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Five things you’ll know if you own a grey horse

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There’s a reason so many owners say they’d ‘never buy a grey again’ – and yet we seem to keep coming back for more!

Is there anything more eye-catching than a gorgeous grey trotting up the centre line? Guaranteed to stand out in any warm-up among an array of bay horses, your grey is nothing short of breath-taking. It’s just a shame it takes three hours of scrubbing to get the stable stains out. We’d never change our greys, but that doesn’t mean they don’t come with a few hang-ups that, if someone offered a magic wand, we might deign to swap out for something a little lower maintenance.

So, without further ado, let’s get into five things that only owners of greys to suffer with….

  1. The silent seething when someone compliments how clean your grey horse looks – especially when it’s said in a tone of surprise, as though the last time they saw you it looked like you were riding a hippo. We all love a compliment about our horses, but that thinly veiled smugness while they sit on their shiny dark bay somewhat dampens the enjoyment.
  2. Stable rugs are no-go – it’s waterproof all the way for you, baby. That brand-new indoor rug is no match for a night’s worth of rolling in dirty bedding, so if you don’t want all that hard work bathing to go to waste, you’re stuck with a turnout rug and praying to the gods of stable stains that your horse won’t resemble a coloured in the morning.
  3. “Oh, I know exactly how you feel – my horse has two socks!” No, you don’t know how I feel. I’ve been up since the crack of dawn trying to make my horse look somewhat presentable – and that’s after he’s had two baths and been stabled overnight, wrapped to within an inch of his life in rugs, bandages and neck cover. Only having to chalk a couple of socks is the stuff of my competition day fantasies.
  4. Sure, a gleaming grey certainly looks the part in the competition ring, but you can’t seem to achieve that incredible mirror-like shine that his bay counterparts can enjoy. Even a fairly well-dappled backside lacks the allure of that gorgeous glossy black horse that went into the ring before you.
  5. All it takes is one wrong move and your horse has a racing stripe of black boot polish down his flank. Anything and everything seem to stain your grey – from the grass he grazes on to the rubber from your arena surface. You spend hours upon hours trying to keep him clean only to take a slightly-too-enthusiastic step within 3m of a puddle and your horse suddenly has a stylish pebble-dash look. Oh well, you can always pretend he’s flea-bitten.

But even with all the elbow-grease and worrying about whether he’ll look remotely presentable in the morning, there really is nothing better than pulling a stunningly clean grey horse off the lorry and enjoying those admiring stares. Besides, you love the sense of achievement.

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