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Stolen: Manes, tails from Livingston Co. horses
Morning update
April 2, 2009 From Lansing State Journal

PUTNAM TWP. -- It sounds unbelievable, but it's not. Someone stole the
tails and manes from an unknown number of horses in Livingston County's
Putnam Township recently.

Livingston County Undersheriff Michael Murphy said the horse owners, who
live on Farley Road, reported to police Tuesday that their horses, an
exact number was unknown, had been assaulted by a thief or thieves who
stole the horses' tails.

Those responsible also used thinning shears to steal portions of the
horses' manes, the undersheriff said.

"The tails were completely cut off up to the nub," Murphy said. "They
didn't remove the whole (mane)."

The horse owners, who said the horses are not show horses, told police
that they had heard about stories of people cutting off the tails and
manes of horses, but hadn't given it much thought until a couple of weeks
later, when their horses' hair came up missing.

The tail is important to a horse. Bob Pasanen, owner of Cimarron Arabians
in Deerfield Township, said the horse's tail is used as a protective
shield by safeguarding delicate reproductive areas; and as a mechanism of
balance. A horse also uses its tail to swat flies in the summer months,
which is important because flies will bore into a horse?s hide and lay

The longest hairs from the manes and tails of horses are used for fabrics;
medium lengths are used to make bristles for paint, industrial, and
domestic brushes; and very short hair is curled for use as stuffing in
upholstered furniture and mattresses, according to Encyclopedia
Britannica. High-grade white horsehair is used for the strings of fine
violin bows, the encyclopedia indicates.
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