Horses are docile animals that can be great companions as well as useful animals for transportation or equestrian activities. It may seem daunting to own a horse when you have only looked at them from afar, but by following a few steps and making sure you have the proper supplies, the task will become second nature. From equipment, known as tack, to grooming gear and protective gear for yourself, our list of supplies will ensure that your horse is properly cared for. The following will be covered in this article:
First time horse owners can rent space in a stall or public stables, but if you have the land and the boarding space to house a horse, you may also have some of the basic equipment needed to clean up after a horse-- such as a wheelbarrow, bucket, and pitchforks and shovels. It may be tempting to go straight to get the tack that is seemingly essential for a horse. But by waiting to buy these essentials until you have your horse so you can fit the items especially for the size of the animal may be a better route.
Feeding equipment is important, as every horse has to eat. A feed pan for food ensures that the horse will be able to eat its individual portion. Then, make sure to have a feed container to hold all of the feed, preferably metal or plastic with a secure lid to prevent rodents from getting into it. Purchase water troughs or use large buckets to hold enough water for the horse, and lastly a water heater or heated buckets if you live in an area that experiences freezing temperatures. If you do wind up repurposing a bucket or barrel for feed or water troughs, be sure there were no toxic substances previously in the containers, and that there are no sharp edges.
Stocking up on tack items is always the most fun and exciting part of getting a horse. They are essential for riding a horse, and are associated with docile, domesticated horses. A saddle with a pad or blanket is necessary to sit on the horse. The saddle will be one of your most expensive purchases, but you can save some money by using synthetic (rather than leather), or secondhand. Make sure it is both comfortable for the horse and that you feel secure and stable when you sit in it. That involves getting it professionally fitted, which is of the utmost importance. A bridle and bit guide the horse and are attached to the reins. A helmet is important for the person riding the horse, and stirrups allow the person to hop onto the horse and guide the horse with ease.
A pitchfork, wheelbarrow, manure fork, and a secure, dry place to store hay, feed, tack, and other supplies are all necessary. Many of these items are staples in a barn without a horse, but are very useful in caring for a horse. A pitchfork will help with the moving and maintenance of the hay. A wheelbarrow can help with moving the manure, which can be cleaned with the manure fork. And finally, making sure you have a secure, dry place to store the many items pertinent for a horse’s maintenance will ensure years of enjoyment of your animal.
A halter helps you guide the horse, and makes sure that it is able to be properly groomed. Much like the halter, the lead ropes are an extension that allows you to guide where the horse should go. Hoof picks are important to clean out the horseshoes, and properly care for them. Finally, combs and brushes are important to keep the horse clean, as well as looking fresh and spiffy!
Wellington boots will allow you to walk around the barn without any worry of dirtying up your pants or legs. Riding boots on the other hand allow for proper riding fashion, useful for walking around the barn and proper for sitting on the horse and stepping into the stirrups. Don’t forget about the helmet mentioned above in tack, which may be the most important thing you will buy. Gloves are optional, but can help you care for your horse while shoveling and moving hay, and also can give you a good grip on the reins when you are riding the horse.
Buying a horse may be something that you have wanted to do for a long time, but never thought it possible. Going into it knowing the numerous supplies you need will better prepare you to fulfill what may have been a lifelong dream. And don’t forget to have fun! A wonderful future with your new horse awaits.
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