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Top Tips for Keeping a Grey Horse Clean

If you own a grey horse, then you will be aware of how difficult it can be to keep them looking clean and gleaming. The stains from dung and urine can be particularly difficult to shift. There are shampoos specifically designed to tackle white socks, tails and coats. These generally work well but you do have other options if you don’t happen to have these products to hand when you need them.

Washing Up Liquid

You shouldn’t allow washing up liquid to come into contact with your horse’s skin as it can remove the natural oils but it can come in really handy when tackling dirty tails. Mare’s tails can quickly become stained with urine and then turn an unpleasant shade of yellow. The longer you leave the stains, the harder they are to get rid of.

Mix washing up liquid in warm water and then soak the tail, taking care to keep the solution clear of the dock area so it doesn’t come into contact with the skin. Keep the tail in the water for as long as possible and then rinse well.

Washing Powder

Dirty tails can also be cleaned using washing powder. Again, you must take care to keep the detergent clear of your horse’s skin and you should rinse thoroughly. You might also find that you need to use conditioner after cleaning the tail.


Some equestrians swear by tomato ketchup when it comes to yellow tails. This sounds a little crazy but it does seem to work. Simply coat your horse’s tail in the condiment, leave it to soak in for 20 minutes and then rinse it off. The ketchup itself does not stain the tail but its acidity helps to remove the urine. Apparently the cheapest ketchup works best!

Plaiting and Bandaging

As with so many things in life, prevention can be better than cure when it comes to white tails. You can minimise staining by plaiting your horse’s tail overnight and bandaging the lower portion when your horse is stabled or travelling in a horse box.

Tail Bags

After plaiting your horse’s tail, use a tail bag for protection. When travelling, you can make a tail bag out of a pair of ladies’ tights. Cut a leg off the tights and then cut away the toe section to give yourself a neat tube which can be slipped over the tail and secured with bandages.

Coat Shine Sprays

Whilst coat shine sprays are designed to keep coats glossy, they can also help to keep them clean. The sprays coat the hairs making them slippery so any muck is much more likely to slide off rather than adhering to or soaking into the hairs. Do not use the sprays in the saddle area.

Lycra Stretch Covers

All-over stretch covers can be an excellent investment. One of these handy accessories will cover your horse from head to tail so they remain clean overnight before a show. The covers are lightweight and so your horse should not get too hot when wearing one.


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