For Girls Only: Tail Care for Mares

Mares have some specific tail-cleaning needs. Get pro-level advice here.

A well-groomed tail will boost your horse’s “pretty” factor, but sometimes that can be hard to do, especially during the winter months. If you find your mare is in need of some serious tail care, you’re not alone. It’s extremely common for a mare to need a little extra TLC to keep her tail looking—and feeling—its best. With three easy steps we offer you tips on how you can keep your mare’s tail looking its best.

A mare's tail can be harder to keep clean and require additional steps to clean it (and keep it clean).
A mare’s tail often requires more tail care than a gelding might. Learn our tips and tricks for keeping a mare’s tail clean.
Photo by schankz/

3 Steps for Tail Care

1. Repeated drenching with urine—due to forceful urination, and/or dribbling during heat periods—can bleach portions of a mare’s tail, leaving her with unsightly dry and brittle locks.

Photos by Jim Bortvedt

2. Compare the urine-damaged bottom-side tail hairs on the right with an undamaged top-side tail strand, left.

3. To revitalize your mare’s tail, first wash and condition the damaged section, then thoroughly soak those locks in white vinegar (you can also use a stripper or demineralizer of your choice). Not only does this acidic soaking make the damaged hair look better, but more importantly, it also strips the hair of mineral buildup and closes the cuticle on each hair—making it less likely to absorb urine in the future.

You may have to apply a second round of wash, condition and vinegar drench on a severely damaged tail, like this mare’s, to fully restore luster and color to match undamaged hairs.

Finish your tail rehab session with a full-tail wash, condition and rinse. Applying a leave-in tail conditioner will help repel urine stains until your mare’s next tail bath.

More Mane and Tail Care Tips:

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