Wednesday, March 16, 2016

What Do Wednesday: Tails

I have actually done a post about this topic before, but it was in 2014 which seems like ages ago. Also, my methods have changed a bit since then. Also also, my recent FB and instagram post got a bit of attention, so I want to explain myself for those who requested!

What is it exactly? My transformation Tuesday of Bacardi's tail

Why yes, that is the same  horse and the same tail, almost exactly 2 years apart, save for a few months. Crazy right?

If any of you know me on a personal level, you know my obsession with tails is almost at an unhealthy level. For real though, I worry about myself. Considering I almost didn't buy B because of his wimpy tail...couldn't have that. (Jk jk!)

God his tail was awful.

I honestly never thought his tail would ever reach the point where it is currently, since my methods worked no magic on my wee pony, Spirit, and his horrendously wimpy tail. Yankee was fortunately gifted with luscious locks, and requires little maintenance and I've been lucky with that beast at least.

Circa 2008
I actually believe my "old method" damaged the hair more than it helped, and he has lost some gloriousness with recent events. So we will have to work on that.

We have a lot to work on actually
I USED to braid the tail after applying Cowboy magic, roll it up and stuff it in a sock or vet wrap it...

Exhibit A

Exhibit B
This was truly so much work (, and I noticed more and more hair in my brush when I would take it down once a month to re-do.

So for the summer of 2015 I left the tail down.  Or kept it in a single braid.

Single braid rules. Wanna know why?

It keeps the hairs maintained, out of the way, unable to be stepped on/pulled out, keeps it conditioned, easy to take out for pics, and still gives the ability to swat flies. ITS PERFECT.

Before I braid, I FINGER comb with detangler and then usually ride to let it air out and dry. Finger combing is essential...and annoying, but essential.. If super tangled (it never is, because braid) I will allow myself to carefully use a human hair brush, but generally, brushes yank hairs out and that is the opposite of what we want.

After our ride, I will finger comb again with Cowboy Magic and then loosely braid from the tailbone down. The key is loose enough that it won't come out, but not too tight that the hairs break off. Its a fine line. I then leave about 6-8 inches of "swatch" near the end of the braid. I've noticed this helps the hair tie securing the braid not fall out, and gives an end for fly swatting.

Example of braid. ignore slipped polo. But now that I've pointed it out I bet you can't
and....thats about it.

I baby it with Cowboy magic and braid it up.

I usually take it don for pics or weekly, whichever comes first.

Then, in spring (NOW, yay!) I hack it off

Nah, I dont do that, but I do bang a good amount off the ends. Like a solid 3-4 inches.

Tail was touching the ground beforehand
Before you gasp and lose your shit, this really is the key. I know its horrifying to destroy all the growth that occurred all winter, but seriously trust me.

Major key
This creates a full effect, and gets rid of all the nasty ends. Just like a human hair cut!

Then, just repeat for a year or so or more and BOOM, sexual tail.

Disclaimer, I also feed a biotin supp for the feet and I swear it helps with tails. I also don't participate in the "venter tail" style where the top of the tail is pulled or trimmed up. Seriously, look at his tail head...I would be chopping off so much luscious hair and I absolutely refuse to. Plus, I've done this on Yankee, it looks tacky and I hate it (see circa 2008 pic fr proof). No offense to those who do it, I just think it looks silly. I like me a full tail.

But, this is how I do it. And with some patience and a little Magic, you can too!

So dear readers, this is my question to you, what do?? Are you as obsessed as me? Do you not give a flip at all? What do you do to make your pony's tail the best it can be? Feed your secrets.


  1. It seems that there are two schools of thought on tail maintenance - DON'T TOUCH IT EVER!, or Maintain Daily. I'm in the Maintain Daily camp. Every couple days I douse it in detangler and brush with a people hairbrush. Dino somehow tends to get large sticks/pieces of bushes stuck in his tail on the regular. Every few weeks I wash it thoroughly, condition liberally, coat in gel AND spray detanglers, and let dry. I also bang it fairly short in the winter to keep it out of the mud. Keeping up with the tail on a regular basis keeps it smooth, tangle-free, and less likely to snag or get ripped out on anything. I also hate the pulled tail look!

  2. I'm in the benign neglect category. I never touch the tail except to dye it, touch it up (mine gets a clipped eventer tail because I think it looks so much tidier and makes the hind end look more muscled, but I don't go down the tail bone as far as some people do), or brush it out before shows. When I was at a h/j barn many moons ago we would braid the tails, and it did help keep them nice, but I didn't like how much of the fly swishing power it took away. Plus I'm pretty sure Henry would be pissed off if I braided his tail up, because he's a mare and has an opinion about everything. His tail grows SUPER fast, I bang it every couple months during show season. As for detanglers - when I do wash it, I condition it afterwards with the super strength conditioner that comes in the home dye kits (I stockpile them when I dye tails). I rub that in, leave it for a few minutes, and then when you rinse it out all the tangles literally just fall out. It's the best thing ever, no extra detangling products required. That conditioner is magic.

  3. Maybe this is from having my own long straight head of hair, but unless the tail is so dirty that I will destroy it with brushing (very rare) it gets daily detangler or conditioner and brushing. Doing this means that maybe one or two hairs comes out, I brush my hair every day and hair comes out and it never gets thinner. All of my horses have ended up with thicker tails than when they came to me. The truth though? I think almost any good method works. If someone starts ripping a brush through a tail starting from the top though I will come out of my skin. WORK YOUR WAY FROM THE BOTTOM UP PEOPLE!

  4. My routine is pretty close to yours. I almost never brush a tail. Finger combing only! I liberally spray with Canter Mane & Tail and then put it in a braid-in tail bag. I like the tail bags because it keeps the hair clean, especially in winter when we have to go 6 months between washes.

  5. This post gives me some hope for Riley's tail! We spent hours and years getting his all grown out and full and then the pony ate it! I've been rubbing MTG into his tail bone and trying not to look at it and cry! I'll have to try some cowboy magic too! I live a trimmed up tail at the top on Riley because of the way he carries his tail when he's moving:)

  6. I hate eventer tails. They look like rats. I juuuuuuust barely tidy the top to look maintained and then let it grow full and down. I hate putting tails up because I like looking at them.

    And the #1 secret to having a good tail: genetics. ;-)

    1. True. But you can't deny how ratty his was, and's not

  7. I need you to come fix Roger's tail, because Bacardi's tail looks AWESOME!! I totally agree about the biotin supplement helping tail growth: ever since we started Roger on Farrier's Formula, his tail has gotten (marginally) better. You have some serious tail skills :)

  8. Like $900 FB pony I LOVE using the conditioner packets that come in hair dye kits. Aussie 3 Min Miracle is also awesome. I put mine in a 3 tube tail bag, braid it and secure with a hairband. Will let all hair grow awesomely and is still a great flyswatter. In the case of App, it is better than his normal tail since his tail is so damn thin and fine. He can actually thwack flies better now.

  9. I think genetics play a big part. Dijon grows an amazing, long, thick tail. And I pretty much ignore it. He doesn't get Biotin though he does get other vitamins and oil so he's got a gorgeous and healthy coat. I brush his tail with a brush and rip out tons of hair and it's still dragging on the ground.

  10. i <3 a gorgeous luscious tail!

  11. I do the single braid thing too. Pony has a huge tail, so it's more about keeping it clean and detangled than anything else. I got cheap and started using human leave in conditioner/detangler on the braided part of the tail and it's actually doing amazing things - like so soft and shiny!

  12. Thankfully Libby was also blessed with luscious locks, and therefor I really do nothing. I do brush it occasionally because shes gross and sometimes pees in it, gasp the horror. Other then that I bang it probably every two months.

  13. I used to not care because Chrome naturally had a nice tail that almost touched the ground.... then we got goats.... now I want to cry! I haven't seen it this short since he was a baby! The thing is, they aren't eating it. They are rubbing their horns in it, scent marking his tail... so it's yellow and smells like goat too. Gag! I have to figure out something because it's killing me how disgusting it is. :(

  14. I used to wash, braid bag, until I noticed the same thing about how much hair broke off. Lately I like to do Equifuse in the tail everyfew days with a brush through. Huge difference! Hair is soft and I only get maybe five hairs in my brush.


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