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Daily Grooming Routine for Dressage Horses

This daily grooming routine will keep your horse looking sleek and feeling good.

Each day

  • 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.

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