Confessions of a Grooming Supply 'Ho: Tail Taming
Everyone and their mother has an opinion about the "proper" way to groom & preserve tails. I'm about to tell you mine. Take it or leave it, but it works for me, and I think my pony's tail is pretty darn gorgeous as a result of it!
First and foremost, a disclaimer:
THIS IS NOT A TAIL BRUSH.
|NOT FOR USE ON TAILS - YOU MORON|
I think grooming tails is fun, but there is a specific way to do it in order to keep the tail manageable, tangle free, and full.
First things first: Do not attempt to comb or brush a tail when it is wet, dirty, or without some sort of detangler. You WILL break hairs. The average tail hair takes YEARS to grow to full length, so you need to preserve those suckers!
If I'm dealing with a dirty tail, I like to scrub thoroughly with shampoo, rinse well, apply conditioner, rinse, and then apply a gel detangler product while the tail is still wet, after which I use a spray detangler.
If this sounds like kind of a process, that's because it is. And it's not pictured because it's cold out and I don't want to wash Dino's tail at the moment, plus it's clean from his snowy adventures.
Once the tail is clean and dry, or if you started with a clean, dry tail in the first place, spray on a detangling or shine product of your choice. My personal favorite is the Cowboy Magic spray, but use what you like. For really thick or wavy tails, you might choose to add in a gel product as well. Again, Cowboy Magic is my go-to, but Vetrolin makes a decent one as well. Whatever floats your boat.
|The good stuff!|
Now, wield your weapon of choice. I like this sort of medium-width comb with offset teeth, but a pin hairbrush works quite nicely as well.
|My well-loved tail comb.|
Some people like to leave the tail au naturale and let it sort of come to a natural point at the end. Personally, I think this looks untidy so I prefer to bang my tails at around fetlock height. To do this, grab the tail the same way you did when you were brushing it out, and slide your hand all the way down. Flip the end of the tail up so you can clearly see all the uneven ends. Grab a set of scissors and cut straight across. Repeat a few times until you are sure you've cut all the hair evenly. And you're done! Depending on your horse and personal preferences, you can trim the tail shorter, but I tend to prefer the long-but-neat look myself.
And if you use a Sarvis comb, I'll slap you.