DIY Mane & Tail Growth Recipe for Horses {Printable}

When it comes to mane & tail growth for horses, patience is a virtue.

There’s no quick fix that will give you instant results, but the good news is this DIY Mane and Tail Growth Serum can get you headed in the right direction.

Fall is the perfect time to start, giving you lots of time before you hit the show ring next summer, and it also helps combat dryness as winter approaches.

There are many factor that affect hair growth, such as genetics, nutrition, care, turnout etc. but the main purpose of this serum is to improve the health of your horse’s scalp to maximize your efforts and strengthen the existing hair.

It takes a bit of work, but really, is there anything more spectacular than a long, flowing, Friesian-inspired tail?

DIY Mane & Tail Growth Serum Recipe for Horses by Savvy Horsewoman

The key ingredient in this recipe is Castor Oil, which is loaded with hair boasting benefits.

It’s naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fugal which helps the fight against dandruff, and contains ricinoleic acid, which helps to stimulate the hair follicles, improve circulation and balance pH levels.

It’s also loaded with antioxidants that work to strengthen hair and reduce frizz. Another bonus is the price! It’s super affordable for long term use.

Buying Tip:
πŸ’²  You can usually get a big 16 oz bottle on Amazon for under $18. That’s a great deal! Check the current price here.
DIY Mane and Tail Growth Serum for Horses

DIY Mane and Tail Growth Serum for Horses



For best results, apply 2-3 times a week at the base of the tail, mane or forelock. Depending on how dry (or dirty) the hair is, you may want to lightly moisten it with water first.

I like to massage it in for a few minutes, helping to open the hair follicles and promote circulation. Castor oil is quite thick, so a little goes a long ways.

Start with just a few drops and leave it in for several hours, or overnight if possible.

I’ve found it’s usually absorbed within 12-24 hours, but if your horse is looking greasy it can be washed out (try this recipe for DIY Natural Horse Shampoo) or for a quick fix you can sprinkle corn starch over top and brush it out.


Oil Benefits:

Jojoba β€“ great all-round oil for skin and hair, fast absorbing.

Neem β€“ strong smell, but worth it! Anti-inflammatory and soothing.

Olive β€“ very moisturizing and you probably have some on hand already.

Argan– adds shine and reduces frizziness.

Coconut β€“ Anti-bacterial, anti-fugal, anti-inflammatory, too many benefits to list! The down side is in cold climates it’s solid and would need to be melted before adding to the castor oil, making a much thicker serum.

For more coconut oil info check out Coconut Oil for Horses – Top 10 Uses.

My personal favorite is a mix of castor/jojoba/neem oil with lavender and rosemary essential oils.

Disclaimer: You should always use cation around horses, and massaging the tail area is no exception, so please be safe!

Happy grooming,

DIY Mane & Tail Growth Serum Recipe for Horses by Savvy Horsewoman


  1. Lani
    January 19, 2017 / 12:06 am

    Thank you for this recipe! It really works!! My friends horse's forelock was cut off by one of the grooms taking out his braid. We have been massaging in this recipe (I also used a combo of neem and jojoba along with lavender and rosemary essential oils) for a couple of months now and his forelock has grown. Another gal in the barn asked to use some on her son's roping horse as he had no forelock and sure enough it's growing!!!!

    • Savvy Horsewoman
      January 19, 2017 / 7:41 pm

      Thanks for your feedback, I'm so glad it's working well for you πŸ™‚

    • HorsewomanNz
      March 22, 2018 / 2:33 am

      Hi Lani, can you elaborate on the quantities (ie: drops of essential oils) you used in your blend? Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Debra
      September 1, 2020 / 9:38 am

      My gelding has rubbed his mane and tail off every year, has ich on his belly. This is the first time I have found anything that works. This year he has a tail and no ich on his belly. I have spent so much on products and home remedies, thank you for the great recipe.

  2. Lauren Alexandra
    May 1, 2018 / 10:54 pm

    What do you use to store this in? For personal use I store my oils in dark glass containers but I'm worried about having glass in the barn. I'm also curious about the amount of essential oils you use.Thank you!

    • September 17, 2019 / 2:56 pm

      I am using a .99 squirt bottle that you would put BBQ sauce or ketchup in. It works Wonderful!!

    • Deb
      November 19, 2019 / 12:46 pm

      Can I make up a gallon of this stuff. I have a few horses. Would this get bad over a period of time?

  3. Elizabeth A England
    May 15, 2018 / 12:09 pm

    Can you leave the serum in the horse’s mane/tail after each use or do you have to wash it out?

    • savvyhorsewoman
      May 19, 2018 / 9:17 am

      It should absorb into the mane/tail on it’s own, so it can be left on. Start with small amounts first, a little goes a long ways!

  4. Jessica
    September 12, 2018 / 8:36 am

    Could you add Geranium oil to this recipe to keep ticks out of the mane and tail? In another post, I believe you said you didn’t use Geranium oil directly on the skin but put it on fly masks, fly boots, etc. Would it be okay to apply to the skin if it was diluted?

    • savvyhorsewoman
      September 13, 2018 / 9:44 am

      Yes, and that’s a great idea!

  5. Robyn
    September 21, 2018 / 4:03 pm

    Please answer questions above for clarity. How many drops of each EO and how do you store this serum?

    • savvyhorsewoman
      September 23, 2018 / 4:54 pm

      I would use just a few drops of essential oil in a small batch. You can always add more if you need it. The scent should be noticeable, but not overpowering.

      Any container is fine to keep it in, but to avoid a mess, you’re best off with a narrow top and a lid (like the travel size shampoo containers from the dollar store).

      Sometimes when you purchase castor oil it comes in a glass bottle with a dropper. That works great too!

      • Margaret
        April 6, 2019 / 5:33 pm

        I use a the application bottle after coloring my own hair. I wash it thoroughly and make the mix and store in that as I find it perfect to apply it with.

  6. Lisa Wieland
    July 27, 2019 / 11:48 am

    Do you massage the entire dock?

  7. Faith
    July 28, 2019 / 4:30 pm

    How much do you approximately use on your horses tail, should you keep your horses tail in a tail bag, and how long would you say it takes to start to see an improvement?

  8. Lynda M Schnepp
    April 24, 2020 / 10:14 am

    does it help people grow hair?

    • savvyhorsewoman
      April 26, 2020 / 2:14 pm

      Yes, it can help encourage hair growth for people too!

  9. leo
    July 28, 2020 / 2:43 pm

    so, i’m mostly going to use this to grow out my horses main, she’s never really had a super long main but it’s really thick. would it work to just grow out hair or is it mostly for horses that have hair loss or injuries?

  10. Sam Page
    August 3, 2020 / 11:35 pm

    My pony had her mane roached because the trainer didnt want to bother fighting to pull it. Would this also work for her and would I need to was it out the next day or would it be fine to leave on till next application

  11. LaVonne
    January 19, 2021 / 2:24 pm

    Can I put neck sweats on after applying the oil

  12. William Sullivan
    March 10, 2021 / 12:47 pm

    Is there any issue with application and sunburn?

  13. Jolenna E Peterson
    September 22, 2022 / 9:21 am

    could you put your horses tail in a tail bag to help it grow better too?

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.