Product Review: Canter Mane & Tail Conditioner

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

Label on the container of Canter Mane & Tail Conditioner - Photo by Lorraine Peachey Label on the container of Canter Mane & Tail Conditioner - Photo by Lorraine Peachey

I always seem to have people randomly comment that my hair is “really long.” I hear this from people that I know and see fairly often (which is pretty funny to me because my hair has been “really long” for quite a while now). Or, I even get the occasional comment from complete and total strangers that happen to walk past me (which is sometimes slightly creepy).

While I adore my long locks, they can be a lot to maintain. The most tiresome things to deal with are the knots and tangles that inevitably find their way into my hair. Owning a Jeep Wrangler doesn’t seem to help that situation much (but I’ll take all the tangles in the world so that I can “go topless” in the good ‘ole Jeep).

Plus, I go through hair products faster than a tray of Dark Horse Chocolate samples disappear at a trade show (who doesn’t love a Peppermint Pony?). I’m not even kidding. The shampoo, conditioner and leave-in treatment bottles are gone in pretty much no time flat. And I’m extremely picky when it comes to hair products — using ones that keep my hair healthy, shiny and breakage free are especially important (since there’s so. much. of. it.)

The (mini)dreaded 'before' picture - Photo by Lorraine Peachey

The (mini) dreaded “before” picture. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Well, my shiny ponytail pales in comparison to my own horse’s tails. There’s just a whole lotta hair up in there. And I’m notoriously bad for skipping brushing out tails — especially when I’m trying to do just a quick grooming job before tacking up for a ride after work.

The result is usually a tail that has monstrous knots is a little tangled and has a dusty film on it. The fall and winter seasons are even worse, though. When conditions turn muddy, my boys’ tails can end up with a bunch of lovely, mud-caked dreadlocks. And then there’s the funky smell of the “mud” as well (at least, that’s what I tell myself that it is). As you can imagine, is a complete and utter nightmare to clean and detangle.

Canter Mane & Tail Conditioner comes in both a 500ml and 1L sized spray bottle - Photo by Lorraine Peachey

Canter Mane & Tail Conditioner comes in both a 500 milliliter and 1 liter sized spray bottles. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

So, when I came across the Carr & Day & Martin stand at the AETA tradeshow back in August, I was quite interested to learn about their Canter Mane & Tail Conditioner. Someone described it as being a product that does just a phenomenal job at keeping tails shiny and tangle free — so of course, that made me extremely eager to try it out!

I had a lovely conversation with some folks from Carr & Day & Martin; of course we chatted about our own ‘ponies’ and about how they can do such a bang up job at dragging their tails through every mud puddle and type of prickly brush in sight to create quite the mess.

During my chat, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Carr & Day & Martin is a company with a long standing tradition of offering quality horse care products. In fact, they have been in business since 1765, which means they have been serving horse owners for over 200 years. That’s a really long time. I’m just saying.

During my initial use of Canter Mane & Tail Conditioner, I definitely saturated Ripley's tail really well - Photo by Lorraine Peachey

During my initial use of Canter Mane & Tail Conditioner, I definitely saturated Ripley’s tail really well. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

I was told that for the initial use of Canter Mane & Tail Conditioner, I should feel free to saturate my horse’s tail really well. After the first use, the tail should keep its nice sheen and be tangle free for up to two weeks. Two whole weeks! A silicone detangling agent is used in the Mane & Tail Conditioner in order help hair stay tangle free.

When I went to use the bottle of Canter Mane & Tail Conditioner for the first time, I really let Ripley’s tail have it, because it definitely had some knots and slight dreadlocks in it. I went about giving his tail a good even spritzing all over, paying special attention to get the underside as well. And while spraying the bottle, I noticed that the conditioner has a pleasant aroma to it, as it contains a citronella scent.

I applied the conditioner to Ripley’s tail while it was dry, but it can also be applied to wet tail hair as well. Once his tail had a nice even coat of Canter Mane & Tail applied, it felt fairly damp. I then proceeded to grab up a soft body brush to run through it to start working on those tangles. And then to finish up, I finally combed the entire tail to get those last few tangles out.

After Ripley's tail was evenly coated with Canter Mane & Tail, it felt very sleek, and was quite easy for me to run the soft body brush through - Photo by Lorraine Peachey

After Ripley’s tail was evenly coated with Canter Mane & Tail, it felt very sleek and was quite easy for me to run the soft body brush through. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I was quite literally amazed at the results that unfolded right before my eyes. Ripley’s tail did feel quite damp once I sprayed on a coating of Canter Mane & Tail. The tail hair felt very sleek at that point, so it was quite easy for me to run both the soft body brush and then the comb through. And then it was time to say buh-bye to the tangles and mini-dreadlocks.

But something more happened than just the tangles coming out. Once the conditioner saturated in and was brushed through, Ripley’s tail felt dry, and it gained a lot of body to it. The result was simply stunning. Ripley’s tail just looked so shiny and fluffy as it cascaded down till it almost touched the ground. And it just made me want to go run my fingers through it (and it felt as smooth and lovely as it looked). I also have been using the conditioner on Ripley’s mane as well, and it is also smooth and shiny.

And the final result....stunning - Photo by Lorraine Peachey

And the final result … stunning. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

And the results didn’t just last for a day or two. The Canter Mane & Tail Conditioner kept Ripley’s tail hair looking and feeling great. I like how shiny and free of tangles it has stayed. I have not been able to bring myself to wait two full weeks between applications because I just like to spritz his tail a few times and run a comb through it as part of my regular grooming routine at this point. In fact, I feel like I’ve not put much of a dent in the 1 liter bottle that I’ve been using yet! And since I’ve started using the product, a few spritzes is all it takes to keep the tail looking absolutely fabulous.

Carr & Day & Martin is the leading manufacturer of equine care products in the UK, and they have even held a Royal Warrant since the reign of King George IV. If Carr & Day & Martin products are good enough for use in the British Royal Stables, then they are most certainly good enough for my own horses! The company also manufactures 80 percent of their products in their own plant located in Lytham. And, though there are no manufacturing standards that must be adhered to for equine care products, Carr & Day & Martin has manufactured to pharmaceutical standards for many years.

Canter Mane & Tail Conditioner is available in an easy-to-use spray bottle, in two sizes — a 500 milliliter bottle and a 1 liter bottle. The 500 milliliter bottle retails for around $16.95, and the 1 liter bottle retails for around $29.95. You can check them out here.

Go Tails that Get Their Shine On. Go Carr & Day & Martin. Go Eventing.

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