How to get a yellow mane and tail white

How to get a yellow horse's mane and tail white

How do you care for your mare’s yellow, urine stained tail? Or perhaps your super messy gelding that insists of lying in the one pile of pooh in his super clean stable despite there being masses of pooh-free room at his disposal? 

Many horse owners who struggle with this problem, reach for all kinds of weird products and concoctions, from kitchen condiments to household cleaning bleaches, peroxides, DIY pastes and any number of other unsuitable harsh chemicals in desperate hope of creating showstopping whiteness!

While some of these concoctions may appear to work a little better than others, many actually end up causing further long-term damage to the delicate structure of the hollow white/grey hair fibre, leaving it dry, brittle and even more susceptible to damage resulting in yellow brassiness. 

What causes my horse’s mane and tail to go yellow? 

Manes and tails are common yellow areas of gray and white horses. It’s a mixture of urine, manure, dirt, air, your horse’s natural aura that are all mixed together and result in that sort of an ombre shade of yellow on your horse. 

What can I do to stop it going yellow in the first place? 

Follow these tips to stop the yellow before it starts:

* Use ultra clean and ultra-deep bedding if possible

* Clean your horse’s habitat as much as possible

* Let your horse be oily. His natural oils protect the hair and provide a natural barrier to stains. Stripping of oils with harsh shampoos or ultra-frequent bathing removes these oils.

* Rinse shampoo out of his coat thoroughly and then rinse again! 

How can I keep my horse’s mane and tail sparkling white? 

Here are some simple things you can do to maintain the whiteness in your horse’s mane and tail:

* Use a blueing or purple shampoos. They will, however, turn your tail lavender if left on too long. Check out our range of shampoos for grey horses here

* Wash your horse's mane and tail about once every 2 weeks, or even longer, depending on the “ick” factor

* If you like a conditioner, use one that rinses easily and thoroughly as even a tiny residue can irritate the skin and act as a magnet for dirt when the mane and tail are dry

* Use a detangler as they coat and protect the hair as well as providing stain repelling goodness. Most are light enough you can use them daily.  You can do a deep conditioning treatment with a grooming oil, or you can use a silicone-based spray that doesn't have added alcohol. 

What is known for certain about yellow manes and tails?

Here’s what we all know for absolute certainty:

* It takes time to get that way, so it will take time to undo

* Avoid going all out on detergents. You will end up with a more brittle hair coat and tail which will just soak up stains more easily

* It’s the long game you’re playing I’m afraid

* Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your bright white mane and tail won’t be either.

Keen to know more? Read my blog Keeping Grey Horses Gleaming for information on keeping a grey horse's coat clean.

Shop bathing products for grey horses online


Kim Horton

Co-Founder of EQUUS and a keen equestrian, when Kim's not at her desk she's with her horse, Waldo.

Leave a comment