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Hardest Color to Groom?

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  • Hardest Color to Groom?

    Just curious if my observations are general, or if my horses are just weird. Or, of course, both.

    I was showing off the silver colt to somebody recently, and they expressed heartfelt sympathy on having to groom him.

    Actually, though I hesitate to say this out loud in print, he's not that hard to groom. He is a remarkably clean boy. He does enjoy his roll, but he brushes up quite nicely. A little elbow grease, and he's good to go. Dirt seems to slide off well. Maybe in our future showing career I'll have to dig into more of a bag of tricks for that final spic and span look, but for now, he just about reflects light only with a brushing regularly. I enjoy looking out into the pasture at night and seeing him in the glow from the security light, kind of like a ground-level full moon.

    My hardest horse to groom? Black. I never would have guessed that before having a black horse, but my last one and my current one both have been beasts to groom. They show absolutely everything. Black. Who'd have thunk it?

    What color have you found hardest? Are grays really that bad (and if so is it something they grow up and learn)?

  • #2
    Having had 3 grays, yes, they really are that bad.

    They seem to have an affinity for laying in manure, mud, puddles, clay.

    As a teen I was a pro at keeping my gray gleaming white and often got compliments at shows and clinics on how spotless he was. As an adult, I leased a different gray, and now own another one. Haven't shown in years so I'm less anal about their gray-ness and let things like poop and grass stains slide a little more than I used to.

    And I hate to say it but I LOVE shiny horses. My friends laugh at me because I am totally blinded by shiny..... Gray never gets very shiny. No matter how much you groom sometimes it seems your efforts never pay off with them!
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


    • #3
      GREY! UGH! I love my white-grey gelding to pieces, but I curse him when I have to get him clean for public viewing. It doesn't help that he lives outside au naturel, but still. I love HIM, but his COLOR is too high-maintenence for me.
      Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
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      • #4
        Black and dark bays are hardest to keep shiny. Grays are hard to keep white or gray without Cowboy Magic. Of coarse some horses are just clean but nature and others are slobs.
        You know, everybody thinks we found
        this broken-down horse and fixed him,
        but we didn't. He fixed us. Every one of us.


        • #5
          Greys and paints with a lot of white. My grey boy is DIRTY. He loves to roll in the muddy dirty sand, and it gets all stuck in his coat. Luckily he's not stalled, and we don't have a lot of red clay, so he doesn't really stain. But if I want to keep him clean at a show when he is stilled, I have to put him in standing wraps, sheet, and tail bag, after coating him with Vetrolin shine.

          And he's not even all the way grey yet. He's still pink.


          • #6
            True white (pink skin)!! My white, pure TB gelding is a HOG!!! Of course living in black clay/gumbo mud country doesn't help. My gray horse "looks" clean after a good bath and grooming, but the white horse"s pink skin actually gets stained. Believe me...he wears a blanket or sheet every day he can and still be within humane limits. When it gets too warm I just resign myself to pre ride bathing as well as post riding. Even the mottled bay and white sabino TB's (we refer to them as tweed) don't get as nasty as the pure white. I still own two whites and have sold two - no one deserves that many white mud monsters. Our black ISH colt never looks bad and doesn't seem to bleach even in the summer - we have shade and sheds in all the pastures and he takes advantage of it.
            Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


            • #7
              I've owned a dark dappled gray horse, a black horse, and a chestnut horse. I've leased a dark dappled gray horse, a bay horse, and a chestnut horse.

              I found the black horse the easiest to keep shiny. The grays, chestnuts, and bay horse were easy to keep reasonably clean, but did not/do not shine up as easily. The pictures from when I was showing my black horse are absolutely blinding due to the shine! The trick is to go over the horse with a towel prior to entering the ring.

              That said, I really do enjoy that I can skimp a little bit on the grooming of my chestnut horse without feeling like we are both slobs. I just wish I could get him super shiny like I did with my black horse.


              • #8
                Grey with a great coat, or white with a fishbelly shine, is FAR easier to get to visually look good than dark colours which show dust...

                I think THE easiest is copper iridescent chetty... because knock off the mud and the copper blinds you to the dust.

                Grey & white is fine unless they are pee-sleepers. White hocks are quite hard to de-yellow, and white tails can be almost impossible to de-yellow. But my pintos, most especially my stallion, are really fish-belly shine on their white parts, and again, until they *sweat* you don't see the dirt/mud...

                The dark bays and blacks... dust, dust, dust.

                After a bath they look fabulous... but otherwise, the dust shows.
                InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                • #9
                  Even the mottled bay and white sabino TB's (we refer to them as tweed)
                  We need to make this official. I call my Medicine Hat mare 'tweed' because her chest sheild is all speckled rather than solid. Not *quite* freckled... but... not solid either. Tweed.
                  InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                  Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post
                    But my pintos, most especially my stallion, are really fish-belly shine on their white parts, and again, until they *sweat* you don't see the dirt/mud...
                    This. PP, you described it as fish-belly white, and you are spot on. My bay paint mare is teflon-coated. Once dry, mud and even green stuff flow off. Hard to describe or believe until you've seen it.

                    And then, she gets hot and sweats. ICK!!!! The skin is pink, mud flows forth and runs down her legs. It almost looks as if she soaked in pond scum.


                    • #11
                      It almost looks as if she soaked in pond scum.
                      Backatcha' Pond scum is the exact description.
                      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Noplainjane View Post
                        Black and dark bays are hardest to keep shiny. Grays are hard to keep white or gray without Cowboy Magic. Of coarse some horses are just clean but nature and others are slobs.
                        Are you kidding me? Those are the easiest to keep shiny and the easiest to get dapples on! Any color will be dull if they are dusty. You just have to get rid of the dust, or keep them covered. I would take a dark bay/brown any day over another color. Personally, I don't like chestnuts. Not because they are difficult to get shiny, but because they are difficult to get dapples on.

                        If you can get a white gray to gleam, you are doing something! And it can be done and they look like porcelain when they do.


                        • #13
                          Greys!! I was riding a grey for two years (and still do ride when I'm home) and doing high school equestrian team with him. While I was doing mostly gaming, cow events and drill team with him, I still HAAAAAATTTEEE showing up with a dirty horse. Steel was not kept at my house, and not blanketed (so in addition to dirt and mud... he had like 3 inch long winter hair). When I used him for fair and he absolutely had to be gleaming he was at my house for a day or two before hauling to fair, and I think I washed his tail about 3 times with quick silver to get the stains out, but after the washings it was this amazing silver white color that looked amazing.

                          I swear greys attract poop.. even though he had a sheet and sleazy on at shows, he would lay in the poop so long it would soak through the sleazy and stain him! Lovely...

                          Having said this.. I have a *huge* weakness for greys.


                          • #14
                            It's no easier or harder to groom any horse, but it can be harder to make certain ones LOOK well groomed.

                            I did see a black today at Rolex that was breathtakingly clean and shiny, and thought that was remarkable enough to catch the eye. Not that all the blacks I see are dirty, of course, but this one absolutely GLEAMED and it was obvious from 100 feet away that he was groomed to the nines.

                            I have a gray I'm caring for right now and she seems to be pretty dirt-repellent. She rolls and gets filthy, but within a day she's shiny and silvery gray again. She doesn't get groomed regularly, either. She is pregnant and IME pregnant mares just have wonderful coats, period.

                            I also have a chestnut appaloosa right now--he's not a blanket or leopard, just a LOT of roaning and random blotches and patches and specks ranging from white to black among the chestnut. He is groomed vigorously and often and his coat is nice and shiny, but because of his mottling and uneven color he just doesn't look like a gleaming horse from a distance with a nice, even, shiny color.
                            Click here before you buy.


                            • #15
                              Actually, I hate grooming dark bays. If they have rolled, mud and dirt shows up on them in a fine dusting. You can run a brush over them (especially in winter) and it just leaves a trail of dirt brush strokes. Awful! If you have a dark bay and care about this, you have to have a vacuum to keep from driving yourself crazy. You can see EVERY bit of dirt on a dark bay.

                              Big deal - on grays, you see poo stains and grass stains. Spray with WoW or similar product, rub with clean rag. Gone. Often times, just rubbing with a rag does it.

                              I have a big time roller of a gray. He was plastered yesterday. My normal, regular grooming technique had him looking perfectly fine. Whereas, if he were dark bay, traces of that dust would still be sitting there.

                              "If you have the time, spend it. If you have a hand, lend it. If you have the money, give it. If you have a heart, share it." by me


                              • #16
                                My chestnut is naturally somewhat shiny and with some work he can look amazing. I have known a few greys that actually like to stay clean and look shiny at times, but then I know some that just are ick no matter what. I think the hardest horses to keep shiny and clean are ones that have icky skin for whatever reason. I have known a few (in all different colors) that just have flaky gross skin that makes it hard to make them look good. I think I would have to say overall greys are the hardest because they stain, aren't as shiny, and when they sweat and they aren't ultra clean to the skin the look gross. Darker horses I think are only hard because of the dust in the coat but usually you can only see that up close (unless they are really dirty with a winter coat type deal).


                                • #17
                                  I'd definitely say black.

                                  I have a grey, and he is ridiculously easy to keep clean, I groom him daily but he also rolls daily. He's stalled during the day, outside from 5pm- 8am. And he shines! Glows, since white doesn't shine in the same way a darker color does.

                                  I'd say by far black and dark bays are the hardest to keep looking good.


                                  • #18
                                    I think THE easiest is copper iridescent chetty
                                    I agree. I'm really enjoying the low maintenance grooming of my chestnut. Although, he's got crome - 3 high whites that are getting dingy.

                                    My late gelding was a white/grey. I could spend forever grooming him and did for a few years. When I brought him home, I gave up that battle. He was a pig, only in the respect that he liked to dirty himself and lived outside.

                                    My chestnut is copper shiny as easy to get the dirt off. The dark bay I had didn't shine too much either, but I think that was due to poor nutrition in his years before I knew him.


                                    • #19
                                      I have a black... He is easy to put a shine on..A dust brush takes care of the dust.. I always get compliments on him. I have had every color but gray...won't own one...To hard to keep clean from complaints of gray owners


                                      • #20
                                        I will second that blacks/dark bays are hard, because it's true, EVERY BIT OF DUST ON THEM SHOWS! I have two blacks, sometimes they look worse after I brush them because it brought all the the dust to the surface.

                                        Easiest: Copper penny chestnut. My old guy is this GLEAMING red color, he has this shine to the end of his hairs, regardless of his cleanliness. Right around sunset he just glows. Always was a nice advantage in showmanship classes when it was sunny because Okie out-shined almost every horse in the ring.