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Why you need to use a Smart Tails Humane Tail thinner and how to use it the best way

Vicky Goody

Why use a Smart Tails to get the pulled tail look?

Smart Tails are thinning combs with curved teeth that grip into the hair and thin and shorten tail hair.  On the underside of the curved teeth each one has its own blade, this allows the hair to be thinned as the rake is pulled through the hair.  It also encourages the weak hair to come out naturally. 

Smart Tails can thin and tidy thick unruly tails in moments and tidy existing tails giving a smart show ring finish without causing any discomfort.  They are totally humane and guaranteed to work on the most sensitive!

Traditionally tails were “pulled” by hand to thin out the thickness at the top and sides of the tail to give definition and improve the shape of the hindquarters as well as provide a pleasing picture when the horse is ridden and “carries” the tail.

By pulling and thinning the tail in the traditional manner, meant taking several days to do it so that the horse did not get sore, or if done quickly, left the horse very sore, uncomfortable, and often very agitated.  This would mean further tidying sessions becoming an issue and a risk to both the horse and the handler if the animal needed restraining.

In order to maintain a traditional look, Smart Tails make is so easy for anyone to create a beautifully finished tail, there will never be any sore or bleeding tails, the horse will be happy, and the handler will be safe.  So why would you want to do it any other way now?

Firstly, select the grade of blade that you will need. A medium or fine blade work best when used on normal thickness, and regular tidies. For a tail that is coarse and bushy, choose a coarse blade and then finish with a medium for a tidy neat finish.  Every horse is different, and every owner has their own idea on the finished look.  Minimal tidying just for a little more definition but without looking like it has been tidied is ideal for Mountain and Moorland types who need to stay with a natural look.  For the ridden show horse, a tail is expected to be very neat and tidy to enhance the overall appearance and be very defined when carried.

To get started you will need:

Smart Tails (choose the grade of blade to suit your purpose)

Mane and Tail Brush

Water Brush

Tail Bandage

How to create the look:

Use evenly both sides, doing two or three strokes down one side and then do the same the other, and then repeat. If you are doing a full tail which hasn't been pulled or trimmed before, do a bit each day over a period of a week or so, tail bandaging in between, so that you can judge just how much you do want to tidy. It is a bit addictive!

It is easier if the tail is a bit greasy and dirty, the comb will grip better, or wash first and tidy when still wet. It is also easier if there is a reasonable length of tail to thin.

1.  COMB THROUGH

Thoroughly comb through the tail with a tail brush to remove any knots before starting.

 

2.   LONG STROKES
Take the Smart Tails Comb and use it in downward strokes, and to the side of the tail, where you would normally pull.

Do not use it down the middle of the tail, leave the central top hairs long, the hair will lay better when tail bandaged and give the sleek, professional finish that you want to achieve.

 

 

3. HOW FAR DOWN?

Feel to the end of the dock and then go half to three quarters of the way down.

4. THIN THE MIDDLE

For thick tails you may need to tidy down the sides as well as including thinning the central part of the tail.  Lift the top centre hair, and thin underneath, which will leave you a thinned middle part but leave longer hairs down the centre.  Now… if you want to combine methods, you can get the worst done by using the Smart Tails and then use a mane comb and do the traditional back comb pulling, which will thin the tail in the normal way. It is a balancing act to get it looking even.

 

5. FINISHING OFF

Damp the hair down with a water brush and apply a tail bandage.  Leave on for 30 minutes before removing to check the finish. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plaiting Wax – the easy way to achieve perfect plaits!

Vicky Goody

Smart Grooming loves bringing out products to make your life easier.  Plaiting wax is the new “must have” product to keep handy for show plaits or everyday tidiness.

Plaiting wax is a push up tubed wax stick containing beeswax and Vitamin E.  Applied lightly in downward strokes to the mane before dividing and plaiting, this will ensure any wispy or fly away hair is firmly locked in place to give defined plaits.

Plait stick Immy C pics (1)  resized.jpg

It has a light waxy texture, which will disappear into the hair but still give texture and firmness.  Use sparingly, a little will go a long way!

It’s so easy to use and being such a neat pocket size, fits handily into a pocket or grooming apron.  Handy to keep out for show days or have as part of everyday grooming to tame mischievous stray hairs.

Smart Grooming, ambassador, Imogen Carter recently product tested it for us, here’s what she had to say:

“As a professional groom, I do a lot of plaiting so look for products that help all types of manes and tails as some are trickier than others to get the perfect results with. Smart Grooming sent me this product to trial before its launch this Spring. I have to say I just love the Plait Wax. Less is more, in my opinion. A few strokes on each bunch was just plenty. The initial spray with Smart Grooming’s Perfect Plaits sets the mane, and the Plaiting Wax contained all the hairs. My horse has wispy hair which can be hard to plait and keep looking tidy all day long, but this product really helps me out.

It’s so easy to use, fits nicely in your pocket & leaves no extra residue, and even helped to keep the flies away.  I have used a similar wax grooming product, but this consistency was smoother and lighter and was easier to use without leaving any waxy bits.  I highly recommend it if you are wishing to achieve a really perfect finish or want extra help with difficult manes.”

 

Recipe for a White Tail

Vicky Goody

"Hi, I have a dapple grey with a yellow tail - I’'ve tried everything to get it white (doesn't help that she's not a clean horse) do you have anything that can help?”

This is one of our most regular questions that we receive and thought it would be good to share our answer to help others with the ‘yellow tail syndrome’…

 This is a very common problem, and the answer really depends how stained as to how instantly the original colour can be retrieved. With mares, the urine will obviously stain the tail, but if it is washed very regularly and conditioned - at least every week - then this will then not allow the stain to penetrate the hair.  Once this has happened it is very difficult to get it instantly completely white again. I myself have a mare with a white tail, when she came to me the tail was in yellow ringlets, it is now very white.

I started by washing the tail every day for a couple of weeks, this really helped and gradually over a few weeks it regained its originally white colour.  

Whiten a yellow tail before and after.jpg
Whiten a yellow tail products.jpg

You Will Need

The products I used to achieve this are:

Polar White, Deep Purple Shampoo, Super Blue

I used Gloss n Go and Super Shine Lotion after washing to reduce future stains.

Method

 1.     First fully immerse the tail in a bucket of very warm water, if you can allow it to soak for as long as possible (3-4 mins is ideal) this will allow the water to really soak into the hair.

2.    Spray with Polar White and massage/rub in well, from the bottom of the tail up to the dock.  Leave for 3-4 mins.

3.    Add Deep Purple shampoo and repeat the massage/rubbing procedure.  

Whiten a yellow tail washing tail.jpg

4.    Rinse off and shampoo once more before a final rinse in very warm water.  

5.    Lastly, add half a teaspoon of Super Blue powder to 1/4 bucket of water, stir in and then submerge the tail.  Swish the water over and around the tail (the water will be royal blue) remove from the bucket and then rinse off with clear water. Here’s a quick video of the Super Blue in action… 

6.    Spin the tail to remove excess water and then apply a mane and tail conditioning spray - we use our Gloss n Go or Super Shine lotion which is a more concentrated barrier lotion.  This not only conditions and makes the tail easy to brush, but also provides a barrier from more urine seeping into the hair before the next wash.

7.    Repeat each day for the first week to maximise results.