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Horse Tail - So Matted

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#1 tyschire



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Posted 30 October 2008 - 12:25 AM

I am a new horse owner...less then a year. I pretty much got things covered for now but have an issue with my horses tail. It is really matted. I can't even see the actual tail...its matted all around. In a dog that is a bad thing as infection and such can start under the matting. I have been reading stuff online and everything says don't comb, don't brush...and so on. Is the matting okay. How do I get it out. The horse was a little neglected prior to me owning him. I've played with it a little but don't want to freak the horse out trying to untangle (with him not being groomed regularly before I owned him). Is there any tricks to the trade. He's just a pet so I don't need his tail fancy. I just don't want to cut it because he needs to be able to keep the bugs away (right?). Lots of things on the net talk about putting anything from downy to leave in human conditioner on it. What works best???
Thanks for any help.

#2 Hibiscus


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Posted 30 October 2008 - 12:29 AM

Go ahead and brush it! The advice saying don't brush is for people trying to get their horse's tails to grow long and think. I would go out and get some Cowboy Magic detangler or something similar. After you get it detangled you can brush it how often you like, just be gentle and go slowly to keep from breaking off hairs.

#3 cvm2002


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Posted 30 October 2008 - 12:35 AM

If its a solid matt, brushing it is going to break it all off and make a worse situation. You need a silicone based product initially. In a pinch, even WD-40 will work. Just make sure that once you get the matt undone and the tail picked out, shampoo & condition the heck out of it.

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#4 Ribellin


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Posted 30 October 2008 - 01:21 AM

Well, this is gonna sound kinda funny...but it works. IF the horse will let you, wash it's tail very very well with your choice of Horse shampoo. I use Mane and Tail, but there are some good ones out there.

And while it's wet, yep...wet, I spray Downy on it. Mix 1 part water and 1 part downy. I use a spray bottle I got at the dollar store. And spray the horses tail very well when wet.

Then brush a little bit at the time from the bottom up. And in small sections. I love the downy and it doesn't hurt their mane. Makes it smell good and it's pretty when it dries.

Then later on after it dries, or even the next day, put some type of conditioner on it. Again Mane and Tail makes a good one. However, I tend to just buy Suave and mix it with Cowboy magic at times. Cheyenne's mane and tail do great!

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#5 1 Last Chance

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 04:37 AM

Like someone already said, WD-40 works wonders for those situations.
Just gotta wash it out when you are done

#6 ExtraHannah


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Posted 30 October 2008 - 07:08 AM

Everyone has their favorite product. Most all will work. If it's warm enough where you are to be able to wash afterwards, then you can go with the WD-40. If it's not then a big tube of Cowboy Magic or a bottle of Show Sheen. I like the CM the best for really bad mats, but either will work.

You are just going to have to work slowly. If it's a really bad mat, you'll need to start with your hands. Really work in your product in a small area and slowly tease out the hair. Just keep going. Once it's getting better, you can hold below the tail bone (so it doesn't pull) and start with the brush.

If the mat is horrible and horse is not paitent (or you aren't), you can cut a little to make things go more quickly. I have had a mat so bad on a rescue horse that the tail was one solid mat. I cut up the center of the mat, basically cutting it in half. This made things go much more quickly. Yes, I lost some hair, but the horse still had plenty to use for bugs and I actually got the darn thing out.

Once it's unmatted, you can still brush. Unless you have one of those horses that just seem to mat in days, you shouldn't have to brush that often. As was said, people say not to brush as you will pull out some hairs and break others. However, not all of us are going to hand pick tails daily (that involves gently seperating the entire tail, one hair at a time by hand. One of the super expensive barns I worked at had the grooms do that.) Just watch that the tail doesn't get overly tangled. When it starts to, work slowly and brush it out. You don't want it to get matted again. It does help to use a leave on human product to prevent it from tangling as fast. I like Infusium-23.


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#7 tymess1


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Posted 30 October 2008 - 03:17 PM

I think whatever detangler and the previous advice about cutting up the center...or course not too high. Since it's getting colder, bugs won't be such an issue anymore. So, if he loses some tail, shouldn't be too big of a deal.

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#8 Mels



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Posted 31 October 2008 - 01:15 PM

I've used baby oil in the past with good results to. I just worked it in real good with my hands and then gently started to comb it out, working from the bottom up.
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#9 quarterflash


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Posted 31 October 2008 - 03:21 PM

WD~40 and a wire brush.

Wash out with Woolite.

You'll likely find a bit of grass or weed stem at the heart of that matt.

When you're horse's tail is right? Pick that kind of crap out by hand even if you're not going to rat it all the way out.

Always brush out a tail from the tip to the tail head. Get a hold of the entire circumference of the tail about 8 to 10 inches from the bottom and work that out ... move up.


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