If you have never owned a horse before, you are about to discover that there is a lot of work and responsibility involved in keeping one. Taking care of a horse is not always easy and will require a fair amount of horse care and horse riding equipment.
So assuming you are about to get your first horse, we will focus on the key items you will need to ensure the safety and health of the new addition to your family. Owning a horse is a very rewarding experience, it just takes dedication to earn this.
First, Do You Have Space?
If you live in a unit, townhouse or a home with a small yard, you probably already know that this isn't ideal for the large pet you are about to add to your life. That being said, if you have at least a modest sized piece of property where your horse can run and play, you are already partway through the process. Your horse will also need that space to be fenced to keep them contained and safe. And you're going to need some kind of shelter to keep your horse out of extreme weather.
Second, Acquiring Horse Care Equipment
You will require proper fitting horse care and horse riding equipment to safely ride your horse. Your local tack/riding shop can help you with the selection and sizing requirements. Plus, they can be a great source of other gear you will need to clean and feed your horse too. This includes buckets, grooming tools and much more. You will need a water source of some kind. A trough is a good idea that can be fed fresh water on a regular basis. For more information about basic horse care, see our earlier Horse Riding Tip post here.
Equipment Needed To Feed Your Horse
Your horse should have access to grazing land to supplement the feed mixture you are going to offer them. You cannot allow your horse to just eat grasses and whatever else they can find in and around your property. You have a responsibility to provide a nutritious and well-balanced diet in order to build muscle and maintain that muscle. So the equipment and items you will need to feed them includes the following:
- Bucket for feed (made from non-toxic materials)
- Water trough
- Measuring cups (for mixing feed)
- Stick or wooden spoon (for stirring the mixture)
- Bags of feed, stored properly indoors
- Salt block
Equipment To Maintain Your Paddock
You know how you have tools specifically in your garden shed to cut and maintain your lawn? Well you have to have the same sort of set up for the paddock you horse grazes in. Your main goal here is to keep the area in good condition removing weeds and plants that are not good for them to eat. Here's a quick equipment list:
- Fencing hand tools
- Fencing material (wire, barbed wire, planks, boards)
- Stable broom
- Pitch fork
- Manure fork or trough
Equipment For Grooming Your Horse
Grooming your horse is an important task that should be done after each ride you take. It is also something that your horse enjoys having done to them. In addition to cleaning your horse, grooming allows you to build a stronger bond with your animal. Between visits from the farrier, you can get into the habit of picking up their feet to visually check the condition of each hoof and horseshoe. Here are some of the tools you will need in order to properly groom your horse:
- Halter leather or breakaway halter
- Hoof pick (for cleanings between farrier visits)
- Lead ropes
- Curry comb
- Mane comb
- Body brush
- Fly/insect repellent
Equipment For Horse Riding
Sooner or later we were going to get around to the fun stuff! Everyone loves owning a horse simply because they access to regular riding lessons. But before you can begin riding you horse or taking them to your local Pony Club, you will need some basic riding gear first. This includes:
- Saddle with girth or cinch
- Saddle pad or blanket
- Helmet (remember, safety first!)
- Harness with bridle
- Safety stirrups or boots with a one-inch heel
- Horse float or trailer (for transportation)
- Proper clothing for the outdoor riding conditions
- Water (for you and them)
Emergency Horse Care
You never want to have to deal with an emergency situation with your horse. But you have to always prepare for the worst. Therefore, ensure you have the following listed items just in case, which will help keep your horse calm and relaxed until the vet arrives.
- Heated blanket
- Wet towels (for cleaning injured areas)
- Basic first aid kit (to treat simple scrapes and minor cuts)
- Vet contact information
Basic Horse Riding Equipment Conclusion
There is no doubt that your local tack store is going to carry many additional items that you may need in and around your stable. The lists here are just meant to give you a general outline of the basic horse riding equipment needed. Once you have your horse on your property and start taking care of them you will likely discover that there are other tools or pieces of equipment that you should have. Plus your vet may be able to advise you on some of the medications and dressings you should have on hand for emergencies. Regardless of what you end up adding to your existing inventory, your goal should be to ensure safety of both your horse, yourself and whoever else may ride them.