With the ever-increasing range of horse equipment available on the market we took a look at the essentials that every horse owner should have.
Well other than the horse your first thing you would require is a halter. The continental design is the best as it allows for the use of a chain should it be required. Most halters manufactured today are continental in design. Extra features include safety clips (they are important if you intend turning your horse out with a halter on) lining for the nose and poll. Which one you select will largely depend on your budget and taste, as they are available in almost every possible.
Next you will need a lead rope, a thicker softer lead rope is advisable, and if it has a loop on the end cut it off or loosen it, lead reins should never have a loop at the end. Ideally a lead rein should measure between 5-7 feet in length, as they are the most versatile
Spare feeder and water bucket even if your horse is boarded it is advisable to have your own spare set to ensure that should your horse get sick or it’s bucket suddenly disappears your horse does not suffer water deprivation. It is advisable to have at least two hay nets as well
Grooming kit also advisable to have two of if possible allowing for changeover and cleaning without interrupting the grooming routine. Mark your hoofpick well, as it is usually the first thing to wander off in any yard. Invest in a few spares.
Two working bridles, it is advisable when buying a horse to enquire as to the possibilities of getting the bridle with the horse as well, more often than not the seller would be willing to part with the bridle (unless it’s a Keiffer or Stubben that is) Buy a spare bridle and oil it well to have available in the event of the working bridle breaking
Brushing boots is advisable for everyday riding, unless your horse requires specialized boots, which you would be informed of when purchasing, or after having had the horse vetted. Speak to your stable manager or instructor as to the most suitable boots.
Saddle a well-fitted saddle that’s to your choice and riding style. Check your saddle every three months to ensure it’s correct fit.
Rugs and clothing
Day sheet, used mostly after bathing a horse to get the coat to lie flat, of for travelling.
Sweat sheet used to cool your horse down and prevent chills on cool or cold days. Often confused with a flysheet, a sweat sheet has the same appearance as a flysheet. It is however heavier and does not have the belly straps
Flysheet if you own a grey horse or one with sweet itch this should be second on your list (after bug spray that is) placed on horses whilst turned out to prevent insect bites and stings.
Exercise blanket. If your horse is to be clipped in the winter and it snows in your area this is a must have, it keeps the back and quarters warm whist working.
Rugs Depending on your stabling arrangements and climate you may require up to three rugs. If stabled your horse could have a lighter duvet rug whilst indoors, and then have this exchanged for a New Zealand or Weatherbeta for when turned out. It is advisable to have at least two turnout rugs should you have wet winters with snow, as this allows for them to dry properly prior to being used on the horse again.
Should your horse live out it would require at least two New Zealand rugs. Ensure that the waterproof lining is intact and not allowing moisture to seep through.
Exercise bandages, these are made of elastic or ribbed fabric, although not as fashionable as boots, exercise bandages have one benefit over boots if applied correctly they are a perfect fit where most boots are only near perfect. Used to protect the legs whilst in work and to support tendons. Also helps with beeping the legs warm in the winter.
Stable bandages these used to be made of wool of flannelling, today they are often made of fleecing. Every owner needs at least one pair on stable bandages; these are used from bandaging for warmth or for the proper drying of legs to extra support for wound dressings.
Medical or First Aid Kit
Regardless of whether your horse is boarded or not every owner should have their own first aid kit, here is the basic kit for horse owners
• Crepe bandages and safety pins
• Cotton wool (lots and lots)
• Disposable nappies
• Gentian violet spray often referred to as purple spray
• Disinfectant (Hibiscrub or Hibitane is best)
• Iodine salve (or if sensitive to Iodine Prenine)
• Vit E salve or oil
• Eye ointment ideally Exocin drops
• Epson salts
• Bicarbonate of soda
• Syringes various sizes
• Latex gloves
• Cotton self adhesive bandages (Elastoplast)
• Cooling gel
• Instant ice pack
• Gauze pads
• Jelonet or paraffin gauze
More advanced include
• Black powder or Forgastrin
• Acriflvine in glycerine
• Glycerine and itchamol
• Cohesive bandages
• Insulation tape
• Glad wrap
• Poultice mix or kaolin
• Liquid paraffin