Horse Tack Review

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Cowboy Magic

Tell top endurance rider Niki Bridwell that she has her horse’s hair, and she will grin and reply with an enthusiastic “Thank you!” Niki, of Pilot Point, Texas, readily admits that she loves to show off her horse’s beautiful mane, and she also likes the fact that she and Little Kamil Star, better known as “Cliff,” sport matching hair. Wherever they go, they turn heads with their long, red tresses.

Unfortunately, because Niki competes in endurance riding with Cliff, she rarely gets the chance to show off her gelding’s long mane. It’s a demanding discipline, in which horses and riders face a variety of challenges, including riding over difficult terrain and facing such extreme weather conditions as scorching summer heat, blowing dust, biting winter wind and rain. Niki and Cliff are tough competitors; the duo is currently at the top of the leader board in their region and ranked seventh in the nation. However, at the end of a tough day of competition, following the thrill of winning a 50-mile race or having Cliff earn the best condition award, Niki must then face the damage that a day exposed to sweat and the elements has done to her hair—and Cliff’s.

“I have very long, thick, red hair that is highlighted naturally,” says Niki. “People always ask me if I color my hair, and I also get asked all the time if I highlight Cliff’s mane to match my hair, and I don’t. We just naturally have the exact same color hair. I get a lot of compliments on my hair, but most people don’t realize what I nightmare it can be to take care of, especially after an endurance ride. When I finish a 50-mile ride, my hair is completely knotted, even though I put it up under my helmet. And then I have to wash it with the hard water in my trailer. No matter what products I use, it’s a big fight just to try to comb it out. As a result, my hair gets broken and frizzy, and I can’t even run my fingers through it.” Niki says she faces the same problems with Cliff’s mane, namely tangling, matting, breakage and frizz.

In dire need of a solution, Niki agreed to take the COWBOY MAGIC® challenge and use the COWBOY MAGIC® ROSEWATER SHAMPOO, DEMINERALIZER CONDITIONER and DETANGLER™ & SHINE on both herself and Cliff for a week.

COWBOY MAGIC® was founded by horseman Jim Cummings in 1995, who decided to reformulate the very best and most expensive human hair care detangler for equine use. “I marketed it to horse owners as an affordable product they could use on both their horses and their own hair,” says Jim.

From the success of the first product, DETANGLER™ & SHINE, grew the COWBOY MAGIC® line of quality concentrated grooming products, which can be used on both horses and humans: ROSEWATER SHAMPOO, DEMINERALIZER CONDITIONER, BODYSHINE™, GREENSPOT® REMOVER and SHINE IN YELLOWOUT™. Additional products include DRY SKIN LOTION for hardworking hands and Medicated KRUDBUSTER™ and Medicated RAINROT™ SHAMPOO for horses.

“All COWBOY MAGIC® products, with the exception of KRUDBUSTER™ and RAINROT™ SHAMPOO, are manufactured under FDA cosmetic guidelines,” says Jim. “As a result, all ingredients are listed on the label, product quality control standards are regulated and manufacturing standards are higher than those required for products manufactured for animal use only. Although it costs more to manufacture and market COWBOY MAGIC® products under these high standards, it ensures that our customers are getting what they expect from the products they are paying for. And because our products are concentrated, they work better, last longer and cost less.”

It didn’t take Niki long to discover that all this was true. She liked the products instantly. “I like a shampoo that lathers well because I feel like the more it lathers the cleaner my hair is getting,” she says. “But at the same time, I don’t like to have to spend forever and a day rinsing it out. The shampoo lathered up without having to use a handful of it, and it rinsed out easily and quickly. When I used the conditioner, my hair felt silky and smooth, not gummy, which is a problem I have with a lot of other conditioners. I could actually run my fingers through my hair while it was under the water, which I usually can’t do.”

Niki says that if she had known the DETANGLER™ & SHINE would work so well, she would have started using it a long time ago. “I will never go without it now. Because my hair is curly, it can be very frizzy. The detangler really cut down on the frizz, and it holds the style longer. I used to have put a lot of hairspray on my bangs, which I don’t really like. It seems like my hair has better ‘memory’ now. I style it, and if the wind blows it, it falls back in place.”

The first time Niki used the ROSEWATER SHAMPOO on Cliff, she liked it just as much. “As with my own hair, I liked that it lathered up nicely and spread around the hair easily. I didn’t have to use a whole lot. I also liked that it was easy to rinse out. The shampoo was not at all drying and it made his hair shiny and soft. I was actually surprised to see how shiny he was.”

Niki says that what she liked most about the conditioner was that it rinsed clean and she could run her fingers through his mane when it was wet. “It made the hair easy to separate. When it dried, there was no film or residue. Instead, it was very light and easy to manage.” Days later, Cliff’s mane and tail still had that clean, just-washed feel.

Because Cliff is an endurance horse, he doesn’t live the life of a show horse. He lives outside in a large paddock where he can move around, stretch his legs, run, play and graze. The biggest problem Niki faces with Cliff’s mane is keeping it detangled. But because she hasn’t been able to find something that worked, she just keeps it braided all the time.

“I would really like to show off Cliff’s mane, but I am afraid to leave it down,” says Niki. “It’s extremely difficult to take care of. I have to keep it braided all the time because it’s so long that it gets sticks, pieces of grass and burrs in it, and I can’t pull them out because the hair just wraps around them. I tried a lot of other products that were supposed to work as a detangler. I would use them, but as soon as his mane dried, it would tangle up again with just a flip of his head.”

After using the DETANGLER™ & SHINE, Niki found she could leave his mane down without it getting tangled.

Niki also noticed that the COWBOY MAGIC® products reduce breakage. “Before I started using them, when I would take down the braid, I would notice breakage,” says Niki. “Now, when I take the braid out, I can just run my fingers through it and there isn’t a lot of broken hair. Another thing I’ve noticed is that it seems to help protect his mane over his withers, which usually gets matted from my saddle pad. It’s not doing that now.”

The COWBOY MAGIC® products still had one more test to pass—an endurance competition. “After doing a 50-mile ride, my hair is a mess,” says Niki. “I can never get a brush through it. Add to that the fact that I have to wash my hair with ‘trailer water,’ which is the hard water from a hose that I put in the water tank of my living quarters trailer. I just dread it, because no matter what products I use it is a big fight to get my hair combed out.”

Jim explains why the DEMINERALIZER™ CONDITIONER works with hard water when other products don’t. “I developed the DEMINERALIZER™ CONDITIONER to help remove hard water deposits from hair,” he says. “In the process, we discovered that the new formula also removed chemical deposits from city water, further improving after-shampooing results.” As it is massaged into the hair, it loosens and dissolves the mineral and chemical buildup on the hair. Rinse, and the buildup rinses away. DEMINERALIZER™ CONDITIONER also contains silk proteins and panthenol, which penetrate the hair and skin, adding moisture.

Niki packed up her trailer, loaded up Cliff and headed to Oklahoma for the Indian Territory 50-mile ride. She and Cliff won the ride in record time and earned the best condition award. After the ride came the moment of truth—would the ROSEWATER SHAMPOO wash away 50 miles of dirt and sweat, and would the DEMINERALIZER™ CONDITIONER help her beat the battle against the hard water?

“It was amazing,” says Niki. “I was able to comb my hair out and I didn’t even have to use the DETANGLER™ & SHINE. I will definitely continue to use these products!”

For more information about the complete line of COWBOY MAGIC® products, log onto, or call (800) 755-6844 to find a retailer near you that carries COWBOY MAGIC® quality concentrated grooming products.