The Do's and Don'ts of Tail Care
There are many myths surrounding horses tails and how to care for them and let's be honest, we all want our horses to have that lush fake tail look 24/7. But, many of us face the reality that some genetic lines are not necessarily known for having jaw-dropping tails. Don't fret though, regardless of your horses current tail condition there are numerous steps you can follow to ensure that your horse achieves and maintains the best tail possible!
Before I tell you about my tail care routine, let's talk about some less than ideal tail care practices that we should all try to avoid.
1) brushing a wet tail- this is one of the worst things that you can do for your horses tail as the hair follicles are more likely to be ripped out than when the tail is dried and sprayed with detangler.
2) brushing the tail from the top down- unless the tail is already conditioned and detangled, this will only get your brush stuck in a knot and break off strands of hair.
3) occasionally brushing the tail and not using any product- if you just rough brush the tail without any prep you risk doing far more damage to it than if you simply left it alone.
Now that we have covered some tail care red flags, let's talk about some really simple steps you can take daily to ensure your horses tail remains voluminous and well taken care of!
Once A Week Extensive Care
1) wash your horses tail just once a week- horse hair is very different from ours, and does not require daily cleaning. Shampoo will strip away the natural oils that a horses tail needs to remain healthy.
2) if you choose to use conditioner use a very small amount ( about 2 quarters worth at most) and work it into each strand of hair with your fingers. Try your best to avoid putting conditioner on the bony part of the tail as that will contribute to making the hair appear oily and unclean.
3) be thorough in cleaning both the shampoo and conditioner out of the tail- leaving either product behind can contribute to a horse wanting to scratch their tail. The goal when cleaning and conditioning the tail is to make it easier to brush through later on, but a horse who scratches their tail will only ruin the tail and tangle it even more.
4) before you even consider running a brush through the tail, make sure that the tail is completely dry from the roots to the ends.
5) after the tail is dry liberally apply detangler to the tail and even apply some on the brush- start brushing from the bottom, slowly working your way up the tail until all of the knots have be gently worked out. You may need to help work out a few knots with your hands as well, this helps avoid breaking off hair strands.
6) once the tail has been completely detangled run a soft brush over the whole tail- this adds a smooth finishing touch while also adding some extra volume to the tails look.
This is the most important part about tail maintenance and it doesn't require a significant amount of time to complete. By adding this to your regular grooming routine your horses tail will be the most well maintained and voluminous it has ever been.
1) run a brush through the tail starting at the bottom of the tail- gently work your way up the tail.
2) if you run into a knot try to work it out with your fingers or by gently brushing it first- if this doesn't work then you can add a minimal amount of detangler to the knot and work it out of the tail. It is important to not go directly to the use of detangler though, as you do not want to add excessive amounts of product to the tail.
3) run a soft brush over the entire tail- like stated above, this helps to give the tail a smooth touch and ensures that the tail is given a little extra volume.
By following through with these steps you will find yourself having to use products like conditioner and detangler less and less, instead you will be able to maintain your horses best tail without the use of products- which should always be the goal when taking care of your horse. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to direct message me on Instagram!