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Tips for a Long Flowing Mane
 By Winniefield Park   •   18th Dec 2015   •   1,942 views   •   0 comments


My horse is perfect of course, in her imperfect way. One of her imperfections in my eyes is her skimpy tail. She has a thick mane, but for some reason, her tail doesn’t follow suit. Is there any way to make her tail long and flowing? Here’s what I’ve learned about growing long, luxurious tails.

It’s All in the Genes
Before we run off to the tack shop or wherever and buy a bag of hope in a bottle, we have to realize that no matter what we do, genetics rule. If my horse doesn’t have the gene for thick tail growth, it’s not going to have a thick tail. Unfortunately, the tail or any other part of the horse isn’t like a plant, that you can pep up with water and fertilizer. I’ve seen a photograph of my horse’s Thoroughbred sire. He didn’t have much of tail either.

Feed For Optimal Health
Having bowed to genetics, there are things that can be done to optimize what we already have. All coats, manes and tails will benefit from good nutrition. A horse has to have adequate fat in their diet. One of the things fat does is put a good gloss on the horse’s hair. Protein too is important. For hair and hoof growth, biotin is important. If your horse has punky feet (mine does) feeding biotin might help. My farrier says it only makes the hooves grow faster, but not stronger, but if you’ve got punky feet and a skimpy tail, faster growth may be a good thing. But even without extra supplements, good diet just makes sense.

Products to Try
M-T-G is a popular product that many people say helps with tail growth. The name stands for Mane Tail Grow and it’s reputedly miraculous for treating all types of skin issues.. I haven’t tried it, but I do know it smells strangely like bacon. With the number of predatory animals reported in our area the last few years, I’m hesitant to make my horse’s backside smell like bacon. But, there are people who swear by the stuff and even use it on their own hair.

Grooming sprays are helpful for preventing hair breakage when you comb. Leave in hair conditioners are helpful too, but not if they’re too gummy. You don’t want grit on the hairs. I’m fond of Miracle Groom, but there are lots of other products out there to try. Most will make the hairs slipperier and add some shine.

Grooming Techniques
Combing breaks hairs, so tails shouldn't be groomed too often. Frequent brushing can cause hairs to break, and create split ends. Only comb out tails for special occasions. If your horse’s tail needs to be detangled frequently, it can be braided. A tail bag is better at keeping the tail hairs up off the ground where they can get broken, and preventing tangles. If you horse is outdoors in bug season, this might be fair, as bagging or braiding deprives your horse of its natural fly swatter.

When you do groom your horse’ tail, start brushing the bottom most few inches downwards. Then keep working your way up. And, use a soft brush rather than a stiff comb. That way you won’t be pulling out the precious few hairs your horse has.
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