If you’re thinking of getting a horse, there are a few considerations and basic pieces of equipment that you will need to have to provide proper care.
For those who already have a country home with land, you may already have some of the more common starter items that you’ll need on hand, such as wheelbarrows, shovels, and pitchforks. However, there are many other things to think about prior to bringing your horse back to its new home.
Items to Prepare Before You Bring Your Horse Home
- HAY We recommend stocking at least a 30 day supply of hay bales. In many instances, good-quality hay or pasture for your horse will be sufficient to maintain your horse’s dietary needs.
- NUTRITION Depending on your horse’s overall health, age, and other factors, you may also need to consider supplements and grains. Having them ready to go means that you can just get on with enjoying your horse, rather than worrying about what they will be eating next or if they are comfortable.
- LIVING QUARTERS The preparation of your horse’s living quarters is also key. If you will be stalling them indoors at any time, be sure that all doors, latches, and boards are safe and secure. You should also do a thorough check of any fencing you plan to use.
- WATER ACCESS Knowing how you will get your horse clean water is a must. Take into consideration your local weather conditions (i.e. do you live in a cold climate where water freezes?). Before you bring your horse home, be sure that you feel confident that you can provide it with clean water at all times.
- FEEDING EQUIPMENT Depending on your horse’s diet, it will be important to have air-tight containers with lids to hold special grains and supplements. You should also have a variety of buckets and feed pans available for in the barn and outside. To minimize time spent refilling small water buckets, consider a large trough for pasture areas.
- A HALTER & LEAD Your horse may come with these items from the seller, or you may need to provide your own. Either way, having your own halter and lead rope is a must! In fact, we recommend getting at least two of each, in case one gets damaged or lost.
Once Your Horse Arrives
Some items can be acquired after your new horse has settled in. This may include:
- TACK Bridles, saddles, pads, etc. can certainly be purchased before bringing your horse home. However, in a lot of instances, it’s a good idea to wait until they are actually with you. This means that you can get some custom-fit pieces for your horse, helping them to be comfortable and happy.
- GROOMING SUPPLIES While you should at least grab a couple of basic grooming items ahead of time, such as a curry brush and a hoof pick. You can later build your grooming kit over time as you discover which items make the most sense for you to have on hand.
- INSECT REPELLANT If you live in an area where bugs are a problem, visit your local farm supply store and grab some fly spray.
Good luck on your journey to having your first horse!
Related: 10 Tips for First-Time Horse Owners