An Interview With Horse Whisperer Carol Sharpe - Nihi, Sumba
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In this video tutorial our contributor, Jess Colvin, shows us how she washes her horse Memo's tail. The method she uses is particularly good for restoring white tails to their natural white, but it's just as effective for cleaning any other coloured tails too!
"This tutorial is created on behalf of the Horsemart community. We hope that you find that useful.
"Hi everybody. I hope you're staying safe and well.
"Today, I'm going to show you how I clean my tails. Now, this is a step that I use to get rid of stains, specifically for white tails, but don't worry, if you have a horse with any other colour tail, the method will work just as well.
"As always, if you have any questions, leave them in the comments.
"First things first, you wet the tail. Now, it is best to use warm water for this but you can use cold; that works just as well. Whilst I'm doing this, I will just explain my mask and gloves! At the moment, to keep things safe with the current situation everywhere, we are wearing masks and gloves whilst inside the barns and around people.
"Just a quick note here; if you are using cold water, you will need to rinse a few more times and possibly reapply the shampoo once more. Just if you do decide to use cold or you don't have access to the hot.
"The first product I use is the Wahl Diamond White. This does come in other colours for different colour horses. I apply that onto my hand and then run it through the tail with a scrubbing motion you can see me doing my hand there. I find this works to lift any dirt that's stuck in the tail.
"Once I've done the ends, I then go and apply it directly to the top... making sure I get into the roots, especially where the dock area is, as I find that's where it gets most greasy. Again, using that same motion and scrubbing down through the tail. The best way to explain this is, imagine you are rolling some Play-Doh and you're creating it into a long shape between your hands. That's kind of the motion that I'm doing here.
"Once you’re happy that you've covered it in all of the areas, go ahead and rinse. Make sure to stand to the side of the horses as not all horses will like their tails being washed or rinsed. At this point, you want to get any of the soaps and studs out of the tail. Really make sure that all shampoo is gone.
"Next, I use the Supreme Products Blue Shampoo; again, available in other colours. Now, this I apply directly to the tail, again, starting with the ends... and using a similar motion to run it through the tail.
"This is kind of the whitening step of my washing process. This really lifts any of the stains stuck in the tail. I might apply a second coat, which I'm doing here, if I feel that it needs a little bit more. Once I'm happy that I've covered that, I'll wait five minutes, do a little dance (laughs) and then rinse. As before, it's really important to get rid of any shampoo that’s in the tail, so make sure you rinse it thoroughly.
"Once you're happy that you've removed any of the shampoo in the tail, get rid of any excess water; you can see me working my way down the tail here. I'll do a twist and a pull motion as I go down, a bit like you're wringing out a towel. Then, if your horse is happy with this, I shake out the tail, and I'll then spin it around to get rid of any of the last parts of the water.
"Now, this is if your horse is happy; be aware that some horses might not like this. So just be careful if you are trying it.
"Finally, I apply the Carr & Day & Martin Canter Mane & Tail all over the tail.
"I’ll just show you the tail dry. It’s lifted any of the grease and discoloration from the tail, and made it really shiny and silky to touch.
"Finally, if you do have a horse with a white tail, I recommend bagging it. I use the Lemieux bag shown here. And the steps to put this on are; plait the tail, put the tail inside the bag, thread the loop of the bag through the top of your plait – as you see here – pull the drawstring tight, thread through the bottom of the bag through that top drawstring – it just lifts the tail bag off of the floor - push down on the Velcro and check that you're happy and that it's nice and secure.
"Now, he will live in this bag now, unless I'm riding or I take it out, and it just helps keep any of the stains off of the tail.
"This is how I clean my tails. As always, if you have any questions, leave them in the comments."