Question 2. What happened to the horses’ manes and tails?

Free flowing manes and tails are a danger in polo because they can become entangled with players’ mallets or with the reins as the rider tries to control his horse.  Manes, therefore, are shaved and the ponies’ tails are wrapped or braided to prevent the hazard.  Wrapping or braiding long ago supplanted the crueler practice of docking (amputating) the horse’s tail near the base so all that remained was a short stump.