With a responsibility to keep your horse healthy, comfortable and happy, having all of the necessary equipment on hand will ensure you are able to meet their daily needs and stay on top of care. Whether you are an experienced horse owner or are looking to buy your first, prepare in advance by buying all the necessary equipment and goods before your new addition arrives. As well as the physical equipment, you need to be certain that you can commit the time to their care, being able to visit them multiple times a day and building up that all important bond. To help you get kitted out with all of the equipment you will need, we’ve pulled together some of the basic essentials that will get you started and maintain a comfortable horse.
Keep a cosy temperature
Whatever the weather, ensure your horse stays warm and dry all year round with appropriate rugs chosen depending on their age, lifestyle, living conditions and health. A popular option is turnout rugs as they can be used throughout the spring, summer and autumn when weather is milder, being ideal for horses who spend their days outdoors. A turnout rug will protect them from the dirt and rain whilst allowing the skin to breathe but as the weather gets colder, a thicker fleece rug with waterproof properties will help retain their body heat so they can stay comfortable all year round.
Provide the necessary nutrition
Nutritional needs will vary depending on body weight, health and levels of activity, meaning there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to horse feed. Daily feed should include all of the necessary nutrition required and additional supplements provided if necessary, complementing constant access to hay or pasture for grazing. In addition to food, clean, fresh water should always be available and needs to be changed on a daily basis; to keep it fresh and easy for you, we recommend using metal or plastic containers.
Maintain a clean and tidy coat
Regular grooming with a body brush, main comb and horse shampoo will ensure that excess hair is removed, keeping the coat clean and tidy by removing any dirt that has been picked up during the day. Your horse’s body will naturally grow longer if it needs to stay warm, but many horse owners opt to rug their horse as this makes the coat much more manageable and prevent excess growth. Grooming is also an important opportunity to spot any sores, wounds or health concerns.
Safe riding precautions
Ensure you have the necessary equipment for riding, whether you attend regular races and events or you prefer to enjoy a leisurely ride around the local area. The safety of yourself and your horse is a number one priority so avoid cutting corners and purchase the necessary safety gear to minimise risk. For the rider, a helmet, body protection and high visibility clothing should be used and your horse tack should include a saddle, saddle pad, bridle and stirrups.