photo by
Tales of Taco the Wonder Horse and his ammy rider on their way to a Training Three Day

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ask Taco: Hair Care and 2011 Plans

Q.  Dear Taco,
How do you keep your mane and tail so glossy?  What horsehair products do you use? 
And my friend wonders what Lifetime Movies you watch.
Does Stacy treat you well?  Do you like soft shoes or hard shoes?

Please answer any or all of the above!


A. Dear Gina,
Thank you for noticing my lovely mane and tail.  I am very proud of them.  I especially like my mane when it has grown a little bit too long and wild, like it is now.  I know that Stacy will thin and shorten it in a month or two to get ready for the event season, but in the meantime I like my rakish appearance.

 My hair care regime is very simple.  I do not over-wash it, first of all.  In the winter it does not get washed at all, unless my tail gets too muddy while I am running in my pasture.  That way the natural oils are allowed to condition it.  In the summer I often get both my mane and my tail rinsed out when I have showers after my workouts.  Year round, Stacy brushes my mane frequently but almost never brushes my tail.  Instead, she sprays Show Sheen into it to keep it detangled.  Some people say that Show Sheen is drying but the benefits of keeping my tail tangle-free outweigh that problem.  No tangles and little brushing add up to a nice, full tail that I am very proud of.

For competitions, Stacy washes both my mane and my tail.  She uses a shampoo called "Quic-Black" on my tail to enhance the color.  Then she works Mane n' Tail conditioner into my tail and lets it sit while she washes another part of me.  Finally, she rinses it with cool water (this helps the hair shaft slick down and look shiny) and then sprays Show Sheen into the wet tail.  Finally, once it is completely dry, she does the only brushing that she ever does on my tail.  She then makes a straight cut across the bottom, braids my mane, and we are ready!

A nice tails shows off a nice hind end. (

As for my Lifetime movie preferences, I don't want to hurt your friend's feelings but I don't really like Lifetime.  It is marketed toward female people and I'm male and a horse.  One time when I had insomnia in the winter, I was in my stall and turned on my TV and got sucked into a series of Lifetime movies.  I could not tell you the titles, though.  I was in a fog all the next day.

Stacy treats me very well, thank you.  I like the carrots that Stacy brings and how much fussing she does.  She scratches my itches and I don't mind the kisses too much.  She understands my needs very well, for the most part.   I get a little bit frustrated when she goes away on trips, either for work or to visit her family up in New England, which seem to happen every few months.  I really prefer to have regular work and consistent attention.  But she leaves me with Amy, who runs a pretty tight ship.  Sometimes Amy even rides me, like today. Also, I keep telling Stacy that I do not like static electricity in the winter and she has not addressed that problem, but it is minor.  The shoes she has on me are OK, I guess-- they feel fine and I have never had a different kind except I remember that when I was very young I did not have any shoes at all.  I like the new food that we are eating, and my hock joints in my hind legs feel pretty good right now.  All in all I have everything I need. 

All my best,

Q. Dear Taco,
My mom says that she has a vicarious eventing life thanks to you and your mom.  I don’t know what “vicarious” means and I’m not really sure what “eventing” is, but since Destiny says eventing is really hard work, we’re both against it on principle.

So we think that maybe if my mom hears a lot about your eventing career she’ll not even THINK about making us do it.  I think my mom would like to know what your plans are for next season.  What events will you be going to?  Plans for clinics?  Another 3-day? Please tell her in great detail b/c Destiny and I want to keep her happy for obvious reasons.

I think you’re pretty hot, BTW. For a gelding, that is. ;-)

Your fan,


A. Thanks for your kind compliments, Maggie.  I do my best to keep my appearance attractive, and it's nice to know that folks notice.
Vicarious simply means that she isn't doing the eventing herself but is instead experiencing the eventing through my participation.  It is nice to have her cheering Stacy and me on, I must say.  I do enjoy having fans.  But I will also say that I don't mind hard work at all.  If it involves running and jumping I just love it.  I guess you ladies will just have to be vicarious along with your mom.  As long as you are my fans, I think that's great.

As for our season, Stacy recently talked to Amy and the rest of the Panther Springs Farm riders and they made a schedule for 2011.  As I understand it, the first half of the year is to be a preparation for another Training Three Day.  As it stands this involves:
February  Combined test, dressage show, or clinic if possible
March 5-13 Aiken (March 12-13 Full Gallop Farm Horse Trials)
April 9-10 Chattahoochee Hills Horse Trials
May 6-8 Poplar Place Farm/ Area III Championships
June 2-5 Indiana Training Three Day Event

After the T3D we will probably enjoy ourselves at some more events later in the summer:
September 2-4 Kentucky Classic
September 23-25  Poplar Place
Oct 21-23 MidSouth Team Challenge  (this is where we did the T3D this year but next season we want to be on a team!)

We will also add some clinics and dressage shows here and there.  You can be sure that Stacy or I will post them on the blog.  It will be fun!  I love eventing!

All my best,


Gina Hiatt, Ph.D. said...

Dear Taco,

Thank you for answering my questions. I had no idea that your hair care regime had so many aspects to it. Re: Lifetime -- I'm not surprised that you don't like it; the movies are rarely about horses. And of course you are a male horse -- I had forgotten momentarily.

Unknown said...

I think taco should have a facebook page! He is quite the celebrity! Mommy loves reading Team Taco's blog.

Here's my question for taco:

Taco- mom has been doing some work to develop what she calls my topline- really, i think she just has a fancy word for my butt and back- we have been walking hills 3x per week and spend at least 30 minutes walking during our working days. I'm on a 14% feed and in good weight. Do you have any additional suggestions? She said my topline looked really good when we were doing a lot of cantering (I LOVE cantering and galloping!) but it also caused me to get REALLY hot and stubborn since my breed also contributes to that (I'm half spirited arabian and half firey thoroughbred).

I also can tend to have some issues with straightness. I tend to want to either over-bend and lean and twist my neck (especially while cantering) which isn't really bending at all, or over-compensate when she asks me to straighten out by popping my shoulder out the opposite direction. I'm not sure she's communicating correctly with me, or maybe she can do something to help me stay straight and not be a wiggle-worm. We don't have an arena with a rail to work on or really any flat ground next to a fence. What ideas do you have?

meganmvcorbett said...

Mom says that she might take me to eventing camp this year instead of Flo. Whatever. I was wondering if you were going. That would be cool, I guess.