Many first-time horse owners purchase a horse without knowing what exactly it is that they need. In the end, they give up the enjoyment of owning horse all-together due to a lack of knowledge. Owning a horse is a serious undertaking along with having the proper equipment and devoting personal time and energy to the horse. The proper equipment can be found through simple research; you and your horse deserve to have the best experience. A horse isn’t just another four-legged pet, it requires daily attention such as proper grooming, veterinary care, training, farrier needs, exercise, and personal bonding time.
To ensure that you are minimizing costs while also catering to your horse’s needs, basic products including tack, grooming kits, emergency and veterinary accessories are needed. equestrian products including horse tack, a basic horse grooming kit and some extra accessories are needed. We have compiled a list of basic horse tack and supplies that a rider and horse cannot go without. The specifics of horse tack may vary depending on the animal’s size and level of training and experience, but these details can be sorted out with an expert trainer at the tack shop.
1. GROOMING EQUIPMENT & FIRST AID KIT
You can purchase a grooming kit from your nearest tack shop. This kit should include a soft brush, a comb, hoof picks, sponges (for the muzzle and eyes), a hard brush, a rubber curry comb, and horse towels.
First Aid Kits are a must when it comes to owning a horse. It should include basic items such as a thermometer (for monitoring normal temperature), a notebook & pen (include your veterinarian’s name and phone number and emergency contact numbers, important information such as respiration rates). In addition, you should always have bandages (compression, elastic wrap, and gauze pads), antiseptic iodine/purple spray, saline solution (Epsom salts for the hooves and abscesses), infant diapers, duct tape, cleaning rags, and sponges at your reach.
Care and Cleaning of Tack: It is extremely important to develop the habit of cleaning your tack every time after you ride. Why? The proper care of your tack will ensure that it stays in great condition, as well as protecting the materials from cracking or breaking. Equally as important, cleaning your bit each time it is used will prevent the buildup of bacteria and grime. You wouldn’t want a dirty bit put in your mouth every time you were ridden, would you? Don’t do it to your horse; clean your bit!
Products used to clean your tack vary in the materials that you have. If you are unsure of the products to use, consult your trainer or local tack store.
2. BASIC RIDER EQUIPMENT
It is important to understand the standard classic look for equestrian riding. Whether you are riding at home, at a local show, or on the national level, you need to have the proper riding attire. When it comes to equipment, safety and comfortability are key. It should not only make you feel comfortable, it should also be comfortable for the horse. For example, a properly fitted saddle, will not only ensure correct riding position, but support the confirmation and movement of your horse or pony. This will also avoid physical injuries such as pinching or inflammation to your horse or pony’s back. One of the most important safety factors in riding is the purchase of ASTM/SEI approved helmet.
For guidance and the correct size or fit, check online or with your local tack store.
3. HORSE TACK & RIDING GEAR
We have compiled a simple list that will help identify the proper tack needed for you and your horse.
Saddles: The purpose of a saddle is to keep you balanced and secure on the horse, while also distributing your weight evenly on your horse or pony’s back. Saddles come in all shapes, sizes, styles and even colors! For this article, we will be focusing on the three types of English saddles. These include close-contact, all-purpose, and Dressage.
Apart from riding style, saddles also differ according to the material that they are made from. Leather is the traditional material because it is very durable and comfortable, but there are saddles made from synthetic materials. Before you decide on your first saddle you have to fit the horse to see how it feels. Tracings on the horse’s back can be used to assist saddle fitting but we advise you to consult with an expert on this matter.
Girth: When you are shopping for a saddle, you should also think about the girth. This piece of equipment is essential for keeping your saddle in a stable position.
Types and sizes will vary depending on your specific discipline of riding. We also recommend working with a saddle-fitter; you discuss where your girth should lie around your horse. This is an important factor to avoid any injury to your horse such as pinching or rubbing. You also do not want to impede their correct movements with an improperly placed saddle or girth.
Saddle pads: Vary depending on purpose. Whether you are schooling at home, in a lesson, or at a show, there are a wide variety of choices. Fitting on a saddle pad is very important as an improperly fitted pad can change how your saddle sits on your horse’s back. This could lead to pressure or sore spots. However using the correct type of pad could also balance a saddle and help with back issues such as high withers. Square and Dressage pads: This is the type of pad used in schooling and Dressage. They have layers of batting or foam that provide cushioning for your horse. There are also pads that offer moisture wicking materials. Standard for showing in Dressage, square pads can also be found for everyday riding at most farms. They can be used with all types of saddles. Check with your trainer for color, material and fitting preferences.
Fitted Pads: Are typically used with close contact and all purpose saddles for schooling and showing. They are commonly used by riders showing in Hunters and Equitation. Fitted pads are typically made with synthetic fleece or genuine sheepskin. They can be quilted and have straps for proper placement with your saddle and girth. Check with your trainer for finding the pad that fits properly with your saddle.
- Bits & Bridles: The bridle consists of headstall and bit. The bit is a metal (or a variety of materials) piece that goes in the horse’s mouth and is connected to the headstall and reins. Every discipline uses its own type of headstall. Again, you should choose the one that fits you and the animal best. Bits can be made from various materials like iron, copper, stainless steel, rubber, or even plastic. It is important to know correct fitting and placement of each bit. We recommend you consult with a trainer who will assess your horse’s needs, your riding objectives, and will guide you in choosing a bit and fitting it to your horse.
- Halters & Leads: There are two basic types of halters, nylon and leather. Rope training halters are superior to leather ones in terms of training potential. Because they are lightweight and thin, they allow for very specific groundwork training.
- Stirrups: The most common stirrup is stainless steel. It is one solid piece, and typically comes with a rubber stirrup pad. Other styles range from aluminum to jointed and is based off rider preference and/or discipline. All children should ride in a peacock-safety stirrup. This type of “breakaway” style allows for the foot to come out easily in case of an emergency such as a fall.
4. ADDITIONAL HORSE SUPPLIES
There are two main types of blankets: the stable blanket which must be thick and warm to protect the horse, and the turn-out blanket which is used when the animal spends time outdoors. The turn-out blanket should be water-proof. Depending on where you live can depend on the thickness of the blankets and the layering you need. A few additional sheets you should consider: fly sheet, cooler, anti-sweat sheet and rain sheet.
Buckets: You will want to have buckets for feeding and watering your horse, supplies and bathing. This includes, but is not limited to a feeding tub, large buckets for water and grains, a water heater.
Barn Equipment: Here is a basic checklist of equipment needed for the barn. Depending whether you board your horse at a full-care, partial or self-care farm, these items will assist you in the proper care of your horse and tack:
- corn broom
- push broom
- pitch forks
- muck buckets
- bridle hooks
- saddle racks
- metal garbage cans with tight-fitting lids (grain)
- a scale
- palettes (hay elevated so not to mold)
- hay bags (if necessary)
- extra lead lines and lunge lines
- lunge whip
- information board (contact information such as: barn staff, owner, boarders, farriers, insurance and veterinarians)
This concludes our checklist of essential equestrian products for you and your horse. We hope that our information has helped you feel more comfortable with the preparations of owning a horse and wish you the best of luck!