How to get him to stop rubbing his tail? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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How to get him to stop rubbing his tail?

I've got a 3-year-old colt. And he rubs his tail.

He doesn't *need* to have a luxurious tail, as I don't show at a big level or anything like that, but it sure would look a lot nicer if he did! It's not to the point of being bald or anything, but it's so scraggly-looking because he's got the sides and top hair all broken off short.

What can I do to get him to stop?

Ideally, I would make all of the fencing electric so he couldn't touch it ..... but I board so that is not a possibility to alter the fencing. He is dewormed per my vet's recommendations. He is out on pasture 24/7 (so I wouldn't think it is out of boredom) and it's about 10 acres or so.

Last year the ticks were REALLY bad. I was literally picking 30+ ticks out of his tail every single day. This year we've had pretty much zero ticks. So I don't know if his brain still thinks his tail is itchy, even though there's been no ticks this year???

Every so often, I'll rub Gold Bond medicated anti-itch lotion under his tail dock and he just looooooooves it when I rub on the side of the tail dock, right where the hairline starts to come in (if that makes sense). I've looked closely at his skin in the tail and while it might look a little dry around the hair (underside looks fine) it really looks normal for the most part, when I compare it to my other horse who doesn't rub.

I've heard of trying listerine on the tail but I have not tried that yet. Thought I'd check here first for other suggestions.

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post #2 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 03:09 PM
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Might be Pin Worms.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 03:53 PM
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I was recently told to try Listerine but haven't yet
I do find washing the tail with shampoo - mostly the dock a few times a week and wet brushing it and washing under the dock every day when you don't shampoo seems to help the most
I think the little midges and mosquitos get in and bite then make them itch - not enough to give all horses a sweet itch reaction but enough to make having a good scratch feel really good - its the look of sheer ecstasy on their faces when you see them doing it that tells me it gives them pleasure!!!
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 03:53 PM
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I think it was Saddlebag that mentioned this trick which I have tried and had great success with: Rub generous amounts of Vaseline/petroleum jelly on the under side of the tail and down between his legs. I had one mare who'd be constantly at it in the summer months due to (based on the results of the treatment) itchiness in between her back legs (in her case, I also rubbed it on her udder as well) and/or under her tail.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 03:57 PM
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Maybe his sheath needs to be cleaned? It could be just dry skin but the rubbing will make the issues worse. I would put something on it to moisturize and sooth and a medicated shampoo may be good too.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 04:31 PM
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My guy did that too. He actually broke the board in his stall from leaning so much o.o

Listerene helped him out alot

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post #7 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 05:41 PM
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Various things might cause a horse to rub its tail including worms or food allergies. I suspected food allergies with one gelding who rubbed his butt so much that he not only rubbed the hair off but, also, rubbed holes in his skin. The skin around his anus was also rough and dry. I started applying MTG.

The first time I tried rubbing MTG beneath the horse's tail, he swatted me with his tail. Once he found it provided relief, things were different. When I walked up to him carrying the bottle of MTG and asked if he was ready for his medicine, he would turn his butt towards me. When I stood on his right, he would move his tail to the left. When I stood on his left, he would move his tail to the right. Not only did his skin grow back, but the hair grew back so there is no evidence that he ever had a problem.
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 06:43 PM
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The best way to stop the rubbing is to first find the actual CAUSE of the problem, then treat THAT. Guaranteed to work, every time.
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 07:00 PM
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When I notice my horse starting to rub their tail, I rub the tail with vaseline, under the dock and the hair on the top of the tail. Horsey usually enjoys the treatment and it has always worked as they stop rubbing after a couple of applications. I know the horses have been wormed so don't suspect that to be the problem.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-12-2014, 09:46 PM
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My horse rubbed his tail like crazy last year. I, too, found daily washing the best remedy. I like the Micro Tek shampoo and they also have a skin calming gel I like as well.

Haven't had a problem this year. Go figure!
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