No-Fail Tail Care: 9 Tips for A Long, Full and Healthy TailPosted on April 27, 2017
Wouldn’t it be amazing if every day was a good tail hair day? Fortunately, no matter what type of tail your horse was born with, there is hope. Which is why we’re spilling our grooming secrets on how to grow a long, full and healthy tail:
- Truly healthy hair can only come from the inside out. If your horse is not receiving a balanced diet that contains high-quality forage and properly fortified concentrates, no amount of magic moisturizer or regimen will give you the tail of your dreams. Sometimes, though, these components aren’t enough for optimal health and supplements containing flaxseed such as Omega Horseshine® should be considered. Before trying supplements, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian.
- Use the right tools. Combs and brushes will pull out or break off hair each time they are used. The ideal approach to detangling is to apply a product like Mane ‘n Tail Detangler and separate hairs by hand.
- Easy does it when it comes to brushing. Constant brushing can do more harm than good. So that’s reason enough to swear off daily brushing (besides the lazy factor and all). I suggest only fully brushing out your horse’s tail before a show.
- Technique is paramount. Never brush out a wet tail as it’s more elastic and likely to break. Place smoothing product in a clean wet tail and then allow to dry before detangling, starting at the bottom and working your way up for gentlest effects. If you use a brush, hold the tail hair tightly with your other hand above where you’re working to prevent hair pulls.
- Don’t overwash. Shampoo often enough to keep the tail from becoming filthy, but not so often as to strip off the natural oils, which will leave your horse’s hair dull, dry and lackluster. For best results, use a shampoo saturated with aloe vera like our pick from Lucky Braids and be sure to fully rinse all the suds. Apply a good conditioner, rinsing the dock completely but leaving some product on the tail hairs. Finish with a detangling product to increase the tail’s silkiness.
- Protect your horse’s tail while it dries with a slip knot. This way, he won’t be able to step on it and the hair will still dry quickly.
- Stimulate roots to speed up hair growth. Use a dandy brush on the dock of your horse’s tail daily to increase blood flow and remove debris that may cause an itch. If your horse is scratching its dock, determine why since parasites or bugs may be the cause.
- Fend off flies. Practice good fly-control measures to moderate tail swishing, which can lead to breakage and hair loss. Dexter wears a fly sheet all summer – it protects his tail head from UV rays and pesky gnats.
- Keep tails banged. Blunt-cut the tail straight across at or just above the fetlocks to give your horse’s tail a full appearance. When a tail is longer than the fetlocks, I’ve had horses remove large sections when getting up from rolling or unloading from a trailer.