This malaphor was spoken by Jean Quan, the mayor of Oakland, and appeared in the October 2012 issue of San Francisco Magazine. She meant to say “toot my own horn” (brag), and I think mixed that up with “take my hat off” (pay respect to someone or brag on them), but it could be just a mix up of the visual at a birthday party with party hats and horns. “Feather in one’s cap” also comes to mind, as well as “tip my hand”. Any other suggestions out there would be welcome. A tip of the toque to Mike Kovacs for spotting this one.
This visual mash-up mixes “take the bull by the horns” (confront an issue openly) with probably “has the world by the tail” or “has a tiger by the tail”. Heads and tails are part of the confusion, and I don’t think either end is preferable. Thanks to Joseph Newcomer for sending this one to me!