How to keep your horse’s tail white!
- Tails can easily turn yellow due to urine stains. And wet bedding. And rolling around in the dirt. It’s always a challenge to keep a healthy, and clean, and white tail. Start from the inside out, with good nutrition. A common theme, that nutrition.
- If you have a mare, your task will be a bit harder than if you had a gelding. The jury is still out on if you should use a tail bag or not. Some say if the tail bag gets wet with urine, it just amplifies the stain on the tail. Others say the bag gets every last strand away from the urine stream. You can also loosely braid a mare’s tail at the top, so the shorter hairs don’t fall into the urine stream. More on that here.
- A lot of us like those blueing or purple shampoos, and have used them with success. They will, however, turn your tail lavender if left on too long.
- I will wash my horse’s tail about once every 2 weeks, or even longer, depending on the ick factor. I used warm water to wet the tail, a mild shampoo to lather, and I and worked from top to bottom, before rinsing with warm water. No matter the brand you use, I always suggest mild and gentle shampoo first.
- If you like a conditioner, try and choose one that rinses easily. I find that even a tiny residue can irritate the tail skin, and act as a magnet for dirt after the tail is dry. A rinse before and after shampoo with distilled white vinegar can help you remove stains and remove all remnants of shampoo. Although, some folks swear by apple cider vinegar as a rinse, too.
- For detanglers, I love them. They coat and protect the hair and will serve as stain repelling goodness. Most are light enough you can use them daily. You can do a deep conditioning treatment with a grooming oil, or you can use a silicone-based spray that doesn’t have added alcohol to detangle.
- Make stall cleaning a top priority. Not just for your horse’s respiratory health, but because fewer piles of manure and fewer wet spots make for cleaner tails.
Keep the tail protected from stains.
- If you find that you are tempted to use detergent or bleach or laundry soap on your horse’s tail, I BEG YOU TO RECONSIDER. This is a sign that your horse’s nutrition isn’t ideal, you need to step up your stall cleaning routine, and start to pay more attention to the tail on a daily basis. Detergents will strip hair and skin of valuable and protective oils, leaving your horse’s tail brittle, dry, and likely to break and soak up even more stains. For more on detergent, read this, and for more on household cleaners, read this.
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 EquiTone – Whitening 32 oz. – for gray and white tails.
Shapley’s Hi Shine Shampoo, 1-Quart – for tails of any color.
Shapley’s No.1 Light Oil – for deep conditioning and wind knot removal.