We all want our horse to have a thick, shiny tail, but achieving that can sometimes be difficult. Here are some tips and tricks to help your horse’s tail grow thick and shine.
From the Inside – Out
Horses, just like people, need proper nutrition in order to be able to grow hair well. Breed genetics play a part, but diet is important. Check what your horse is eating and make sure he has a complete, balanced diet. A supplement with Omega 3 fatty acids or B Vitamin biotin may help stimulate hair growth. Horsetail herbal supplement can be a great way to fortify your horse’s mane and tail as well – hence the name. However, pay particular attention to the right balance when adding extra vitamins/minerals into your horse’s diet. For example, too much selenium can be toxic, leading to hair loss. Consult your veterinarian or an equine nutritionist to make sure your horse’s diet is properly balanced.
Put Down the Brush!
Brushing the tail with a regular hair brush rips hair out. Instead, take a dandy brush and brush only the dock to stimulate circulation and draw the oils down. Then, take the time to hand pick shavings and hay out. Start in the stall and shake the tail from the top to rid any loose shavings (and keep your barn aisle clean!). Pick through the tail and use the MOISTURE MANIAC Mane & Tail Detangling Infusion to keep it slick, shiny, and moisturized day to day. Leave combing for shows only! When you do comb through the tail, hold the tail against your thigh and brush from the bottom up with the other hand. This is gentler on the tail and helps eliminate breakage.
If your horse is rubbing its tail, there is a reason for it (usually worms or a dirty sheath/bum). Have your vet take a fecal sample to determine worm count and create a worming schedule appropriate for your horse. Before and after riding, take a damp sponge (that you keep separate from others) and wipe your horse’s bum clean. Clean your horse’s sheath/teets regularly with SMEG-U- LATER All-Natural Sheath Cleaner and be sure to rinse thoroughly! If your horse is prone to sweet itch from the culicoides bites, protect your horse with a fly sheet and a non- irritating summer spray like SO FRESH & SO GREEN Equine Body Spray.
Because braiding puts stress on the hair, be careful and gentle when taking braids out (this goes for manes too). Be sure to cut just the yarn and not snip your horse’s hair out. When you do braid, use IN CONTROL Conditioning Mane Setting Cream. It gives a nice grip, is gentle on the hair, and smells amazing!
Shampoo, Condition, Massage, Rinse
Keep your horse’s tail clean bi-monthly (or as needed) by starting with the SQUEAKY GREEN & CLEAN Deep Cleaning & Conditioning Shampoo. Rinse and follow with the SILKY Rinse Out Moisturizing Conditioner for Coat, Mane & Tail. Massage the conditioner into the tail bone, let sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Do not comb through the tail, as wet hair is more prone to breakage. For intense conditioning and detangling, use the DE-STRESS Intensive Restructuring & Detangling Treatment. For grey horses, use BLINDED BY THE WHITE Total Body Whitening Treatment on manes and tails and let the treatment sit extra long to get ride of stains.
EcoLicious Grooming Guru
photography courtesy of : Danielle Maczynski
Kiira M. Lizza, 26, grew up as a working student for Olympian Nona Garson in New Jersey, USA. She attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY where she played polo and rode on the competitive IHSA team. After graduating with a degree in Management and Business, Kiira went on to work for equestrian luminaries Anne Kursinski, Amanda Steege, and Leslie Burr-Howard. Kiira is an amateur rider with a full-time job in NYC and spends evenings/weekends riding and focusing on becoming a better horsewoman with plans to ride professionally one day.