Ready, Set, Ride! 4 Essentials for New Horse Owners

Ready, Set, Ride! 4 Essentials for New Horse Owners


The last time someone checked, there were around 7.2 million domesticated horses in the USA. There’s something undeniably magical about the bond between a human and their equine companion. But diving into the world of horse ownership requires more than just a spur-of-the-moment decision and a handful of carrots.

Preparation for horse ownership is vital, and we’ve picked four must-haves to make sure you’re equipped to navigate the thrilling – and sometimes challenging – terrain of horse ownership with confidence.

Item 1: Shelter for your equine companion

Safety and comfort are paramount. Just like us, horses need a cozy retreat to shield them from the elements and provide respite from the whims of Mother Nature. At the heart of this sanctuary lies the shelter where your horse can find solace amidst rain, wind, and the sweltering heat or bitter cold.

You can opt for the classic comfort of a box stall, the airy freedom of an open-air shelter, or the versatile convenience of a stall-and-run setup; there’s a shelter solution to suit every horse and every climate. There are also some other things you need for your horse stall, like food, water, and healthcare provisions. Essentially, ensure your stall has unrestricted airflow, adequate ventilation, and a frame sturdy enough to withstand the elements.

Item 2: Head collar and lead rope with a grooming kit

Before you bring your horse back to the ranch house, it’s crucial to ensure you have the right gear on hand. That means finding the perfect fit for your horse’s comfort and safety – a head collar and lead rope is an absolute must for this.

No horse owner’s toolkit is complete without a comprehensive grooming kit. Regular grooming isn’t just about keeping your horse looking picture-perfect – it’s also vital to their overall health and well-being. You should groom your horses before and after riding them, as well as before you dress them in rugs. From brushes and combs to hoof picks and mane detanglers, grooming kits are non-negotiable.

Item 3: A first-aid kit

While we all hope for smooth sailing and minimal bumps along the way, it’s wise to be prepared for the unexpected – and that’s where a basic first aid kit comes into play.

While you may not need it as frequently as your grooming kit, a first aid kit is arguably one of the most practical investments you can make for your horse. So, what exactly should you include in your equine first aid arsenal?

  • A reliable thermometer and stethoscope are essential for monitoring your horse’s vital signs. They allow you to quickly assess any changes in temperature or heart rate that may indicate an underlying health issue.
  • Bandaging materials and wound cleaners are indispensable for treating minor injuries and preventing infection. Diapers or maxi pads can serve as excellent absorbent padding for wounds, while elastic medical tape provides secure and flexible bandaging support.
  • Electrolytes in paste form to support hydration, along with syringes for administering medications or fluids as needed.
  • Wound ointment and oral painkillers can provide much-needed relief in the event of cuts, scrapes, or other injuries.

As you assemble your first aid kit, remember that it’s a work in progress. You can always add to it over time as you gain experience and encounter new situations.

Item 4: Protection from the elements

Invest in the right gear to keep your horse cozy, dry, and free from pesky insects. As spring and summer roll around, so do the bugs – and that’s where fly gear comes in handy. A fly sheet provides a lightweight barrier against flies and other insects, helping to keep your horse comfortable and irritation-free. Pair it with a fly mask and fly boots for comprehensive protection from head to hoof.

But you need not worry about just flies—the summer heat can also affect your horse’s comfort. That’s where scrim sheets and cotton sheets come into play. They provide breathable coverage to help wick away sweat, keeping your horse cool and comfortable even on the hottest days.

A rain sheet offers lightweight, waterproof protection against sudden downpours, ensuring that your horse stays dry and comfortable even when the weather turns bad.

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