What is it about snow and why can't it be packaged?

Snow, absolute best coat whitener on the planet. Why? What does it have going for it over water and soap, or water and whitening shampoo?

Snow, plain old snow, horse stands or walks or plays hooligans in it for a bit and the most stained legs come in blindingly white. I don’t get it. There’s got to be some fancy scientific reason, yes?

What’s your best guess?


I’ve noticed that too!

Best guess–the white legs are essentially being washed ALL DAY LONG as they walk through the snow.

I bet if you scrub a leg for eight hours in the summer, you can get the same result :wink:


Agree with @Simkie , snow acts like a Prewash soak cycle, then scrubbing action as horse moves through it.


Ok, summer leg whitening equipment - tall whirlpool boots and XL sized 7-11 Slushie (no flavour or colour, tyvm). Apply boots, pour in the Slushie and turn out for the day! :rofl:


It works wonders on both my mares. It seems it has the opposite effect on my gelding.

Noting that I live in the land of no snow.

Could there be some abrasion from the snow crystals? Not a lot of abrasion, but enough so that the stains on the surface are removed along with the outer layer of individual hairs. This time of year, abrasion is probably also removing entire hairs. I’ve notice that my gray beast is whiter after a good curry or, especially, after using a shedding block (which removes hair and, probably, also some of the surfaces of the remaining hair).


For sure there is a minor amount of abrasion, but not enough to do any damage. Horses that live out in it 24/7 do not end up hairless.

Yes, I meant a tiny amount of abrasion. Thankfully they don’t end up hairless in the snow.

Horses do roll in the snow? Do you notice quantities of hair left behind in those places the way you do when they roll in dirt? There is enough in one of our turnouts that the birds come by to pick up horsehair for nest building.

No, they leave it on the insides of their blankets! LoL!

But, if you turn a naked, shedding horse out in an indoor arena, they will leave a hair impression which will sometimes startle riding horses later in the day, “OMG! It’s dead!” “It’s a pile of hair.” “Oh, I think not! That’s a horse that’s been steam-rolled to death!” “You are going to have to step in the hair sooner or later.” “I’M NOT GOING TO STEP ON A DEAD BODY!” and so on.

Mine went out for a couple of hours yesterday, in beautiful snow, after being cooped up on stall rest forever. Did she clean her sh!t-encrusted blanket? Nope. Too busy ordering everyone around (she’s the hall monitor of the little group of mares) to clean her revolting blanket. Why is her blanket so filthy? She spent her stall rest days going from hay feeder to window trying to both fill her belly AND keep an eye on her field, and occasionally yelling at them that they weren’t doing it right, “THAT’S NOT HOW YOU HORSE!” so she tracked her manure everywhere. Sigh. Apparently hall monitoring trumps tidiness and keeping one’s clothes neat.

At least she came in from the snow with blindingly white socks :slight_smile:


I love how squeaky-clean snow gets feet too!


Well, not to mention that the coat is not picking up dust or dirt when the ground is frozen and there is snow on the ground. So what gets clean, stays clean(er).

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My heathen had been on stall rest and not tidy about it. She was dirty. She came in with sparkling whites after 2 hours. It’s a clean like nothing else. The best blue shampoo doesn’t do white like snow does.

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So a long time ago, like…wow, 25 years? I was a barn rat and responsible for grooming this big grey draft for a wedding. He was nearly white, our barn wasn’t fancy, and he kept getting dirty. So I kept washing him! Over two or three days I bathed all or parts of him maybe like 6-8 times??

After that, he GLEAMED like he never had before. He was just SO clean!

Figure that’s kinda the snow effect. Wash em a whole lot :rofl: You can get there, but it takes a lot of water to replace hours of snow!

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I don’t know. I have two gray mares, and they do not look noticeably cleaner in the snow.

Except the bit of manure that I always find in the collateral grooves, under all that so-clean packed-in snow.

The rest of the sole, frog, etc. is as clean as can be.


I wanna know the Science that explains how one temperature causes snow to get packed in (barefoot) hooves & another just gets them A-mazingly clean.


@2DogsFarm I think it may depend on the snow texture. The drier fluffier snow doesn’t seem to pack where as the stickier stuff that’s a little wetter packs a bit

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There are two things I like about snow.

  1. It whitens socks.
  2. If the horse is lame, just turn him out. He’ll ice himself for 8 hours.

If I have dark legs and a sound horse I just hate it all.


Neither does mine. I find he looks yellow in the winter from the contrast of the bright white snow. Winter is definitely not the best season for my boy lol

Moisture, as a function of temperature. “Warm” snow is wet and heavy and sticks. Colder snow means drier air which means fluffier snow. There are exceptions I’m sure. Here in NC almost all our snow is in the low 30s range which makes it higher moisture and very wet and sticky. Occasionally it’s dry, but usually it’s excellent snowball snow.

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