Smart Tails – tidying the humane way for a show ring finish.
So you have a thick unruly tail and a competition or show to go to shortly. Fast forward 10 minutes and you can instantly have that tail tidied and your horse won’t even know it’s happened!
So how can that be possible? Well if you haven’t used a Smart Tails thinning rake, then now is definitely the time to give it a go! Our original product which was the start of the Smart Grooming brand, is still the most sought after grooming tool for your kit if you want that professional finish without giving any discomfort to your horse either.
Step One: You will need: A thick bushy tail, or one that has grown out from a previous season of pulling or tidying, and the following grooming tools: Mane/tail brush, water brush, tail bandage, Smart Tails thinning rake (grade to be decided), scissors or clippers, EquiShave.
Step Two: Decide which grade of Smart tails you need. Fine or medium are good on fine/soft hair where you would like a tidy close finish. Coarse is better on really thick tails to get the worst out or for a more natural finish (eg for tidying M&M’s giving definition but not looking like anything has been tidied!). Once the thickness has been removed, it can be finished with a medium or fine for a really smooth finish.
Step Three: Brush out the tail so there are no tangles. You don’t need to wash it as a bit of grease in the tail makes it very much easier to tidy.
Once you have selected the Smart Tail that is appropriate for the tail that you are tidying, comb it down the sides of the tail, in exactly the same place as you would pull a tail. Carry on until you have it shaped as you like. Avoid using it on the top hairs in the middle of the tail. If you have a very big thick tail, then lift the top hairs on the centre of the tail and thin underneath using the Smart Tail. If you are tidying a very thick tail, its best to do this in stages and do a bit, damp it and tail bandage it, then come back to it a bit later and see what else needs doing.
If you have a few fine hairs left at the top of the tail that the Smart Tails won’t pick up, then use the Equi-Shave and brush lightly down this will give a really neat finish. You can also use this under the tail if there is a lot of thick hair, but use carefully, the blade is very sharp and a light pressure is all that is needed.
Once you feel you have thinned the tail enough for the finish that you want, then damp the top of the tail with the water brush and apply a tail bandage, bandaging all the way down to just below the end of the dock. Leave for an hour or so and then remove to see the final finish.
Check the bottom of the tail for the appropriate length that you need, and either cut or use clippers to give it a good straight square finish.
It really is that easy, and your horse will appreciate that this method won’t leave him sore and grumpy!
To keep the tail neat and tidy during the show season, you may need a finer grade of blade; just run it down the side of the tail each week as part of your grooming routine before going to a show.