It's easy to skip over a proper grooming for your horse when you go out to ride. Often, we are short on time, and have schedules to keep. But it's a very important component in the overall care of your horse and worth planning the time to enhance your horse's beauty, health and hygiene.
While doing a thorough grooming you can spot any swelling and abnormal bumps or lumps that might need attention. You might also find sore spots or rubbed spots from ill fitting tack. Currying from nose to tail on each side works up dirt and dandruff. When followed by brushing with a stiff body brush and then a dandy brush, it can get your horse thoroughly clean without a bath.
One of the other benefits is the shiny coat produced from such grooming when done on a regular basis. And more importantly, the horse appreciates having the itches scratched and the muscles massaged.
For a proper grooming, start by picking the feet. Then, beginning at the top of the neck on the near side with your choice of a large toothed curry comb, curry in a circular motion the entire neck, chest, and body to really bring up the deep-down dirt. Repeat the same on the off side. Then with a stiff body brush, brush away all dirt, hair, and debris. Brush again with a softer body brush to get finer dirt and dust. If the coat is still not clean, repeat the whole procedure. Then with a softer curry or grooming mitt, curry the face and legs more gently and follow with a softer body brush. Wet a clean sponge and wipe the eyes, and nostrils.
Follow with brushing the mane and wet it down to help it all lay over on the same side. Liberally apply a tangle free product to the tail, and very carefully use your fingers and a comb to get out the shavings and dirt. Be extremely careful not to pull out any tail hairs - they take too many years to grow back!
You will personally benefit from the bonding and relaxing time spent with your horse, and the toning of your arm muscles from the "wax on, wax off" motion. Best yet, you'll have the best groomed horse with the shiniest coat in the barn!