You’ve got your first horse or pony! Congrats! As a newer horse owner myself I remember fondly the overwhelming feeling of finally having a horse of your very own. I also remember scrambling to suddenly get all of the gear, tack, and supplies my horse would need. Three or so years down the line and I still find things I need (or is that just being a horse owner?). Here’s my list of must haves to get you started on the road to happy horse ownership!
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1. Halter + Lead Rope (Plus a Spare!)
It doesn’t need to be a fancy leather affair, a nylon halter works just fine. If you do plan on turning out in a halter, do get a breakaway halter for safety’s sake! I’d also advise getting a spare or two each of your halter and lead rope. Those things seem to grow legs and walk away, or you know, get lost in the mud >.>; but they are essential so you always need one on hand.
2. Grooming Kit
You’ll want to get your grooming kit together you’ll need at least the following:
A well stocked grooming kit is essential to keep your new horse or pony healthy and looking their best. You may have to experiment with some of the tools to discover your horse or pony’s own personal preferences. My horse is very sensitive, and is very picky about curry brushes! After trying many different kinds, he seems to do best with metal ones, instead of the nubby rubber types!
Depending on when you get your horse you may or may not need a blanket right away. If you live in a temperate climate you will want to acquire a light waterproof sheet, a medium weight turnout blanket, and a heavy weight turnout blanket. I always love to keep an eye out on the end of season clearance sales for my blankets! You might not get your first choice in color but getting a blanket at 50% or 75% off is fantastic!
4. First Aid Supplies
Accidents happen! Sooner or later you’ll need some basic first aid gear! Here’s what I recommend starting out with:
- Padding & Standing Wraps (like these)
- Antibacterial Ointment (Corona is my Fave)
- Sponges (Large and Small, for your horse and tack)
- Aerosol Antibacterial Spray like Wound Kote
- Equine Thermometer
This is probably one of the most exciting (and wallet crushing) equine shopping areas! It took me months before I found a saddle (for a whopping $70) that would be okay for my boy and I. If you are just starting out and I really recommend used tack. It’s all nice and broken in and you can get higher quality brands for the price. I’m a big deal seeker so my favorite place to watch for tack deals is VTO Saddlery. They have awesome sales and you can get tack (and riding & barn gear) at steep discounts!
You’ll need the following to get started. Be warned! Most saddles don’t include the girth, leathers and irons! Bridles often don’t include reins! So make sure you know what’s included with your purchases!
Don’t forget to visit your local tack stores. I scored the softest used Stubben bridle & reins on a random tack store visit!
- Specialized Gear for your Discipline (Martingales, Vests, etc)
- Training Aids (Lunge Line, etc)
- Saddle pads
Depending on your horse housing situation you may need to provide some, all or none of your horse’s feed and supplements. At many of the barns I’ve been at feed & hay is included while you provide your own supplements. Always talk to your horses former owner, and your veterinarian about the feeds and supplements they are currently on so that you can continue feeding them or transition them to feeds and supplements of your choosing that meets their unique nutritional and health needs.
Owning your own horse or pony is an awesome experience and a big learning curve. Over time you’ll discover what works best for you and your horse and all of the little things that you need to do so. This is a brief list meant to guide you to the most important items you’ll need as soon as you take possession of your new horse or pony.