At Burghley I got talking to the lovely Jacqui Vaughan, groom for Craig Nicolai and Just Ironic (who unfortunately had to be w/d before the dressage, but is re-routing to Pau). ‘Spyda’ is grey and I wondered how she ensures that his tail is always absolutely gleaming white.
Her instant reply was “ketchup”. Of course, I had to know more, so here it is:
Top 10 tips for a super white tail!
1) Start washing the tail daily with washing up liquid a few days before competition and use show sheen after each time to stop new stains sinking in.
2) Show day – First wash with warm water and washing up liquid. Use a stiff brush to wash the dock of the tail by parting the hair and getting right down in to skin. Theres nothing worse than a gleaming white tail with a dirty dock showing through when they carry their tail!!
3) Rinse the tail through thoroughly and whilst still damp/wet cover it with tomato ketchup (yes really!) Massage it through thoroughly and leave it in whilst you wash the rest of the horse (10- 20 mins) The fruit acids in the ketchup combat the yellowness.
4) Rinse the ketchup out and wash the tail again this time with clothes washing liquid. We use Daz capsules with whiteners. Leave for a minute or two then rinse thoroughly.
5) Give the tail a last wash through with a blue rinse shampoo designed for horses. We use Bright Whites by Horse Health.
7) Bandage the top of the tail to set the hair flat and allow to dry. Once the tail is dry undo the bandage and brush the tail through.
8) For a final dazzle add a coat of Supreme Sparkle with has amazing light-reflecting pigments to the dry tail.
9) When travelling, bandage the the full length of the tail using two bandages, and then cover both with a tail bag and tail protector.
10) Smile and be proud of your gleaming white tail!!
All photos and words by Jacqui Vaughan. Thank you Jacqui!