Owners everywhere have searched for a magical hair treatment to help their horse’s mane and tail grow to perfection. Unfortunately, there is no cure-all for mane troubles. Each horse is unique and has different styles their hair can accomplish, just like people. A woman with thick curly hair will always have a different style than a woman with thin stick-straight hair.
When it comes to horse hair, the best thing you can do is evaluate each of your horses individually and find out what works best for them. The length and health of a tail is determined by the horse’s genetics, nutrition and environment. Here are some tips to help your horse’s locks reach their full potential.
As with other physical characteristics, if your horse’s mother and father had longer, thicker tails, your horse should display the same traits. If you are in the process of buying a foal, the parents’ looks are a good indicator of what their foal will grow up to be. You should also keep in mind that certain breeds are famous for their unique looks. For example, Arabian horses are known for their tall, flag-like tails, while Gypsy Vanner horses have thick, wavy hair.
A horse’s tail often reflects his health. Your horse’s dry, drab hair might be the sign of a bigger problem. If a horse is not getting the nutrients he needs, its hair will lose its gloss and strength. Check your horse’s feed and ensure it is getting the nutrition it needs for its level of work. Good quality pasture or hay is important, as are supplements that your horse may need. According to Horse and Rider, biotin, a type of vitamin B, amino acids lysine and methionine; and the trace minerals copper, zinc and iodine can all have an effect on hair health. If your horse is not getting enough of these nutrients, adding supplements to its diet could be helpful. Try Finish Line®‘s Feet First® Coat 2nd to ensure your horse’s mane, tail and coat are shiny and healthy.
Essential fatty acids also play an important role in the health of your horse’s mane and tail. They include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can only be obtained through feed, according to The Horse. Horses get this in their diet through grazing on grass and hay. Cereal grains are also high in essential fatty acids.
A balanced diet is key when it comes to horse care.
Your horse’s environment can be his tail’s best friend or worst enemy. There are several things you can do to ensure its environment is especially hair-friendly.
- You want to prevent rubbing. If your horse is itchy, it could be caused by a skin irritation or insect. Daily grooming can help prevent any irritation from dirt or dry skin that might occur. It is also important that chemical products used on the horse are properly dealt with. For example, leaving a patch of shampoo behind after a bath can irritate the skin and lead to a rubbing habit.
- Watch out for places where your horse’s mane or tail could get snagged. This could be from a large splinter hanging out of its stall or bushes in the paddock. Try to limit these snags as much as possible. To do this, you can braid the hair, especially the tail. Tails can also be bagged, a process which covers the whole tail and protects it from the environment.
- When it comes to grooming, sometimes less is more. Horse and Rider suggested limited grooming, replacing brushes with wide tooth combs or fingers. Always start at the bottom of the mane or tail and work upward. If you run into a knot, hold the hair just above the snarl and then work it out. This relieves tension on the hair closer to the skin.
While you cannot change your horse’s genetics, ensuring it receives proper nutrition and care will help it grow the best mane and tail possible.
Feet First® Coat 2nd is a cost effective feed supplement for healthier hooves, coat, and skin. Feet First Contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which are considered the “missing link” in horse nutrition.