Do you have a horse with white legs and are like me, don’t want to be spending hours before shows getting them glow in the dark white? This is how I do it. Minimal faffing required! This would also work for white or grey horses.
My horse has 3 white legs up to nearly his knees. I’m not a person who enjoys spending hours primping and preening before a show. I know some of you love it, it’s not for me 🤣 I ONLY do anything with his legs before a show, bar tidying them up with the clippers (more on this below), the rest of the time he’s great at getting them as filthy as he can 🙄
The first thing I do is wash his legs to get the worst of the dirt off. The Hairy Pony All Natural Shampoo is my goto. This is gentle on the skin, cleans well and doesn’t strip the natural oils. I wet his legs then put a squirt of shampoo onto a Blue Tag Oval Plastic Groomer. These are the absolute shizzle for washing horses! Heaps of other uses as well but that is another blog post! I give his legs a scrub then a thorough rinse. I’m not hugely fussy with the washing, just get the worst of the dirt off.
Now they are clean, the next step is getting them white. My secret weapon is the Paetai Cottage Purple Horse Whitening Soap. This is incredibly effective while being gentle on the skin and not stripping the oils. The oils in the skin help keep the skin healthy and protected, and they are what give that healthy glow so it’s super important not to disrupt them. Also handmade right here in New Zealand by another small New Zealand business #supportingsmallNZbusiness
I use the soap in a Vivant Equi Soap Bag. This not only helps the soap last longer but it makes the bar much easier to hold and makes a good scrubber! I give the legs a scrub with the soap in the soap bag. If there are any stains, I’ll scrub those areas a little more. I leave it on for 5 minutes or so then rinse thoroughly.
The next morning, show day, I’ll do another scrub with the Paetai Cottage Purple Horse Whitening Soap, rinse it off and that’s it! How easy is that?!
You will read and hear some people say as part of getting and keeping their horse’s legs white they clip them out. My thoughts on clipping are that the hair is there for a reason so leave it alone. You’ll also read and hear some of these same people saying that each year when they clip for the show season their horse gets mud fever. Its not mud fever. The horse is getting sun burnt because they have had the natural protection from the sun, the hair, removed. If you want to clip your horse’s white legs, you MUST then provide protection from the sun. My suggestion would be the Vetpro Sunblock Powder. Added bonus is it will whiten your horse’s legs on show day. There are also boots designed for this, but you can’t use them on show day so you will need some other kind of sun protection at the show.
I mentioned above I tidy up my horse’s legs with the clippers. This consists of running up the backs of his fetlocks and legs with a number 1 comb in the summer, and number 2 comb in the winter, on the clippers. Again, the hair is there for a reason so I do the minimum I can so he looks neat and tidy without affecting the reason the hair is there in the first place. You could also use scissors to trim the fetlock hair. I find clippers give a more even and neater finish.
To this! Did I mention with minimal faffing?