Your horse’s tail length and condition is determined by four factors; nutrition, their environment, genetics and the care you provide. Below are some tips to consider to get your horses tail in top condition.
1. Healthy hair comes from the inside out. If your horse is not receiving proper nutrition, no amount of magic potions or conditioners will improve your their coat, mane and tail. To ensure your horse gets the most nutrional value from his feed, be sure to maintain a good parasite control regime.
2. Rubbing destroys tails, protect your horse from anything that may cause their tail to itch. Keep your horses underbelly, sheath or udder and fold between the hind legs clean as itching in these spots (where your horse can’t scratch) can cause tail rubbing. Using strong cleaning products or insect bites can also lead to serious rubbing.
3. Don’t brush your horse’s tail every day, once a week is enough. Although it looks nice when it is brushed out, if you brush it every day, it will gradually get thinner and thinner. It takes years to re-grow each long strand of hair that is pulled out.
4. Use grooming tools designed for tails. Use only long, wide-toothed combs, starting at the bottom and comb out small sections at a time while working your way up the tail to minimise hair loss or breakage. Hold the hair firmly in your other hand while you comb so that if you hit a tangle you won’t pull the hair out.
5. Keep your horse’s tail clean and moisturised, but only wash when necessary. When washing, pre-mix shampoo with water as detergent residue causes itching if not rinsed thoroughly. Over washing will dry your horse’s tail causing it to tangle and break. If your horse’s tail is dirty or his skin is dry, he will rub his tail to relieve the itching that is caused by both. If you are showing and use gel or products to smooth down the short hairs at the top of the tail, wash the tail thoroughly when you are finished. These products are drying and may cause your horse to rub his tail to relieve the itching.
6. Use a tailbag. Tail bags reduce breakages and keep their tail protected from manure, sun, bedding and mud. Available in two types, Plait in (three tubes) and tie in (one tube) tail bags are designed to be used BELOW the dock.
Buggez Bugeyes makes both lycra plait in and tie in tail bags to prevent breakage, available in four lengths. Shop our tail bags.
As a safety precaution, stand beside your horse when you groom his tail, not directly behind him. Even if your horse has never kicked at you in his life, you never know when something might startle him.
Looking after your horses tail is an opportunity to spend quality time with your horse. With your busy life, you may not have time to hand pick objects out of your horse’s tail one at a time everyday, but you should still make every moment with your horse a quality one.