For those of you who want to grow a healthier, longer, and thicker mane and tail (as much as genetics allow for) or just some new ideas to maintain what you have, I have some tips and tricks that I have picked up along the way!
- I recommend washing your horses mane and tail once a week.
- Use products that moisturize hair since dry hair makes for brittle hair that breaks.
- Shampoo: I personally use Quic Silver Whitening and Intensifier shampoo for light/white manes and tails. If the focus isn't whitening, I recommend Orvus Wa-Paste. You can use it on any part of your horse, I also use it to wash my dog.
- Conditioner: I use Suave coconut conditioner and I brush it through the entire forelock, mane, and tail before rinsing. It is easy on your bank account, smells amazing, and moisturizes!
- After Washing: While the mane and tail are still wet, I put in a decent amount of Cowboy Magic Detangler & Shine (left concentrated). Enough to keep the hair moist, but not so much to cause it to be greasy. Mostly you'll find this through trial and error. I find that if you feel a difference in the softness of the hair, then you have used the perfect amount. If you have a favorite moisturizer/detangler/shine serum, share in a comment below! If your horse's mane won't break, go ahead and braid it up! My horse's mane breaks like crazy so I just leave it down, I also use a fly sheet with a neck cover to protect it.
Things you should NEVER do at home:
- Brush the mane/tail between weekly washings (exception: shows -but brush as little as possible and add some detangler). This will break the hairs and you will not grow a longer and thicker mane or tail.
- Use Show Sheen or any other alcohol based products. Yes, they are fantastic at keeping away dust and dirt from your horses hair and coat. (This product belongs at shows just before you head into the show pen.) BUT, they are also great at drying out hair. Your mane and tail will be dry and brittle if you use this product frequently.
Internet Whitening Sensations:
- OxyClean - My new personal favorite! A friend suggested this to me and it works wonders for pulling out stains without scrubbing! Wash the tail first with shampoo. Depending on the cleaning strength you want add from a half to full scoop of the powdered oxyclean to a small bucket. I fill it with warm/hot water to open up the hair folicles and then let the tail soak for as long as you can stand to hold the bucket up. I will take the tail out and scrub it every so often for a break. Just rinse the oxyclean out and move on to conditioner and your moisturizer!
- Ketchup - I have tried this, and it works! Definitely not my first choice (it doesn't smell great), but it definitely made a difference in how white the tail was! Shampoo first to remove the dirt, add a generous amount of ketchup to the entire mane/tail and leave it in for 10 minutes. Rinse out the ketchup (I personally shampooed it again), condition and brush the hair, and treat as normal.
- White Vinegar - Works okay, it's not the most impressive method I have ever used. I didn't see much of a difference in the tail color, but its worth a shot! Just wash the tail as normal, rinse, pour the vinegar all over and leave it for 10 minutes or so then rinse and condition. (Some people use a baking soda/white vinegar paste and leave it on for 15 minutes)
- Bleach - I have used straight bleach on a tail before, it definitely works but you must be VERY careful and diligent. If you are going to do this, shampoo the tail, then pour the bleach directly on the stained parts of the hair and rinse out almost immediately, I think it is better to repeat the applications than to leave the bleach on. DO NOT get this on you or your horse's skin. Rinse well, shampoo, and condition as normal. The hair will be a bit drier than normal.
Any tips, tricks, or hacks of your own? Share them in a comment below along with before and after pictures if you have them!