How to Remove Stains
One of the challenges in maintaining Cremello, grey or light coloured horses is the question of how to keep their tails white. Mares especially have difficulty in keeping their tails clean due to splash back, or when your mare is in season hormonal urine is thicker and more acidic causing your tails to become dry and locking in stains which are hard to remove.
The longer you leave a stained tail the harder it will be to also remove your staining so attacking it head on straight away will save you later down the track.
What Not To Do – Not Even Once! Bleach and Hydrogen Peroxide
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT use bleach or hydrogen peroxide in an effort to whiten tails! Both substances are oxidizers, and they will severely damage hair shafts, making them particularly brittle, and susceptible to becoming stained again. It may be tempting, but don’t do it.
Lets get started on what you will need to first:
flexi tub or bucket
very warm water
normal shampoo and conditioner
beyond white shampoo and conditioner
Removing urine and mineral stains from the outside first, you dont want to put your stain remover onto a dirty tail this will lock more staining in. We also recommend to section your tail into 2 sections this is a guide to how much your stain has been lifted, sometimes you think the remover isnt working but infact it has lifted your stains a few levels- by banding your tail into 2 sections will give you a guide to how much has been removed.
First, soak your tail in a bucket of very warm water for 5 min this will help open the cuticle up, then wash the tail with shampoo as you normally would, removing as much dirt as possible thoroughly work it into the hair of the tail, focusing on especially dirty areas. Then rinse off with another batch of very warm water, thoroughly rinsing the tail. -DO NOT use conditioner!
The next step is really important and thats drying off your tails. We use a hair dryer to dry the tail off and to also put heat into the hair shaft to open the cuticle up more- this step is important for those that have heavy staining in their tails.
When your tail is completely dry, pour through your stain remover and lather on areas that are stained, you need to really get the stain remover through the hair strands. I find if you pour your stain remover into the tail and lather through, it works far better then giving a few light sprays!- leave for 15-20 minutes, dont panic if you leave the remover on for longer periods our remover is safe. Finally Rinse out your stain remover from your tails with very warm water.
Part Two: Beyond White Shampoo
Our Beyond white is a violet base shampoo that is super concentrated but the interesting part is.... It doesn’t actually whiten light colored coats, it plays a trick on your eyes! Because Purple/blue light can refract and diffuse yellow light, by applying Beyond White shampoo to a white coat, you are tricking your eyes into believing the horse is less yellow than it actually is.
This is why Beyond White Shampoo is a great shampoo.
Wet your tail down and apply the beyond white only onto the areas that have yellow hues DO NOT APPLY TO WHITE AREAS! -Leave on your white tail (or mane, or coat for that matter) for 1 or 2 minutes to give the violet pigments time to bind to the hair. Leaving it on any longer than this can actually turn your horse silver ash or purple, so don’t get overzealous. Your better off doing 1 minute intervals and washing off and reapplying then to leave on for 5 min and have a violet mess in your tail.
Depending on your tail you can also put in the conditioner to help with hues also.
I usually apply to a well wet tail by simply sectioning the tail out and placing the conditioner straight onto those areas that are more yellow coloured and then immediately rinsing off in very warm water.
Also remember your tail will dry to a lighter colour, so dont keep re applying until it turns a light silver or purple as you will have over toned your tail.
The most important part is to condition your tails! Dry tails will stain more easily!
i like to use a good conditioner treatment or oil through my tails and leave on for 5 min to put moisture back into the tail, when i rinse my conditioner or treatment out i use cold water this help close the cuticle and lock in the moisture.
Part three: Put the Tail Up
This is the #1 way to not only keep your tail white, but to protect the tail hair and keep it in excellent condition. Tail bags are excellent if you use the right ones!
You need a waterproof tail bag no point in going to the effort of getting your tail nice if your going to use a cotton tail bag that will absorb urine splatter and soak your tail!
Next, braid the tail top section of your tail in a loose big braid you dont scomfort to y hairs being tight this will cause discomfort to your horse and make him itch or cause the fine hairs to break, plait right down to the bottom of your tail AGAIN make sure your plait near the tail bone is not tight... pop in your tail bag, It should swing freely and comfortably.
When you take the tail down, i tend not to over brush my tails i simply spray a leave in oil or conditioner give it a quick brush through and repeat the same process putting my tail bag back in. Tails cared for in this manner with dedication and some patience will give you result quite quickly and the results are worth it! Your horses’ white tails will emerge silky, long, and white!