Tack n' Talk

Online Equestrian Resource

HELLO WEEKEND: White Horse Dilemma!


By: Larissa Cox

As an owner of a predominately white horse, I am obsessed with finding a good stain remover.  It seems that the DNA that causes horses to be white, also makes those horses seek out whatever mud or manure is in the area! At least that is the case with my horse Phantom!  And, when it comes to stains manure and urine, are the most challenging to remove.

It's in Phantom's DNA to seek out the muddiest spot!

There are old time stain removing standbys that include bluing, vinegar, witch hazel, alcohol, liniments and even glycerine on soiled areas.  But, are these  safe to use on your white horse’s skin? Today there are a number of companies that have developed products specifically for the horse that is a gentler formula with skin conditioners such as aloe, vitamins and moisturizing ingredients.

When it comes to whitening, I have always listened to my grandmother, who says the gold standard is bluing. However, this comes at a cost.  While bluing does produce a white horse, it can be very drying to the skin and hair, sometimes causing skin irritation.  Most equine products that utilize bluing will also include aloe or vitamin E to put the moisture back into the coat to try and counter balance the dryness of the bluing.  Beware that you can overdo it with bluing and may end up with a bluish-purple horse, as I did!

Modern science has been wonderful in the field of whitening and has introduced stain lifting enzymes, herbal stain dissolvers, bleaches and oxygen based products, such as Wow! Whitener spray.  Read the label as some of these oxygen based cleaners use a form of peroxide, which can  be very drying to the horse’s hair as well.

For my sensitive skinned Phantom, both Lucky Braids Shampoo and Absorbine’s Special Care Ultra Gentle work very well and don’t irritate Phantom’s skin.  You can also use Lucky Braids Whitener for spot treatment on your white horse, as I have found this product to be simply amazing!

Love 'em or hate 'em...white horses are eye-catching.

Many horse owners like to use human shampoo and/or dishwasher liquids to bathe their horses and tails.  While not fatal, actual horse shampoos will improve your horse’s coat condition and provide him with healthier skin and hair.  Horse products can fit within your budget and they are formulated for a horse’s natural skin pH and to enhance their coat.


I use Lucky Braid Shampoo in a gallon jug with this handy pump!

My bottom line for a great washing product is Lucky Braids Shampoo. I found that it produced a great lather, had a great scent and I found that it solved many of Phantom’s skin problems such as mild fungus, itchy skin, stains and dry skin.  Using this shampoo also improved the condition of Phantom’s tail, reducing his tail rubbing and breakage. As well, Absorbine’s Special Care Ultra Gentle Shampoo, I found removed the dirt on my horses without stripping the natural oils.  According to Absorbine, this shampoo has been formulated to protect spot-applied fly, flea and tick control treatments from washing away, which is a good thing to remember during those hot summer days!  This shampoo is really concentrated, so a little goes a long way.  It worked really well on Phantom, who has very sensitive skin and tends to break out in hives at a drop of a hat,  but didn’t remove the stains as well as the Lucky Braids Shampoo.

The Lucky Braids Whitener, as I mentioned before, is a product white horse owners should not be without. For Phantom’s really tough stains, on his body and tail, I leave it on overnight.  Another whitening product that I use is Wow! Whitener, which, in my opinion,  comes in at a close second to the Lucky Braid Whitener.  Wow! worked well on stains and is handy to have on hand for those show emergency stains.  It’s a good smelling product which is easy to apply and is terrific for removing dirt and that summer dust that comes from sweat, dust and fly sprays and great for leg touch-ups during competition.

I also use Lucky Braid Whitener on Phantom's legs, just before entering the arena. Great for show touch-ups!

Another good whitening shampoo that I have tried,  is Xtreme Showwhite by Xtreme Design.  This shampoo had a mild whitening property that puts a healthy glow on a horse’s coat, but unfortunately, didn’t whiten enough to remove those heavy, nasty stains.  It doesn’t dry out the skin and didn’t have to sit on too long to get good results.

SuperPoo Shampoo also by absorbine  is a non-irritating, pH balanced, economical shampoo which has the greatest apple scent – good enough to eat!  It’s a great all around shampoo which has a good lather and I found good for frequent use.  By the way, this is the only shampoo that removes sticky tree sap, so I always keep it on hand.

Larissa 🙂





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  Denny wrote @

I enjoyed the reading, and you did a great job of defining what works for you! I heard of an insodent where some young teens were helping the trainer and unknowingly used bluing shampoo, heavily on a sorrel horse by mistake, that horse is now purple.. and the show is just around the corner, haven’t heard any solutions for removing the purple cast before this poor animal becomes the laughing stock of the show.. any nobrainer ideas on removing the cast of purple on that sorrel horse? Please advise ASAP. Thanks CasinoCwby@aol.com EMERGENCY for sure…lol

  tackandtalk wrote @

I have had wonderful success with Lucky Braids Spray-on Whitener. Yes, it even took out the blue on my horse’s tail…similar story!! You may need to use more than one application though depending on how blue the horse!! Good luck, Larissa!

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