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  • Clare Long

Tail Itch

(From Clare's article archives, Circa 2010-2015)

For most horse people, this is a frustrating, annoying, irritating problem.

Your horse is rubbing the base (dock) of their tail.

This creates an unsightly issue.

The base of the tail either looks like a brillo pad, brambled and snarled, or is being rubbed out so you can see the flaky, sometimes scabby, red and inflamed skin underneath.


I can always tell if a horse is being groomed and cared for properly

by the condition and appearance of the dock of their tail.

There is an easy, easy, inexpensive, no-fail solution to this issue, and here it is:

Brush the base of the tail every day!

Not the whole tail!

Just the first 6 or so inches.

Brush it with enthusiasm, meaning: quick, active strokes that really get down to the skin.

This will pull out all of the dead hairs, will stimulate the skin, and will itch the base of the tail for your horse, rather than your horse rubbing on it in their stall/paddock/pasture later.

I will brush the base until no hairs come out in the brush. ***Helpful Hint***

The Dollar Store sells great brushes for this process.

I prefer the stiff bristled simple brushes, they get down into the skin better.

No need to buy an expensive 'made for horses' mane and tail brush!

Often they don't work as well anyway.

On a daily basis, I will also spray *Show Sheen*

onto the dock of the tail before I brush it.

Show Sheen repels dust and dirt, and has a soothing effect/agent as well!

Your horse should enjoy this process of their grooming, just as they do being curried.

And that's it.

Easy peezy lemon squeezy.

Squirt of Show Sheen, rigorous brush, every day.

Your horse's dock of the tail will be gorgeous, thick, shiny and healthy!

*Show Sheen*

One of my "tried and true', 'go to' products.

It's been around forever and is still, in my opinion, the best for what it does. Showsheen is a product that has been around as long as I can remember. It's purpose is to make the coat shiny, and to repel dirt and stains.

It also makes the mane and tail easy to brush out.

I spray it liberally in the tail, and then leave it in!

The tail will brush out easily with the help of the Showsheen.

***Helpful Hint*** Showsheen makes the horse very slick and slippery. Be sure you don't spray it where the saddle goes! And be aware that it will make leg protection less stable as well. Even if you don't spray the legs, the hinds will get 'Showsheeny' anyway from the horses tail! For special occasions; competitions, presenting sale horses to prospective buyers, etc., I will use it sparingly on the body (minus the back) and the legs.

You an even carefully brush it onto the face.

The Showsheen will not only add gloss and shine, but it also is great for repelling dirt.

A major plus!

***Helpful Hint***

It is not a good idea to use Showsheen on the coat every day because it will eventually clog the horses skin pores.

As the world's #1 selling hair polish and detangler, ShowSheen® is uniquely formulated to provide any horse owner with an unsurpassed multipurpose grooming aid. It coats each hair shaft to keep manes and tails tangle-free while its conditioning action reduces static fly-aways. It also repels dust, dirt, and stains, protecting your grooming job and keeping your horse cleaner longer.

  • Professional detangling action

  • Can reduce grooming time by as much as 80%

  • Pro-vitamins nourish the coat

  • Added silk proteins strengthen mane & tail hair & help promote stronger, longer hair

  • Mildly scented with calming Jasmine and soothing Sandalwood

***Helpful Hint***

If your horses tail is already irritated because you are just starting this process,

it is very helpful to squirt some baby oil into the dock, just before brushing.

The baby oil can also be found at the Dollar Store.

No need for fancy, expensive shampoos or medications!

Make sure the baby oil gets onto the skin, and saturates it.

Then, brush with 'elbow grease' (the expression, not a product):

Below is the definition, compliments of Wikipedia:

"Elbow grease is an idiom for working hard at manual labour, as in "You need to use some elbow grease." It is a humorous reflection of the fact that some tasks can only be achieved by hard effort and human energy, contrasting with the idea that there should be some special oil, tool or chemical product to make the job easier.

I love this definition, it describes my point exactly! ***Helpful Hint*** Last thing:

A symptom of your horse having worms is also rubbing the tail dock.

So, if there is a possibility of worms, be sure to worm your horse properly, in correlation with proper care of the dock of the tail.


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