Like some people have said, it really depends on the situation and climate. But generally, if I'm going to ride/lunge/school in any other way, I do:
- Take off rugs (if in any)
- Pick out hooves
- If muddy, curry comb off the dried bits
- Dandy brush the body and legs briefly - if I'm in a rush I skip this step.
- Body brush the body and legs, paying special attention to where any gear may be about to sit
- Use the face brush on their face
Done! I think it takes me roughly around 10-15mins to do all that, quicker if I'm in a rush. I believe grooming is important, as it stimulates the muscles, but I don't believe in prolonging it, as I think firm, clean strokes not only massage more efficiently, but doesn't tire the muscles out either. Then again it's been ahh 5yrs since I've only just one horse and having three, plus being a uni student doesn't allow for long sessions. My horses don't really care if they have a little bit of dirt on them, in fact my girls will show me just how much they appreciate their grooming by finding the dirtiest/dustiest spot to make sure I do another good job next time
Of course I do make the time to give them a good groom once/twice a month, normally when I tidy up trimming areas etc. And they also get washed over the spring/summer months too.