Balling a Tail
When starting the grooming process on your calf, it is important to begin with your tail. Doing so will eliminate any overspray you may get from fitting the legs. This also allows the tail to fully dry.
Preparing the Tail
The first step is to comb out the entire tail with a brush or comb. The more you comb out the tail during daily care, the fuller and nicer it will look and the less teasing you will have to do. This will also help your calf get used to you working on its tail. We do recommend using the Wide Range Brush since does comb easier than other brushes. While holding the tail hair near the tailbone with one hand, slowly comb the hair in a downwards direction. It is possible that this can aggravate your calf, so this will help by minimizing pulling on the tail hair. Once this is completed, separate the top layer of the hair around the tail. Either have a helper hold this hair up or you can use a tail clamp to hold this out of the way while finishing fitting.
Teasing the Hair
Your goal with the remaining hair is to create a teardrop shape by teasing the hair and using adhesives. While working with small sections of hair use a show comb or pinch pieces of hair and push them up towards the roots. Once this is accomplished, hold the tail out from the body of the calf and use firm adhesive around the ball of the hair. Make sure to keep the top layer of hair separated from this. To shape this ball of hair, you can touch your thumbs and fingers together to make a circle. Place your hands around the top of the hair you teased and push down through the tail. Pressing the hair into the adhesive will help it stick. Then lightly mist it with adhesive, remembering to spray the back and bottom as well. This is going to create a uniform shape. After spraying this hair with Firm or Strong Adhesive, roll the can around the bottom of the tail. This will help round off the bottom of the tail without having the hair stick on your fingers. The tail should now be sitting at the hock and be about the same depth as the chest floor of your calf. After spraying another coat of Firm or Strong Adhesive, wait for it to fully dry before moving on the top layer of hair you have separated.
Finish it Off
Now you can release the hair that was separated and comb it out with a slicker brush. Since the teeth are much shorter than a regular comb, this will help prevent you from combing into the teardrop you just created with the hair below. After combing and working the hair so it covering all around the tail, spray it all with a light coat of Firm or Strong Adhesive. Using your hands, press the top layer of hair into the tail ball you already made. You can use the same can technique as above to help tuck in the loose hair. Now your tail should have a teardrop shape! Depending on show rules, now you can paint the tail. Remember to give your adhesive time to dry. If you apply paint while the adhesive is wet, this will make your paint look wet.
Products in this article:
Wide Range Brush