Competition day is approaching and you’re feeling excited for the big event. Oh. Then you remember that you own a grey. From being constantly covered in grey hair, battling with stable stains and spending hours washing and rewashing the same section of coat, if you’ve ever owned, ridden or cared for a grey horse you will certainly be able to relate to a few of the following…

  1. Being congratulated for the lovely skewbald in your field and wondering what the person is talking about.
  2. Having to get up at 5am to re-wash the horse you have already washed at least three times the night before with a variety of shampoos.
  3. Said grey horse refusing to stand still while you do it — cue you end up wetter than they are.
  4. Understanding that it’s all or nothing, as washing one dirty patch results in horrible yellow streaks.
  5. Standing head to head in the field gateway and asking him, in your sweetest voice, not to roll in the muddiest patch when you let him go — and watching as he does exactly that.
  6. Stable stains are the bane of your life. In fact, you argue that the term stable stain is inadequate because normally at least 75% of your horse is the wrong colour.
  7. Removing a stable rug to reveal a brown tummy. Every single day.
  8. Laughing when someone recommends a head and neck cover, bandages and a rug with belly and tail flaps, because you know it’s really not that simple.
  9. Yellow tails. Enough said.
  10. Recycling old pairs of tights and using several to protect said tail after hours of washing.
  11. Fully supporting the idea that hacking out a semi-clean horse is acceptable.
  12. Wondering why your horse can’t lay on his left side, so that traffic only sees his clean half.
  13. Chalk is your best friend
  14. But the sun isn’t. Copious amounts of sun cream just won’t cut it on pink-skinned greys.
  15. Molasses gives you nightmares — greys and dark liquids do not mix.
  16. Wondering what that persistent black stain is on either side of your horse’s tail. Then spying suspicious grey hairs on the field gate.
  17. Waiting to put on your riding jacket until the very last second for fear of it being covered in grey hairs. They get everywhere.
  18. Admiring all the black, bay and chestnut horses in your class and thinking how easy their riders’ lives must be.
  19. Getting cross when your friend complains about the single white sock they have to clean. Ha!
  20. Arguing until you’re blue in the face that grey is the most beautiful colour, and then realising your filthy grey beast can’t back up that statement right now.
  21. When everyone else has finished prepping their horses for the following day’s event with the flick of a brush, you haven’t even finished scrubbing one side of your grey’s neck.
  22. Your horse seems to like rocking that off-yellow tinge.
  23. You’ve dyed him a multitude of colours with the amount of products you’ve attempted to clean him with. This includes purple shampoo and ketchup.
  24. You have to dedicate a whole cupboard to these lotions and potions and all things falsely promising a white horse.