Especially for first time horse owners, ensuring that you go in fully prepared will mean your horse has everything it needs to stay healthy and comfortable. Horses require a high level of responsibility and care so getting a thorough understanding of their needs before committing to them will mean you know what you are getting into. To provide your horse with the love and attention they require, you should be able to visit them at least twice a day and ideally stick to a similar routine. To help you get hold of everything you need when buying a horse, we’ve pulled together a brief list of the essentials so you can cover all ground.
Keeping them warm and protected
Whether your horse lives indoors or out, keeping them comfortable during all weather conditions is important. During the warmer months, fly sheets for horses are ideal for not only keeping biting insects at bay, but offering the coat a layer of protection from the direct sunlight. In the colder months, a thicker fleece rug with waterproof properties will help your horse maintain their body temperature against the harsh weather conditions.
Ongoing grazing and hydration
Every horse will have a slightly different diet depending on their body weight and level of activity, but their nutritional needs should be maintained. As well as their daily feed, offer plenty of access to fresh, clean water and hay or pasture for them to graze on. Metal or plastic containers are a popular choice for food as they are easy to clean, and a lid can be placed on when not in use. Pair this with a large water bucket and be sure to refresh the water on a regular basis.
Staying on top of grooming
To maintain a clean and tidy coat, staying on top of regular grooming is necessary. Use a body brush to remove any excess hair and keep the coat tidy and a different mane comb with shampoo to get any tangles out of the tail and mane, preventing knots from building up. Regular grooming is also an opportunity to keep an eye on the condition of their skin, finding any wounds or bites that they may have gained recently.
Ready to ride
Being prepared for riding will ensure both you and your horse are fully equipped. Choose tack to suit your riding style and be sure to have a saddle, saddle pad, bridle and stirrups ready to use. As well as preparing your horse, keep your own safety in mind and always wear a helmet, riding boots, body protection and high visibility clothing in public spaces to prevent the risk of any injuries when riding.
Prepare for the unexpected
Registering with a local veterinary practice before bringing your new horse home will ensure you have access to the help you need, when you need it. In the case of any injuries or unusual behaviour which could be caused by illness, being able to call out an emergency vet for professional assistance will provide the support you need.