail while doing studs' story is the TRUTH.

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    1. lol all the room in the world don't mean shit if the horse is gonna lean against the back of the trailer ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  5. Get a look at his arse.

    I have two white tails... might need this... if they ever went somewhere.

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    1. lolol it is a lovely big bay butt, if i do say so myself!! and yea, if i had to deal with a white tail there's no way i'd have been able to wait even this long to find a solution!

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  6. I haven't encountered this problem in my slant load, but I do use a Pro Choice tail guard that looks pretty identical to your top piece for longer trips.

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    1. honestly i never had this problem with my mare either, she was wayyyy too much of a princess haha. the guard tho definitely seems nice to have even as its own separate piece! but the bag is where it's at for nasty charlie LOL

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  7. Yep, I am buying this. Especially with Opie's glowing white tail lol. I've just been folding it in half and wrapping it with a polo for shows, but then of course you have a poop smeared polo which isn't all that fun either.

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    1. dude yes that's exactly it! i've used all manner of other less expensive stuff -- polo wraps, ace bandages, and those little spandex slinky things.... but then THOSE THINGS end up disgusting and nasty and i don't even want to touch them afterward, let alone clean them up. for me, the easy clean up is errrrrything haha. plus the easy on / off...

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  8. Charlie has such a love dad bod butt LOLOL That is super handy tho. I'll definitely keep that in mind for future use. And the streaks as part of your #rootd LOL I nearly spit out my coffee after reading that haha! Loved this post.

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