How do I untangle my horse’s tail?  


Sometimes, for whatever reason, your horse’s tail starts to become inexplicably tangled.  Wind, life outside, sticky grooming products, constant fly swatting, burrs and sticker things, and even other horses eating your horse’s tail can lead to a tangled mess.  




In the world of horse grooming, there are a few general techniques to deal with tails:

  • Brush every day. 
  • Never brush, only pick by hand. 
  • Keep braided. 
  • Never braid it.
  • Keep in a bag.
  • Never use tail bags.  




Goop it up!


Whatever your daily method of choice is, keep this in mind.  Your horse’s tail will shed hairs.  It’s part of the hair growth cycle.  It’s normal.  For more on the hair growth cycle of a horse, this riveting piece of writing has you covered.


But let’s just say that your horse’s tail is a wicked mess.  How do you go about getting it back to smooth and silky-ness?  Grab some conditioner or sheen product and go to town.  Do NOT reach for the WD-40, this hot mess of mystery chemical madness has no place touching your horse.  If you are not convinced, read this article about how toxic it is.  


  • Coat your horse’s tail in your product of choice.  You may want to let it soak in for a few minutes.  Then, get to work with your fingers and/or a super wide toothed comb.  Divide the tail into manageable smaller pieces.  You may find that all of the conditioner also gives you a nice little manicure.  


  • Once you have some small and manageable sections, start at the bottom with your fingers or a wide comb.  To prevent some yanking, hold the section of tail firmly and comb with your other hand.  You can lay the section against your leg.  Your pants will also be nicely conditioned. 



Work from the bottom up with your brush or fingers.  Hold the tail firmly above the brush. 


  • Slowly work your way up all of the sections.  


  • Now decide what to do with all of the conditioner.  A rinse out would be fine, or you may want to start from scratch with a super clean tail, in which case get the shampoo out.  Now it’s up to you to maintain the tail… Products can keep the hairs sleek, but some can be dirt magnets.  



Keep the tail silky, and the hairs will slide apart and reduce the number of tangles.  


  • Braids and bags can be useful - but during bug season, you may want the tail to be flowing freely.  When using tail bags, be sure the bag is secured below the tail bone.  Also know that some mares manage to soak their bags… ugh… 


How do you untangle your horse’s tail?