winter tail care!
I'm trying to grow out the Lacey-monkey's tail and it's a slow process, however, I feel like I got it almost down to a science last winter, but I wonder if someone maybe has tips to perfect my regimen.
So basically last winter the general routine was to have it braided (I'll post a picture) for about 6 days, then let it out, detangle/condition it and brush it, and leave it down for an hour or two, then braid it again. About once a month I'd wash and condition it, then let it air dry, detangle it, brush it, and braid it again. I also trim about half an inch off about every month or so.
Last year I was using Cowboy Magic detangler, but this year I'm using a spray in conditioner/detangler (from Great Clips, lol!) for little kids which works WAY better. Her hair used to feel kinda brittle and I'd worry about how many hairs I was going to break, just by handling it, but since I've been using this new stuff her hair has been feeling SO strong and soft!
Anyway, this is what I started with last fall:
How I braid it (it starts, loosely french-braided, about 4 inches about the end of her tailbone and then turns into a regular braid after the tailbone ends) :
(please excuse her condition in the spring/braid pictures, she looked horrible and I knew it was bad but I wasn't sure what to do about it (barn drama etc). However, now she's at my neighbor's house so I'm in full control of everything now so there will not be a repeat. EVER.)
Tips? I'm trying to grow out the shortest layers since about half of it is significantly shorter than the whole, and I want the total length to be longer, but I'm trying to let those bits catch up first. Basically thickness is the goal.
I chopped my guys up there hocks took all the yuk off and evened it out.
Then i wash and condition it when i feel like it. I keep it plaited all the time but everyday i spray it down i have a mix of a cheap conditioner and water in a spray bottle and just spary the whole plat.
Then every sunday i take it out for the day consition it finger comb it condition again plait it and spray it. Seems to be working for us
I've heard of wash and then condition the tail, let it dry, and then put MTG on it, braid it, and put it into a tail bag. I'm actually going to try it this winter and see what happens over the spring.
A few years ago, I would braid it for a week, let it done the next week and after riding re-braid it. I tried it last year but didn't work out because my braiding skills suck a bit!
Since reading your post I'm interested in doing this--thanks for telling us how. I have 2 KMH's, which, as you know, grow lengthy tails. But my QH could use more tail. My QH, "Ro Go Bar" (1982-2009, RIP) had trouble with HIS tail, but one year I had it down to his pasterns, mostly from finger combing only.
With my mare:
First time...wash, then trim the ends. Conditioner. Some leave-in conditioner (not on the tail bone though). Brush. Loose braid. Tail bag.
Every two weeks or so (sometimes longer), undo bag, let it free for a few hours, rinse, shampoo and leave-in conditioner, finger brush, braid, bag.
Repeat. I only brush with an actual comb or something once a month, and this just the ends as the hair is wet and conditioned.
When I got her (ended right at hocks):
Recent (I need to get an updated photo without a tailbag, actually...this was about two-three months ago):
So...that's about a year's worth of hair growth. I haven't used MTG or anything, although I admit to using Listerine which cured the scaly, itchy skin problem she had on her dock, and seemed to allow the hair to grow in healthier. The strands around the dock are not as scruffy as they were.
But you know...for the longest time I actually just had it braided and without a bag.
The think I love about winter is that there are no flies...
I just braid it, fold it up, then vet wrap it really good. Sometimes I just leave it on for months and only condition/mtg the tail bone twice a week or so. I'm always pleasantly surprised when I let the tail down after that month ;)
Ooo,I'm going to try this because Gidget has a whimpy tail. It's not thick either..just normal.Her's is a TINY bit pass her hocks.
I think you are doing a great job!
Can you tail bag it so that the cold weather won't make it brittle?
I might try bagging it again this year now that I see her everyday, but last year when I tried bagging it (and I saw her about every other day) she managed to lose the bag within a day or so. Silly girl! I have really cute tail bags for her too, they're monogrammed with her name, and she doesn't like them? Hahaha
I will give these suggestions a try! Thanks for the tips!
I just have a quick question for you guys. Sorry to hijack! I have no issues keeping my horses tail long, my problem is I'm trying to work on getting it thicker! I wasn't as knowledgable about hair growth before so I would brush it out all the time and not condition it...so it got very thin. I haven't brushed her tail for a couple months now and the shorter strands are growing out...but I'm afraid if I braid and vet wrap, that righ where the braid starts and the vet wrap is, the hair will break and defeat the purpose. Does anyone have any advice on how to keep a tail THICK as opposed to long? Am I just braiding it too tight or what? THANKS!
I've noticed a marked improvment in the thickness of Lacey's tail by simply never touching it, with anything, unless I've already put copious amounts of detangler in. Over the summer I was actually brushing it about once a week, sometimes more, and she was getting bi-weekly baths and as long as I didn't go near it without detangler, it was ok.
Another thing I've learned is to always start at the bottom (and get it tangle-free) then work my way up when brushing it.
I braid Lacey's tail pretty tightly and it's ok for her, but I would assume that it probably depends on the type of hair your horse has. Lacey has really good, thick hair (even the strands of hair themselves are thick) as a general rule so maybe that helps it not break when it's braided.
Another thing I just thought of was that I also make sure that silicone based products (ShowSheen, etc) NEVER come near Lacey's hair, except right after a bath when her hair is still soaking wet and I need to brush it. Back when I first got her and I had never thought about what to use on a tail, I swore by ShowSheen. But, after a year or so of using it regularly, I discovered that it was really just making her hair extremely brittle, thin, and prone to breakage. Once I stopped using it, I saw the thickness of Lacey's tail increase significantly and it started feeling so much healthier. Now, she hasn't been touched by ShowSheen in over a year and her hair feels like really healthy human hair where it used to feel like, I don't even know, something gross and sick.
On the Lacey's tail front, I made her a "braid in" tail bag and within 4 hours, she had removed it, somehow, from herself and lost it in her pasture. Something makes me think she maybe doesn't like having her tail bagged. :lol: So, if anybody has tips on how to get it to stay in her tail like it's glued in, well, I'm willing to make another one and give it a try but don't anybody hold their breath. :P
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