LOTS of show sheen and brushing. I find (from personal experience) if I brushed it daily when I groomed and kept the knots out of if, it was thicker and healther. I use to keep them bagged but didn't find they looked as good as the ones I brushed daily. I also kept the bottom of the tail trimmed, I found that made a difference to the overall look as well.
I have zero experience with the white tails, I would love to know for future reference as well
And dye sun bleached tails!! We did about 15 tails, 2x per season. Put dye in tail (blue black for black horses, regular black for bay horses), put tail in shopping bag, duct tape handles around the dock. Let sit for 35-45 minutes. The cheaper dye works the best ($5/box, no name brand). We did this on our young horses too, although with them it was easier with two people. Have a wet towel or sponge with soap to clean up drips or swishes.
I put conditioner in often, even if I'm not washing. Any cheap brand. And I never ever use show sheen - way too drying. I use human detangler and only comb the tail when wet with conditioner in it, little sections at a time, starting at the bottom.
Only use white minx - other versions of the rinse will produce a yellow or gray cast in the tail. The rinse is temporary but definitely makes the tail shimmery white. My stylist says that a vinegar rinse before you put on the fanci-full makes it work even better.
Otherwise, I just braid the tail and keep it bagged in the winter to keep it cleaner.
If you have a gray, palomino, or other light colored horse, Cowboy Magic Green Spot Remover is a must-have.
Great tips! I used to use those tail bags but the tail bag I'm using at the moment is a no-rug bag. It attaches to the top of the tail using a small plait of tail hair. Since she doesn't always wear a rug (at the moment she is due to foal) this bag makes more sense.
I am definately going to try some of these hair products!
I come from Saddlebredland where long tails are the norm and the accepted practice is to keep them braided and bagged and to hand pick them.
Well, I don't like braiding and bagging. Unless we're deaing with mud, I've always believed it can cause more damage than leaving it loose. Plus, I like my horse's tail loose. I don't want to look at a stupid braided baggy.
On advice from some CoTH topics, I've begun using a lot of detangler after washing, and I brush daily, from the bottom up, using a wide flat Conair hairbrush. I bang it at ankle length. I wash it fairly frequently, whenever it becomes difficult to brush, with Quick Silver (it's white) and load on the Cowboy Magic.
My horse's tail is now thick and luxurious. When I do braid it because of mud, the bottom of the braid is just as thick as the top. It's beautiful!
No joke, this stuff is AMAZING. It got me through years of showing on the world's filthiest palomino... one of those who actively tried to be an appaloosa but despite his best efforts, this and Cowboy Magic kept him spotless
Growing up, I was taught to not brush the tail everyday. Only for clinics and shows. I don't do that anymore, as hair sheds naturally everyday, I find it better to brush the shed hair out and brush the tail bone to increase bloodflow and circulation.
I will wash and deep condition a tail, let dry, braid then loop it up and then vet wrap it up. I change the vet wrap once a month. You have to make sure the braided wrap is around 3"- 4" below the tail bone, and loop some baling twine at the bottom so your horse has a 'tail' to swat with.
This essentially keeps the bottom of the tail thick and even, instead of thinning and wispy.
We/I do not brush the tails out - they are hand picked carefully after washing and applying a detangler (show sheen or cowboy magic, etc) before a show/clinic/off the farm school. But our horses tend to have lush, thick tails and there are enough chores to do everyday without adding more to the To Do List every day.
The winter weather and summer routine is very similar - apply a few squirts of whichever detangler is handy 2-3x/week before riding or while grooming after riding. We bang our tails about even with the fetlocks (sometimes a bit above) as we do not the horse to step on the tail and pull hairs out when they are backing up - whether it is undersaddle or on their own time.
If a snarl or witches knot develops, then it gets attention when the schedule permits. No ill effects have popped up from doing it this way. FWIW of course!
ETA: We have youngsters that show in the local hunters for mileage, some event horses (the grey in the photo spent quite a bit of time a PDutton's for example, and they like a tail shorter than we do) but we mainly aim for FEI dressage horses. Tails are shortened evenly (banged) but not clipped at the top at all if a horse is in our care. We like a full tail from top to bottom.
So I think I got lucky with this colt's tail as its too half is white and bottom half is brown and black, BUT I just wanted to show a picture and brag.
As for the correct topic this is extremely interesting and lots of great ideas, but, how do you get a tail to grow? Say you have a sad looking tail, and want it to grow, what have you found that works?
I ony have babies and a broodmare right now, and as they obviously have shorter tails, but I want to help them get a goo foundation started, as I feel a horse's tail is extremely important to the over all picture at shows.
Also off topic sort of, where did you learn to braid tails? I feel I need to learn to show my babies on the east coast... And I'm horrid at it!
So here's the thing, the colt below a mother alway had a thick tail, until one of my youngsters chewed it off, but it never really grew back the way it was before... So she obviously had it genetically (and passed that along to him) but maybe not the food huh? I tried EVERYTHING!
I find it helps to NOT use show sheen very often. It dries out their fur/hair, especially if used frequently. I just keep it tangle free (brush a few days a week, pick out the worst tangles everyday) and use conditioner after they get a bath.
Originally Posted by pinecone
I can't decide if I should saddle up the drama llama, dust off the clue bat, or get out my soapbox.
I too was raised with Saddlebreds and Morgans, where tails drag the ground by the foot. But I have since changed my tail rituals since I don't need them to drag the ground anymore.
I wash the tail with Pantene. I make sure the tail bone is squeaky clean, then I rinse. If I'm going to put the tail up, I condition with a hot oil treatment and let the tail completely dry before I braid and put up usually in a sock. Some people use vet wrap, BUT be very careful using this, it does not breathe and if you braid and wrap the tail before it dries it can actually rot. I've seen tails rot off using vet wrap and I will not use on tails. If I'm not putting the tail up, I condition with Pantene. I spray the tail with a detangler/conditioner while the tail is wet. Let dry, then brush put with a hair brush. I do keep a daily conditioner in the dock of the tail - this the part that needs to stay healthy to keep your tails growing. I don't brush them out every day, usually just pick through them.
Yup. Our old broodmare's mane went to her point of shoulder and I had to trim her tail to keep her from stepping on it with her back feet. Her tail was never bagged or even brushed much during the 10 years we had her. She still had tons of mane and tail when she died at age 27. Her offspring all have abundant tresses and tails, too. Even the one that had his tail chewed off by a "friend."
OP, I don't know what to tell you. The tail in the picture you posted doesn't look bad to me. If you want one that looks like you're using an extension, then you'll probably have to get an an extension.
__________________________ "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
the best day in ten years,
you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."
I've had my wb mare for 3 years or so. I have never once needed to pull her mane (it's all of ~5-6 inches in length) and her tail has never really grown back after being gnawed off by her filly 4yrs ago. But she's as fat, happy, healthy as you get. ::shrugs::
Yup. Our old broodmare's mane went to her point of shoulder and I had to trim her tail to keep her from stepping on it with her back feet. <snip> Her offspring all have abundant tresses and tails, too.
And genetics can be funny. We raised two colts from one Saddlebred mare with two very differently bred Saddlebred stallions. Mare had no mane, average tail. Both stallions appeared to have average manes and tails.
Colt #1: No mane (as in pitiful wispy "foundation Appy" style mane) and a good tail that when we kept it up repeatedly needed trimming. Each year we would cut two feet off the end so it was manageable. Barely grows any feathers on his fetlocks or jaw.
Colt #2: Barn name "Hairy". Better than average mane and tail thickness, but long. Mane at the point of his shoulder, and tail always dragging the ground. And trust me, that tail was never once washed or brushed or maybe even touched. He was a life long pasture puff. Heck even the hair in his ears, jaw and his fetlocks were abnormally long. Not thick....long. Maybe he had some Black Kettle blood in him way back LOL!