- Before you start grooming, wrap the tail in a damp tail bandage to help keep the hairs lying flat along the root. Slide it down to remove it when your grooming is finished.
- Work on the body and neck with a curry to break up dirt, then use a hard brush or vacuum to remove deep dirt.
- With a hot towel, rub the coat and "back comb" the mane in order to lift dander from the roots.
- Comb the mane to the right side and pull any straggly hairs.
- On the face, legs and body, use a soft brush and rub-rag to lift surface dirt.
- Maintain the bridle path, muzzle hairs, ear edges, forearms and cannon bones, as well as the pastern and fetlock areas with regular trims.
- Attend to the feet: Clean, brush and apply dressing to the sole, heel and wall of the foot. Don't dig too deeply into the sole or use dressing so often that the hooves become soft.
- Carefully clean and dry the pasterns and under the fetlocks because dirt concentrates in these areas and scratches can occur.
- Spray coat sheen in the tail daily and pick it free of tangles and debris. Do not brush it.
- Maintain a trimmed and banged tail to accent the hindquarters.
In warm weather
- Clean between jawbones and under the belly because these are favorite areas for bugs.
- Check the mane and tailbone for ticks.
In cold weather
- Consider body clipping horses in training so that when they sweat, they don't have cold, wet hair on their warm muscles.This article first appeared in Dressage Today magazine.