Getting a new horse is exciting! Before getting your first horse, be sure that you’ve got all the essentials in place. That way, you’ll be ready to welcome your equine companion home and keep him feeling and looking his best. Here, we focus on horse supplies, so you have items on hand when you need them.
Feeding and Watering
If your new horse will be boarded, you may not have to pay much attention to supplies for keeping him fed and hydrated. If he’ll be living on your property, be sure that you have a feed tub and a water trough, both of which you’ll find at your local farm supplies store. Ideally, your horse will be spending some time in the pasture each day. Be sure that there’s water available there as well, and ensure that you get an appropriate mineral lick.
Horse owners living in climates where freezing weather happens also need tank heaters to keep water from turning into ice during the winter. Without a tank heater, you’ll find yourself spending lots of time breaking ice and carrying warm water.
If you plan to trailer your horse, be sure to have a way to feed and water him while you’re on the road. Your equine friend will travel better – and be eager to get into the trailer – if he knows he’ll enjoy some food inside. A hay bag filled with good quality grass hay will help alleviate any nervousness and take his mind off the motion of the trailer.
Grooming tools are among the most important horse supplies to have on hand. Be sure that you have the following:
- Hoof pick
- Stiff body brush (dandy brush)
- Soft brush for face
- Curry comb
- Comb for mane and tail
- Soft cloths, such as old washcloths
- Fly spray
Handling and Riding
My first horse came with everything I needed to handle and ride her, but that’s unusual. You’ll need a halter and lead rope for grooming, tying, trailering and tacking up. Not sure which to choose? Learn more about different types of halters. Depending on your situation, you may need more than one halter for your horse.
Next, you’ll need tack for riding. This is something you should get after you get your horse, unless you already know what size he is. If you are an experienced rider, you probably have a good idea about what you need already! If you are new to the world of riding, it’s a great idea to get lessons, either in a formal setting or from an experienced rider who can help you learn while having fun with your new horse. If you are not sure about what kind of tack you’ll need, take a look at the following suggestions.
- English tack – Useful for all-around riding, jumping, and getting started with dressage. Get an all-purpose English saddle, along with a pad, the appropriate girth, bridle, headstall, reins, and bit for your horse. Invest in specialty saddles later, once you decide what it is you really enjoy and what it is your horse does best.
- Western tack – This type of tack is ideal for trail riding, gymkhana, and rodeo sports such as barrel racing. If you know that you’ll be asking your horse to do lots of athletic things, consider a barrel saddle. If you will be riding casually for the most part, then a trail saddle will give you the comfort you and your horse need. If you’re riding a Tennessee Walking Horse or another gaited horse, then only a gaited saddle will do. A matching western headstall, reins, and other tack to match the saddle you choose are also essential.
There are some other horse supplies you may need, such as a summer fly sheet and winter blanket, a fly mask, and other items, however much depends on your unique situation. As you speak with others about horse supplies, you will find some differing opinions. Online forums, trainers, and the experts here at SaddleOnline are all good sources of advice about getting the right supplies for your horse.