There is an art to pulling your horse's tail, and if not maintained it soon starts to resemble something like a bog brush!
The mane and tail are one of the horse's chief beauties. Basic routine care of the mane and tail include careful untangling, keeping the skin clean and free from parasites, occasional washing and protection from damage and breakage of the hairs. Almost all show horses today are shown with the tail as long and as full as it will grow. Manes may be full, pulled or clipped short, depending on the type of breed.
Routine care starts with careful untangling of the mane and tail. While some long, thick manes and tails can take daily brushing, it is not a good idea to brush long hair too often, as each brushing pulls out and breaks off. Neglecting untangling can cause long hair to become twisted into ropes which are then hard to untangle without breaking off and pulling out more hair.
If your horse has a long, thick and healthy mane or tail and you are not concerned about pulling out or breaking some hairs, you can brush it carefully with a hairbrush or a pet brush. The worst way to treat long hair is to drag a plastic or metal toothed comb through it; this breaks off and pulls out the most hair and soon results in short, bushy and bristling appearance.
How to hand pick a mane or tail
Start at the edge of the mane or tail, holding the hair loosely in one hand.
With the other hand, separate a few hairs and carefully work them free from the rest of the hair for their full length. Let these hairs fall to one side as you work.
Continue through the mane or tail until all the hairs have been separated and hang free from tangles from the roots down.
Some grooms moisten their fingers with baby oil which gives a gloss to the hair as it is picked. However, both of these products will eventually have to be shampooed out, as they can build up on the hair and will pick up dirt and dust.
Photos Courtesy of Lisa's Clipping Services