Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Sad Story of Mullet Skunk Tail

I've read several blog posts, along with educational articles regarding how to manage, coax, and groom a bedraggled horse tail into a thing of beauty.  And I've done that, for one simple reason - my horse's tail looks like a skunks mullet.  I'm not proud to admit it, but it's ugly.  This is especially sad because naturally he has a very thick welsh cob tail with multi-dimensional color (I've seen too many hair color ads). 

Gavin says "please don't judge me by my tail"

It all started when Gavin was moved out to Colorado from Indiana.  After one blissful year with no skin problems, Gavin developed the most awful case of summer allergies (sweet itch possibly) that I've ever seen.  And because of these terrible allergies - he rubbed pretty much his entire tail out in about a week.  I roached his mane (which was also disgusting looking - imagine a bald rat tail, that's what that skin looked like), and delicately picked his remaining 5 strands of tail hair. 

Desperately I searched for a solution to calm my horses itchy skin and thus save his battered mane and tail.  I tried allergy shots (very expensive and didn't work AT ALL), steroids (turned him into a giant freaky douchebag that I wanted nothing to do with - yeh, I didn't buy a stallion for a reason), benadryl in mass quantities (Zzzz...Zzzz).  Nothing worked very well (well, the steroids worked, but we didn't work then, so it didn't work).  Last summer I moved him to Denver and bought an industrial strength full-body fly sheet and slathered him nightly in SWAT.  Low and behold - it sorta worked!  It at least managed to salvage his mane and tail from the brutal beating they got the previous summer. 

Now his tail is growing out (his mane is all grown out and bushy as hell, note above pic), but it looks awful!  I'm terrified to brush it or put any form of detangler in it, as I've heard it drys it out.  So here is what I'm working with:
nice shag top, followed by a thinned out mess

Check out his beautiful dappled butt ;)

 I will continue doing the only things that have been working for his tail growth, which are:
  1. Don't touch it very much
  2. Always keep him in some type of blanket/sheet/flysheet
    1. this keeps him from rubbing it too badly, and
    2. keeps his skin away from the itchy elements
I hope to have this tail more grown out by this summer, when I get to hopefully show him training level.  :)  I'll take some pics in awhile to note any more regrowth.  But until then, if anyone has any advice - I'm all ears!

Bye ya'lllll

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