Tails are either wooden or horse hair.  A wooden tail is easy to make, just be sure that the grain works well for carving and strength. This is similar to the change in direction of grain on a bent knee.  Real horse hair tails can be bought cleaned and trimmed, ready to roll and stick in the hole. You can also buy raw tails for a fraction of the price and prepare them yourself.  To do this you must finish removing the tail bones and flesh, this isn't as hard to do as you might imagine. After this is done, trim the tail skin into a tapered shape. Wash the tail and roll it a bit while it dries. You might also want to trim the hairs too, use the razor blade shag technique.  Making the attachment peg is simple, take a piece of scrap wood and taper it to a smaller diameter than the rump hole, leaving room for the tail to fit in. Lightly tap it all in together, if you tap too hard and the peg is to big, you can split or crack the rump wood, be careful

Children are usually fascinated and sometime saddened when they hear that the horse had to be dead in order to get its tail off.  Older carousel animals, usually pre-1890, had horse hair tails, but as operators noted take they gradually disappeared, wooden tails became the standard.  Horse hair tails are still very attractive and I encourage their use when possible.

Side view showing two part assembly, joint and grain direction similar to leg operation.
Raw tail spread out and ready to roll and fit into tail hole. Hole is about 1-1/2" diameter.
Side view of rump with tail and peg.


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