View Full Version : How do you keep your show horse white/grey?

May. 29, 2011, 10:50 PM
Ok so I have a big TBxPercheron mare. Black and white paint when we bought her as a yearling. She has slowly been dappling out to what I'm assuming will eventually (unfortunately) be almost all white.
Side One: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v34/HorseWhisperer/2011/IMG_15492.jpg
Side Two: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v34/HorseWhisperer/2011/IMG_1544.jpg
*please ignore the eq - we are working on it :D

Those pictures were taken about a month ago, the week before a show we were suppose to go to that was rained out. I had just finished body clipping her to get those inevitable winter stains that appear out (no heated wash stall here :(). Well then don't ya know it rains for two weeks straight and she is in, which even with daily stall cleaning and grooming she ends up with nasty stains. In all honesty she is just a PIG and LOVES to lay down and play in the creek outside and be DIRTY. I've given her three-four baths since the rain finally let up and I do believe her skin is stained (hock/gaskin area)!!! I litteraly cried the other day when my Quick Silver wasn't working.

I've been using Quic Silver with great luck for a few years now. I'm taking her to a show in two weeks and really want to get those stains out! I would love to know how everyone keeps there white/grey horses top-of-the-line-show-ready. Any tips/advice for this particular situation? Any products that are a must-try?

May. 29, 2011, 10:55 PM
Try rubbing alcohol on a towel.
Have lots of towels handy so you can switch when it gets dirty.

May. 29, 2011, 11:01 PM
Wow, such a cute horse! I used a combo of Orvus and Quicksilver, when I groomed Artos. He had a naturally beautiful shine and when he was clean he looked like a pearl!

May. 29, 2011, 11:04 PM
Oxyclean works really well. Make a paste and let it sit for about 10 min.

May. 30, 2011, 03:12 AM
I have a pinto pony with heaps of white who at times resembles a cross bred Hippo X Yak. He lives out 24X7 and loves his mud to the point of laying down and wiggling to get mud up under his rugs.

Not exactly conventional and i know some people don't like
Using non-horse-specific things on their horses but this is what works for me;

Wash with warm water and wool wash (yep the kind you wash your woolen jumpers in) cheapest plainest one from the supermarket. Rinse.

Do another wash with cowboy magic 'shine in yellow out'. Rinse

Here's the little grot looking quite clean

May. 30, 2011, 04:38 AM
what is better than any chemical is using a paste of corn starch and water. Leave it set until it dries and then wash it off. If this doesn't work, wash her in baking soda. it also works great.

Both are better than any chemical I have found when I had my pinto.

Good luck!

May. 30, 2011, 09:44 AM
what is better than any chemical is using a paste of corn starch and water. Leave it set until it dries and then wash it off. If this doesn't work, wash her in baking soda. it also works great.

I think I will try these first. We bought her from an Amish guy, and when we got her she was well - disgusting. It looked like he hadn't even groomed her in her year and a half of life :eek: So getting those origional stains out ended up just waiting for them to grow out. But I had tried a few chemicals and her skin started getting all scaley/dried out. So I was hoping to stay away from them. Obviously once I get them out my Quic Silver and Suave Coconut Shampoo routine will be just fine again :yes: I will raid the cabinets today, give it a try and update later.

Keep the tips coming!

Carley Sparks
May. 30, 2011, 10:24 AM
She is cute!

I have a recommendation for the tail. My jumper was grey. I combed her tail daily (very carefully) and washed the bottom half with quick silver everyday until it started to go blue. Then twice a week after. (Use TONS of conditioner). The week of the show, I'd use a white rinse for greying hair. But only on the bottom (not the dock). Her tail was spectacularly WHITE.

May. 30, 2011, 12:23 PM
My cousin was a four-inhand-driver and had six lipizzans. I had to have all six ready to go at each combined driving event. Some of the shampoos mentioned work well, but I find continuously picking up the stall the best way to keep a grey horse clean.

May. 30, 2011, 12:32 PM
I mix Vetrolin shampoo and Quicksilver together. It works great!

May. 30, 2011, 07:07 PM
Exhibitor Labs (company that makes the "Quic" line) also makes Exhibitor's Prize, which is used on show livestock (cattle, sheep and swine). I've found it to be a bit stronger than Quicsilver and still gentle enough for more sensitive-skinned animals. You can pick it up at pretty much any well-stocked feed store. The trick is to apply it directly to the animal (no diluting in a bucket) rub it in so it's all sudsy, then let it sit for about 4-5 minutes. Rinse. Repeat. Once your horse is white, use a good amount of Laser Sheen and buff with a towell until dry. THEN move your horse from the washracks. (Laser Sheen is silicon based, so the dust doesn't stick.)

But lucky you- that is the most beautiful coat pattern I've ever seen!

Aelfleah Farm
May. 30, 2011, 07:25 PM
The joys of a white horse...


If that doesn't work, sponge thoroughly with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and hot water, Keep spongeing until the entire area smells liek a pickle factory. The sponge some more. You want the vinegar to sit on the coat (in particular the stains) for a good 5 minutes. Follow THAT with your favorite whitening shampoo. I like the Cowboy Magic one, but it's a bit harsh - use conditioner on the tail!

Thereafter, use a whitening shampoo weekly, or even more often if you condition well too. For the daily washing of the tail, I use an off-brand human grey-hair formula. It's milder than the Cowboy Magic whitening shampoo, and does a good job of maintaining the non-stained tail

My mare doesn't get stained on the body, but she pees on her tail AND we live on red clay. And when she's stalled, it takes a DEEP stall (like 6-8 bags of shavings at a weekend show) to keep her clean, because she's simply a pig.

May. 30, 2011, 08:41 PM
Love my Orvus and Mrs Stewarts blueing.

May. 30, 2011, 09:31 PM
I like liquid Tide but I liked getting a dark bay horse even better!!:lol:

May. 30, 2011, 09:32 PM
Goop. It's a non-toxic hand cleaner. Works better than anything else I've ever tried and I have had grays since I was 10 (I'm 40 now).

May. 30, 2011, 10:36 PM
hasahorse - where do I find Goop? ETA: After googling it I realized that where I work has Orange Goop for getting the sheet metal oil off the guys hands. I believe I will just snag a bit and give it a try!

This afternoon I bathed her with Quic Silver and spotted the stains with a cornstartch/bakingsoda paste. Let it sit, and rinsed. Then lathered more Quic Silver on the spots and let that sit for awhile. Rinsed and nothing. After she dried the spots might have been a bit fainter - but still noticeable. I then tried rubbing some spots with alcohol which did not appear to work either. There wasn't even any dirt on the white sock I was using!!

I spray her down with Hair Moisturizer almost daily. Soak her tail in it and keep it in a homemade tail bag. In the past this has helped keep the stains away. That two weeks in her stall really did a number....Perhaps I will take another trip to the tack store tomorrow....

May. 30, 2011, 10:39 PM
Back when I showed APHA, the secret to whites being WHITE was

1. Clipping the hair
2. Ms. Stewart's bluing
3. Show chalk

May. 31, 2011, 10:03 AM
So... I have a greyed-out paint horse too! She is completely white now, but was darkdark bay and white when she was a baby. AND she is about the messiest horse I have ever owned. I guess she uses poop as a pillow?? I mean, she is covered in manure stains every day.
Getting back to you-- I use quicsilver in the wash stall, for her tail I'll do it twice weekly, and conditioning after, too. We clip her, too. It helps a little bit, but by far the best way to keep her clean is to pick out her stall very, very often. I have also found that even when there is no dirt left, her hair seems to be stained..?

May. 31, 2011, 10:25 AM
For getting the stains out I use lemon juice on my 4 white socking, white blaze, leopard Appaloosa. When I was a kid showing her, my mother lost a lot of lemon juice. :-)

May. 31, 2011, 10:54 AM
I have clydesdales. So lots of white feather and legs to keep sparkling clean. I use Prell shampoo/conditioner first- letting it sit and working it in really well, then rinse and follow with a cattle whitening shampoo.

May. 31, 2011, 11:01 AM
I have a pinto that is 50% white with his legs being all white and he lives to roll and purposly sleeps in his poop.

Groom everyday, it helps keep the stains from setting in so bad.

Wash with QuickColor, it is suposed to be more for snow white and QuicSilver is more for a silvery white.

Tail in a tail bag to keep it cleaner

Shapleys waterless shampoo spray, love that stuff

On show nights a sheet and slinky

Lots of scrubbing and using shampoo undiluted at bath time

Bed deeply, he is cleaner now that his stall has more shavings and gets picked more, he use to have a lovely (not) urine stain behind his elbow from skimpy bedding

May. 31, 2011, 08:18 PM
I really like the Lucky Braids products (shampoo and whitener). I have a fleabitten gray that loves to lay down in anything wet and smelly. If I've washed him the night before, he's guaranteed to be brown and green the next morning, sheet or no sheet. If I've used LB shampoo the night before, any overnight stains will pretty much rinse off just with water. If the stain is really ground in, I might have to re-shampoo. The stains almost slide off... If there is a hint of a stain left, I'll spritz it with the whitener and poof - clean horse!

I will admit that I need to give him one more leg clip to get rid of the last of the orange/brown stained hair from the winter...then he'll be pretty much perfect (and we can stop calling him Old Yeller...)


Jun. 4, 2011, 01:02 AM
OP i am IMPRESSED! You are dedicated :) Wish more horse people cared about the appearance and quality of their horses as much as you do.

Corn start has always worked for me, especially right before the ring.
But my trainer swears by ground up white chalk.

Jun. 4, 2011, 02:15 AM
Mrs Stewarts Laundry blueing and Orvus.

Jun. 4, 2011, 03:42 AM
mrs stewarts laundry blueing and LOTS of elbow grease, to work out the natural oils in his coat to combat stains. Refrain from body sprays, especially in spots where he's already stained.. it may "trap" the stains on the hairs.

Jun. 4, 2011, 08:05 AM
"Super whitening" shampoo by Squire (Smartpak) is what I use. I find it much more effective than Quick Silver.

I keep white areas well clipped and apply show sheen or vetrolin spray to repel dirt and stains.

It's a lot of work but gleaming white is worth it!

Jun. 11, 2011, 08:36 PM
can someone recommend a specific sheet thats OK to wear overnight in summer to keep the horse clean ?

(we are recent new members of the gray horse club)

Jun. 12, 2011, 01:36 AM
can someone recommend a specific sheet thats OK to wear overnight in summer to keep the horse clean ?

(we are recent new members of the gray horse club)

I'd use just a regular fly sheet or stable sheet (i.e Baker) depending how hot/cool it is.

Jun. 14, 2011, 12:52 AM
cow boy magic "green spot remover"!! seriously works like a charm (and is inexpensive too). spray some directly on the dirty spot, and rub clean with a towel. just like that, the mess is gone. works great on all coat color's too.
before a show i also ALWAYS use quicksilver on my grey horse or previous horses with socks. i was worried the purple shampoo would somehow dye my horse's skin, but just leaves them extremely white =)

Jun. 14, 2011, 01:51 AM
Your horse is soooo cute... and your eq is good too... Nice release :)

I had an appy when I was young and I would first clip his white socks, his bald face - but not clip his rump unless it was winter.. then bathe him and while he was wet I would pour cornstarch in my hands and pat it all over the wet white areas. Wait until it dried and soft brush it off..

Your horse has A LOT of white but it looks like large socks that you can really make super white.

Jun. 14, 2011, 09:05 AM
Love my Orvus and Mrs Stewarts blueing.
Ditto. Nothing is better than Orvus. Some people complain that it's too hard to rinse out, but that's just because they use too much. One big jar should last darned near a lifetime for one horse. A few drops of Mrs. Stewart's Blueing in a bucket of water, just enough to see a slight blue tinge, sponged (or dumped :lol:) over the horse after rinsing will make the white turn blinding white.

Jun. 14, 2011, 09:24 AM
I have a mostly white paint and a palomino with white mane and tail. They wear Kensington fly sheets almost 24/7 anyway.

We are often in the "public" so for last minute emergencies I spray the stain with OxyClean, let it sit for 5 m or so and then scrub with shampoo. Its not always 100% but almost.

Jun. 14, 2011, 10:34 AM
My filly is a leopard buckskin.... so a ton of white and beige!

I use Cowboy Magic, it is a soapless shampoo that you spray on and wipe off. It is the only product I have used that removes grass stains.

BTW- Wicked colour!

Jun. 14, 2011, 01:03 PM
Beautiful mare! And I an imagine she's a beast to keep clean. Other than the ideas already suggested, I can toss in making a paste out of Bon Ami and water and putting that on the stain until it's dried, then brush out.

Or you could try making her wear pajamas all the time...maybe with Spongebob Squarepants on them? :-)