How to Fit your Calf's Tail
- Check your show rules before painting. The first thing you will be fitting is the tail. The tail is part of the rear quarter, which is an important view in the show ring. As you work on the tail to tease and shape it, be sure to have someone hold it so your calf can’t swish its tail. Also remember to use the appropriate color of paint depending on the color of your calf’s tail.
- Comb the tail out well, making sure it is free of rats, tangles and knots. 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. Plus, your calf will get used to you working on its tail and will do less swishing.
- Using a blocking blade? Pre-clip the tail by rounding it into a teardrop shape like you did during clipping at home. Remember not to take too much off; it should rest just below the hocks. Once you tease the hair, it will be the ideal hock length. Also remember not to cut the tail straight across, creating a sharp line.
- To tease the tail, pull the top layer of hair from behind the tail to the front, lift it up and have someone hold it. The remaining portion is the most important part and what you will be teasing (Figure A).
- Lightly tease this hair up with a show comb (Figure B). How much you tease it depends on how big you want the bottom of the tail to look. If you get it too big, it could take away from the muscle shape of the hind quarter.
- Spray the teased hair with Strong Adhesive and shape it in so it overlaps at the bottom and looks like a teardrop. You will need to alternate spraying and shaping until you get your desired look (Figure C). You will not see the inner teardrop when the tail is done, but it is what makes the tail look great.
- Drop the rest of the hair and comb it out evenly over and around the teardrop. Run your hands down the teardrop and press the hair into the adhesive so it sticks (Figure D) then lightly mist it and press again, remembering to spray the back as well. The tail should be narrower at the top and wider at the bottom.
- You are now done shaping the tail and you will notice it has a white tint to it (Figure E). Allow it to dry while someone holds onto the tail so your calf cannot swish and mess it up.
- Check your show rules before painting. Once the tail is dry, you will need to darken the tail up with paint using the same two-step process you did on the legs, tailhead and flank. Spray first with Base Black then follow up with Maxx Black for a show ring-ready tail (Figure F).