How to Get My Horse to Grow a Thick Long Mane and Tail
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How to Get My Horse to Grow a Thick Long Mane and Tail

How to get a horse to have a long mane. How do some people get their horses to have thick and long tails. What can I feed my horse to help it get a longer thicker main and tail. How to have a horse with a long tail. How to get my horse's tail longer and thicker? How to take care of a horses mane and tail so they grow long and thick.

Many horse owners, and particularly those with Arabian horses, Morgans, or gaited horses, want their horse to have a thick mane and tail, something showy and flowing in the show ring. There are many products on the market today that claim to help your horse grow a thick mane and tail, but many of these do nothing more than empty your wallet.

Certainly nutrition is important, a horse that is malnourished, or full of worms, will not grow a healthy, thick, or long, mane and tail. Worms cause another problem, horses with worms itch their rumps and this damages their tail hair, causing them to break. Genetics are also important. Appaloosas rarely grow luxurious manes and tails and there is not much you can do about it.

©by author - Miniature Horse mare - note the thick forelock. 

Mares with foals sometimes have their tail chewed off by the foal. Horses who put their heads through the fence to get grass will rub off their mane. Reining horses, when backing up, will step on their tail and rip longer hairs out.

Horses that are not groomed regularly get tangles in their manes and tails, these are hard to get out without breakage. Some owners simply do not have the patience to come through these gently and hack away with the comb, pulling many hairs out.

Regular Mane and Tail Care

Your horse should have its mane brushed regularly, take your time, strand by strand. When it is brushed too rough, hairs are pulled out. To do this correctly you need to go either from front to back, or back to front, holding a clump of mane hair in one hand and gently combing through it.

The tail can be cared for in the same way. Hold the tail in one hand and separate parts for individual combing.

Wrap the Tail

The main “trick” that horse owners use to keep their horse's tail in good shape is by wrapping it. I wish I had a picture of my horses to share, I had two Arabians that I use to show, both had tails that would drag on the ground. This is how I cared for their tails.

Wash the horse, or just the tail, use conditioner, and brush it out well. Do not use Show Sheen. Apply baby oil to the tail and work through. This will keep the tail from becoming dry and breaking. Divide the tail hair into three parts and start braiding just below the bottom of boney part of the tail (you can feel for this). Braid the whole tail then fold the braided section up so it is about a foot long (30 cm), keeping it blow the end of the boney part of the tail. Wrap with vet wrap, not too tight. Be sure that the vet wrap is above the braid, where the tail will be thinner, wrapping some vet wrap here will prevent the wrap from falling down and off the tail. Be sure the vet wrap goes around bottom of the braid too.

Some people put a few strands of twine trough this, or a ribbon, as in the picture, to give the horse a mock tail that it can use to swat flies.

This needs to be taken out and changed every month (or when you go to horse shows), it keeps the tail in excellent condition and you will notice growth after a year.  You will notice too that the tail may look wavy even after being washed when it has been braided previously.

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Comments (1)

great information!