How to untangle your horse’s tail
- Sometimes, for whatever reason, your horse’s tail starts to become inexplicably tangled. Wind, life outside, sticky grooming products, constant fly-swatting, burrs and sticker things, and even other horses eating your horse’s tail can lead to a tangled mess.
Here are a few general techniques to deal with tails:
- Brush every day.
- Never brush, only pick by hand.
- Keep braided.
- Never braid it.
- Keep in a bag.
- Never use tail bags.
Goop it up!
- Whatever your daily method of choice is, keep this in mind. Your horse’s tail will shed hairs. It’s part of the hair growth cycle. It’s normal. For more on the hair growth cycle of a horse, this riveting piece of writing has you covered.
But let’s just say that your horse’s tail is a wicked mess. How do you go about getting it back to smooth and silky-ness?
- Grab some conditioner or sheen product and go to town. Do NOT reach for the WD-40, this hot mess of mystery chemical madness has no place touching your horse. If you are not convinced, read this article about how toxic it is.
- Coat your horse’s tail in your product of choice. You may want to let it soak in for a few minutes. Then, get to work with your fingers and/or a super wide-toothed comb. Divide the tail into manageable smaller pieces. You may find that all of the conditioners also gives you a nice little manicure.
- Once you have some small and manageable sections, start at the bottom with your fingers or a wide comb. To prevent some yanking, hold the section of tail firmly and comb with your other hand. You can lay the section against your leg. Your pants will also be nicely conditioned.
Work from the bottom up with your brush or fingers. Hold the tail firmly above the brush.
- Slowly work your way up all of the sections.
- Now decide what to do with the conditioner that’s still in your horse’s tail. A rinse out would be fine, or you may want to start from scratch with a super clean tail, in which case get the shampoo out. Now it’s up to you to maintain the tail Products can keep the hairs sleek, but some can be dirt magnets.
Keep the tail silky, and the hairs will slide apart and reduce the number of tangles.
- Braids and bags can be useful – but during bug season, you may want the tail to be flowing freely. When using tail bags, be sure the bag is secured below the tail bone. Also, know that some mares manage to soak their bags.
What types of tail detanglers are out there?
- Sheen products are usually silicone-based. Some of them also have tons of additional alcohol, which eventually dries everything out. Magic Sheen skips that step, so the product isn’t drying, and you use a lot less of it.
- Grooming oils are deep conditioning and detangling in one step. You can use them as a tail hair mask, letting the oils soak in for hours or even overnight. You will likely need to do a mild shampoo to remove the excess if you use a lot.
- Conditioners act like they would on your own head. You will need to rinse a conditioner out, but you could leave it in for a longer time and rinse later.
I like the following products for tail care. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Does this cost you more? NO WAY! And thank you for your support!
Shapley’s No.1 Light Oil – for deep conditioning and wind knot removal.