Thick, Healthy Tails

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Thick, Healthy Tails

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  • Horse with dirty tail hair falling out

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    12-16-2013, 04:35 PM
Thick, Healthy Tails

Hello everyone,

I have asked people before how they get their horses tails so nice. Most have told me that they just never brush it and it grows out thick and healthy. But to me this doesn't make sense. If you let your horses tails go without brushing, say for a few weeks, the tail will become dirty, tangled, and sometimes has stuff in it (like sticks or foxtails etc) Then when it comes time to finally brushing the tail, like before a show, its all matted and a lot of the hair will be in the brush. Does this make sense to anyone else? I just washed and brushed a horse who's tail was matted, dirty and filled with foxtails and burs. I took a large amount of hair (three brushfulls) trying to get through his tail.

I do one of two things to my horses tails. One is I keep in clean and in a tail bag. This keeps it from getting stuff in it, getting stepped on, being chewed on by other horses, keeps it not tangles (since its braided in the bag) and it allows the tail to grow. The other thing I do is brush my horses tail's everyday (when they are not in bags) when I do this I get a few strands of hair (normally the loose or broken hairs) and their tails look and feel strong and healthy. Also I think stimulating the tail will help it grow, like a humans hair, the more you brush it the more it grows.

What do you guys prefer to do with your horses' tails?
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    12-16-2013, 04:51 PM
I just brush it out when I go out and it's so long it's almost touching the ground. Very thick too, but she's always had a thick tail.

One thing with a knotted and tangled tail regarding loose hair. A horse - just like a human - will naturally shed a lot of tail and mane hairs in a day. Normally these will just fall out. When it's knotted and tangled, these hairs come free but they don't fall loose of the tail because they are knotted in. Therefore, when you brush it, ALL of those hairs come out in the brush making it seem like a TON of hair is coming out.

Of course more hair will be pulled out with the brush too if it's tangled and knotted but not nearly so much as you'd think!
    12-16-2013, 05:06 PM
Green Broke
My long yearling has a tail about 8 inches off the ground. I cut it last October and it's grown about a foot and a half since then. His name has also grown just as fast in the same time. I have never once completely brushed out his tail. I pick out shavings and hay, but that's it.

As for his mane, I only brush it when it gets really tangled. If it's really windy or, I'll braid so it doesn't tangle. In the summer, I braid his mane to keep his neck cool. I only have to rebraid every 2-3 weeks as he's very good about keeping his braids in. Like Shoe said, because it's knotted or braided, the loose exfoliated hairs can't escape so it seems like you're brushing out a lot of hair, but it's pretty much the same as of the hair was left loose.

And it's all about genetics. Neither Henny's sire nor dam had much of a mane, but Henny has a crazy thick and beautiful tail just like his daddy.
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    12-16-2013, 05:14 PM
^^^ Yes, it is also genetics. Some horses, like my Appy filly, will never have a good thick tail. My draft mare has always had an awesome tail. No matter what I do, the appy will never have a tail much beyond what she's got.

Pic for comparison's sake. Clem with her long thick luscious tail, and Yukon with her thin wispy tail.
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    12-16-2013, 06:08 PM
Green Broke
And for reference, here's my baby boy. He'll be turning 2 in late April. Not bad for a yearling ;)
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    12-16-2013, 10:38 PM
My tb's mane and tail grow very fast and my appy has the longest mane and tail I've ever seen on an appy. His tail is about at the ground, not to terribly thick but the longest I've ever seen it.

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