make the gray horse shine

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.


  • 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 – 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”…But, there are a few things you can do for your gray to add a bit of shine.



  • 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 rations 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. Unless he was a stallion, they naturally have more sebum. But that would be hard to do.



  • 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.



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.



So how do you know your gray horse is about as shiny as he can be?



  • 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.


  • If you need some tips for stain removal, this handy video below can help you out.



I use Easy Out for stain removal and added shine. It’s also a deodorizer, so no more poopy smells. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. ZERO extra cost to you, and I qualify for a commission. I can’t thank you enough!


Shapley’s Easy-Out No Rinse Shampoo 32 fl.oz – deodorizer and stain remover. Also, with some optical brighteners added for shine!