Winter is well and truly upon us, and with winter comes great rainfall and muddy fields. Picture this; you spend hours of your day off scrubbing your grey horse to within an inch of your life. Getting every last splat of mud and dirt off so you can finally stop telling people your horse is bay and embrace the soft, silver coat. You finish bathing, wait for your newly clean darling to dry off ready to rug up and return to the field. What an idyllic setting this is…unfortunately your horse has other ideas...
You lead your horse calmly to the field, gently unclip the head collar and instantly regret your decision. For some reason, mud is to horses as fish are to water. And once you’ve unclipped that head collar, you are past the point of no return. We think you all are aware of what happens next so we’ll skip that to avoid unnecessary traumatic flashbacks and go straight to some handy hints and tips to avoid the mud monster.
- First of all, it’s time for a bath. Unless you're lucky enough to have access to a solarium, it's best to avoid a full bath in winter, but washing legs and tails, and towel drying them will certainly help get the worst of it off. For greys, purple shampoo is perfect for removing the dirt, stains and grease from your horse's coat to leave them looking pristine!
- If you’re fed up of bathing every day to rid your horse of those stains, then why not opt for a snuggly hood or a rug in an attempt to cover as much of your horse as possible! Unless you own a horse that has the ability to somehow manage to get stains underneath their rug (we don’t know either) – then you may have to find an alternative option. But be careful not to over-rug your horses this winter – always check your horse’s temperature to make sure they’re rugged appropriately!
- You’ve spent the whole day scrubbing your horse or pony until they gleam ready for the show you have the next day, but your little darling is prone to transforming their gloriously white tail into a yellow tinged mess. Instead of leaving it to chance, if stabled, we recommend plaiting the bottom of their tail to reduce the possibility of you arriving the next day to a no-longer-grey horse.
- If you don’t have time to bath your horse, why not opt for a good old brush? Wait until the mud has dried and then build up those arm muscles getting every last spec of mud off. You can even buy 'magic' brushes for that extra tough mud!
- Aim to keep your stable as clean as possible to avoid horrible stable stains before a show - although we know how impossible this can be! Unless you’re at the yard six times a day outside your horse’s stable waiting anxiously with a shavings fork, this option may be a little unachievable.
- Chalk is your best friend for those last minute stains. If you’ve scrubbed and scrubbed but still can’t seem to get that final stain off your horse, then why not opt for the animal friendly chalk to cover any last remnants that won’t go away?
- But if all else fails, we are just going to have to accept our lovely mud monsters for their love of mud and embrace their mucky behaviour (or don’t buy a grey – but who wouldn’t want one?!).
What do you do to keep your grey (or any colour) ponies clean? Let us know in the comments below!