Immediately after washing, my horse's mane and tail start to curl into long ringlets, kind of like dreads. I brush it out while wet, and try to separated all the locks, but one swish and it collects again. Her mane isn't quite as bad, as it's pretty short, but it also has the tendency, especially on the bottom layer closest to her neck. Suggestions to try to keep it all separated in strands and straight?
There's nothing really to be done about it. My Caleb is part Percheron and has an insanely curly tail. Trying to comb the ringlets out of a horses hair is about as useful as trying it on a human (it just winds up "poofed"). One good thing about the curls is that they help prevent the hair from getting damaged.
Well... My mare has a wavy tail and I personally love the way it looks when it's brushed out. However, it does love to turn into dreads if it isn't brushed out constantly.
I keep it braided constantly - from a couple inches below the tailbone to about four inches above the end. I find that the shorter the braided section is, the longer the braid will stay looking nice. When stray hairs start sticking out of the braided section, you start to see a lot of damage and thinning. And you always want to start the braid a couple inches below the tail bone so the braid stays loose and doesn't pull out the hairs from the root.
When I take out her braid (which I redo every 2-7 days, depending on how it looks), it looks nice and wavy but not dready. All the hairs are separated.
Have you ever tried the product called Cowboy Magic Detangle and Shine. I use it even on my own curly hair. It works like a charm. And if you happen to get a little much just towel off any excess. I apply to wet or dry hair.
BrewCrew - That should help some by making the hairs softer and less likely to stick together. You can also try a heavier product made for black women's hair, like Pink. That could help separate and straighten the hairs even more.