How to fix Matted Hair? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: South Carolina
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How to fix Matted Hair?

I went and spent time with Midna, my new horse today. I had stopped and bought a good brush and some Mane & Tail conditioner to really start brushing her mane and tail out.

I got her mane looking great, but her tail is so bad that it was as if she had dreads. Midna has some of the prettiest hair I have seen on a horse that wasn't a draft, her mane and tail are both really thick and long.

If I don't figure out how to get her tail unknotted I'm going to have no choice but to cut quite a bit of it off.

So do you guys have any recommendations on how else to untangle it? I cannot think of anything besides loading her tail down with conditioner and brushing the heck out of it.
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post #2 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 07:41 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NW Oregon
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Make sure you are using a good quality brush made for manes and tails. Hopefully that is what you bought. Show Sheen makes the tail hair slick and might be easier for the brush to work through. If the tangles are really that bad you might need to cut UP through the tangle (not just cut it off). That may release some of that matted hair so it can be pulled or brushed/combed out.
Hopefully others will have some good advice for you.

Sounds like an afternoon job! Oh...if you do buy Show Sheen, never spray it on the body of a horse you are planning to ride. Makes that horse slick as ice.

Welcome to the board!
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post #3 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: South Carolina
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The brush is made for manes and tails, it actually got more knots out than what I expected it to (:

Oh thanks, I'm glad that you responded! I would never have thought of cutting up. Although now it sounds like an obvious thing to try if it comes to cutting XD

You have got that right! It feels like it is going to be a week long job. Spent most of my day giving her a good ol' spa treatment. First time that my arms have been sore from mane and tail brushing.

I'll have to look into getting some Show Sheen, thanks for the heads up though.

Thanks, I'm really liking being on here so far it seems like it is going to be an amazing thing to have around for advice and all.

Last edited by ThisIsMyUsername; 07-31-2013 at 07:58 PM.
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 08:07 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
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Any kind of oil, or leave in conditioner will work, some work better than others, some are better for the hair than others. I often use cheap baby oil, and step one is to drench the whole thing, and let it soak.

Then for me a combination of fingers and a hoof pick to start teasing it all out. I have always started at the bottom and worked up, but I read a suggestion about starting at the top and working down, and that is very very easy.

Keep adding product as needed and using the hoof pick to tease bits out, and you will soon be winning. Only after all the knots are out do I brush, getting the oil or conditioner spread through the tail. Step back and admire the result, then if you are me braid and bag the tail!
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 09:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Michigan
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You need COWBOY MAGIC! Its a miracle product.

slather it on, use a ton if needed. Let it set for 10 minutes or so. And then start at the bottom and work your way up.

apply more as needed. Ive combed out some nasty tails. I mean ONE HUGE dread. I refuse to cut hair.
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: South Carolina
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I absolutely love this site XD

Grinning from ear to ear after hearing the suggestions I have been given! Thanks loads you guys (:

Going to have to get a picture of her tail after I get it fixed. It is so thick and nearly touches the ground. After my last mare who always had a really thin mane and tail I'm just tickled pink over Midna's.
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 10:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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This is from this Spring. CORN STARCH! This is what I wrote.
"This horse has a tremendously thick tail and he's inclined to rub at the base of his tail and make the worst rat's nest. Never have I seen such a mess. Over the winter I began picking at it until he became irritated. Little headway was made. It might have been on HP about using corn starch so I gave it a try. It works better than the silicone based products. I smushed it in then began pulling hairs on the outer edge and to my surprise they let go. I wish I'd bro't the camera. Half his tail hung down and the remaineder was a big thick bush, tightly curled like a perm. A little shampoo water relaxed the hair so it hung down. Tomorrow I'll give it a good shampoo and rinse and maybe thin it "
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Last edited by Saddlebag; 07-31-2013 at 10:19 PM.
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post #8 of 21 Old 07-31-2013, 11:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
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I've had my horse for seven weeks and just yesterday finally got his tail completely brushed out. I got a good mane/tail brush and I also shampooed and conditioned them before I got far. Sherwin had dreads in his mane AND tail. The tail was the worst I've ever seen. I would work on a small section once every other day or so and finally last night I just really saturated it with M&T combing spray and finally it was freeeeeee! :) Now I just wished the former owner hadn't pulled half his mane before giving up. :/
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-03-2013, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Colorado
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Initially, it does take lots of time and patience. Once you get it done, simple maintenance can keep it looking that way. Also, don't freak out at the amount of hair coming out of the tail as you are working through the tangles. It's normal to shed hair and without proper grooming those knots probably contain lots of loose hairs anyway. Leave-on conditioners work great to keep the daily tail grooming easier.
Post pics!
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-06-2013, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: South Carolina
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Thanks you guys! It's taking time but we are slowly but surely getting progress with her tail. Taking even longer because she really doesn't seem to like having it messed with.

You all have been a huge help! Already loaded some pictures up, and there will be lots more to come (;
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grooming , knots , matted hair , new ideas

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