We all know that appearance should be secondary to performance, but looks do have an effect on first impressions. Research in humans has found that the first impression is made in three seconds. With such little time to make your preliminary mark, you’d better pull out all the stops in the show-ring. The grooming of your horse’s tail speaks volumes. It tells the judge whether you understand the particular grooming traditions within your discipline, whether you’ve paid attention to every tiny detail, and it shows that you have respect for the judge and the competition. Since tails are on show so much, a beautifully groomed one can score a rider much-needed brownie points.
**For the full article, pick up the May 2007 issue of HORSE ILLUSTRATED.**
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