How to *possibly* make the gray horse shine


Well, you can get a stallion. Or buy some stock in your favorite grooming product line! Or better yet, let your horse get super oily and slick.  There are lots of ways to help your gray horse shine.


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Don’t use harsh products.  


  • My own gray horse, who lives outside in the dirt, and is super sloppy and messy when inside his shed, stays bright and shiny with minimal care because I leave his dang skin alone except to brush and groom. I add products when I need help, but never to strip a stain away or to make him blinding white.


  • I’m bewildered and horrified at the number of grooming articles on the internet that suggest the way to a shiny gray horse is to use harsh detergents, laundry products, and dish soaps to strip away stains.


  • Here’s the problem – you are stripping away sebum. Sebum is the natural oil of your horse’s coat. Not only does sebum create shine, but it’s also actually part of his immune system. Yes – the immune system.


gray horse in black boots with halter


The key to a possibly shiny white horse is to let him be as oily as possible.


  • These oils will build up from his own skin to additional protective products you use. The more you strip away with harsh detergents and products, the more the stains will set in.


  • But the gray or white horse is just not going to appear to be as shiny as the bay or chestnut. It’s just a function of the light coat and how the sun hits it. That’s why I say “possibly”…

Add some shine to your gray horse


  • Be sure his diet is up to par. It’s more than just adding oil, you need to know the right type of oil to add, and in what amount. Many oils, such as corn oil, have bad ratios of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids. You are better with flax, rice, or canola. It’s true that corn oil might help your horse get shiny, but you will be creating inflammation with too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3.


  • Skip the gym and spend that time curry combing and brushing. A good rule of thumb is to take whatever amount of time you think it takes to groom your horse and triple it.


gray horse looking at a pond

Clean, bright, glistening, and maxing out on shine. He will never be a mirror, but that’s part of the gray thing.


  • Also, skip the detergents. Like really, put down the toxic laundry paste and step away from your horse. He might be yellow for a bit without it. But the more you stop stripping away the sebum, the more stain-proof your horse becomes, the yellow grows out, and he’s healthier overall.


  • Use products designed to be gentle. Add products that have brighteners and shine. They exist. Grooming products should enhance and support, not strip your horse’s skin bare of his natural skin protection.  


  • Grooming oils are conditioners and provide some stain repelling goodness.  There are several oil buffing techniques that you can use all year long. 


water beads on an oily horse

Sure, it’s a red horse with water beading. Because the gray horse with water beading photo looks like a drippy cloud and this pic is much better.


Test your horse’s natural oil


  • Easy. Spray him with water and if the water beads up, he’s as shiny as possible. Granted, he may also be coated with dust from running around the field kicking up his heels, but under the dust, it’s pure shine. Well, as shiny as a gray can be.





Click these links to shop for horse supplies. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which are not a penny more for you. I couldn’t be more grateful for your support! You can also visit my Amazon storefront here:  PEG storefront.

Big Hoss - Outlaw Nutrition

Omega 3's plus gut health support in a delicious cold milled flax formula. It's delicious and it will turn your horse's coat into a mirror.

HandsOn Finishing Gloves - Double Sided

The jute side buffs to add shine, the other side is fuzzy for lifting dust and applying fly sprays and grooming products.

07/24/2024 06:35 pm GMT
Shapley’s 32 oz. Color Enhancing Shampoo - Whitening Formula

For all colors - to add shine and help lift stains.

07/24/2024 08:33 pm GMT
Shapley's Easy-Out No Rinse Shampoo 32 fl.oz

Spot removing, deodorizing, dust busting, shine adding spray.

07/24/2024 08:39 pm GMT

Thank you! 

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