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Home > Horses > 16 Essential Horse Supplies to Get You Started: 2024 Update

16 Essential Horse Supplies to Get You Started: 2024 Update

Tennessee Walking Horse

Getting your first horse is exciting and you want to be prepared. If a trip to the tack store has you feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Every new horse owner has experienced this, and the reality is that you don’t need absolutely everything. If you’re trying to stick to a budget and start with the bare essentials, we got you covered. Our list of 17 essential horse supplies will get you started with your new horse without spending more than you have to.


Considerations Before Shopping

Where you are keeping your horse is an important thing to consider before you shop. If you are boarding your horse away from home, many things will be taken care of by your boarding barn. But you’ll need extra supplies if you plan to keep your horse at home.

The Essential Horse Supplies

This list doesn’t include things like hay or feed. Also, if you are buying a horse, you’ve probably been riding for a while and already have riding gear for yourself.

Horse Wear

1. Halter and Lead Rope

Weaver Leather EcoLuxe

The need for a halter and lead rope should be self-explanatory. You need them to bring your horse in and out from their paddock or pasture, to tie your horse, or to trailer your horse. You’ll also need a halter and lead for any ground training that you wish to do or to hold your horse during farrier visits.

2. Turnout Blankets/Rainsheets/Flysheets

Derby Originals Windstorm Nordic

Which of these options you need for your horse will depend on where your horse lives most of the time and the climate in your location. Not all horses need blankets in the winter, but it’s a good idea to have one on hand for the occasions when you do. There’s nothing worse than a cold, wet storm that leaves your horse shivering and you not having a blanket to throw on them.

A waterproof rain sheet is a good idea to protect your horse from wind and rain. It’s also handy for keeping your horse clean before shows or competitions.

Fly sheets are a necessity for some horses more than others. Anywhere there is manure, you will find flies. They bother dark horses more than light ones, but these sheets also offer UV protection, so they can be handy for avoiding sunburns on light-colored horses.divider-horse

Tack and Equipment

3. Bridle With bit/Bitless Bridle/Hackamore

Bridle With bit

You can choose to ride in whatever equipment suits you and your horse best. Your choice will depend on your riding style and what you do with your horse. Every horse and rider has their own preference of bit, while others prefer not to use a bit at all.

4. Saddle

If you don’t already have a saddle, it’s important to get one that fits both you and your horse. Poorly fitted saddles cause injuries, soreness, and behavior problems. If you’re not experienced in how to fit a saddle to a horse, consider consulting a trained saddle fitter for help.

5. Saddle Pad

Weaver Leather Synergy

A saddle pad should fit your saddle type and the type of riding that you do (Western or English). Different disciplines often use different pads and every horse has different needs. A “mutton withered” horse (a horse with a low wither), for example, may have issues with the saddle slipping. This can be fixed with the combination of a gel saddle pad and the type of cinch that you use. Conversely, a horse with a high wither may benefit from a saddle pad with a cut-out that avoids rubbing.

6. Cinch

Weaver Leather AirFlex

If you prefer that your saddle stays on your horse, you’ll need a cinch or a girth to keep it there. Cinch/girth size is measured in inches, so you’ll need to measure your horse to determine the appropriate size.

Western cinches are made from different materials, including mohair, neoprene, and fleece. English girths can be different for different saddles. Dressage saddles often have short girths and long billet straps, while close-contact jumping saddles tend to have long girths and short billets.divider-horse

Horse Care Supplies

7. Grooming Kit

  • Hoof pick
  • Curry comb
  • Dandy brush
  • Soft brush
  • Mane/tail brush or comb
  • Face brush

You’ll also want shampoo, a wash bucket, and a sponge for bathing your horse.

8. Fly Spray

Absorbine Ultrashield Green

Every barn, paddock, or horse pasture has fly issues. These pesky insects like to lay their eggs in manure. Unfortunately, horses make large amounts of manure, so they are constantly surrounded by flies.

Flies greatly irritate horses. If you’ve never been slapped in the face with a horse tail whipping a fly, congratulations! If you don’t want that experience, you’ll want to get fly spray. Ideally, it should be applied daily and after rain showers.

divider-horseStable Supplies: Boarding Your Horse

9. Water Bucket

EquiFit AgSilver CleanBucket Horse Bucket

Most boarding barns provide stable supplies for you. However, a water bucket can be used for many purposes, so you’ll likely want one on hand even if your horse isn’t kept at home.

It can double as a feed pan if you want, and it’s a necessity when trailering your horse away from the barn.

10. Feed Pan

Horze Equestrian Zofty

If you grain your horse, you can use a bucket or a pan to feed them. There are many different materials and sizes to choose from.

If you feed your horse indoors where it’s heated, you can choose according to your preference. For those who feed outdoors in the winter, you’ll want to choose a rubber feed pan over a plastic one. Horses like to paw at their feed pans, and if a hoof clips a plastic pan in the cold, the pan will snap.divider-horse

Stable Supplies: Keeping Your Horse at Home

11. Wheel Barrow

Wheel Barrow

This should be fairly self-explanatory, but whether your horse is outside, in a barn, or both, you can expect to pick up a large amount of manure. You need a way to move it and carry it.

12. Salt Block Holder

Tough-1 Salt Block Holder

You can use a holder on the ground or one that hangs off the fence, but you’ll want to make sure your horse has 24/7 access to a salt block.

13. Tie Rings

Toklat Blocker Tie Ring II

It’s important to have a safe place to tie your horse while you are tacking up. Your setup may have a rail fence or something similar with a built-in spot. If you are tying inside a run-in shed or barn, you’ll need a secure ring to tie off to.

14. Feed Barrels/Storage

Rubbermaid Commercial Products

Large metal trash cans or Rubbermaid bins can work well for storing grain and extra feed. Make sure you store feed in a location that’s waterproof and mouse proof. If your feed gets wet, it will mold, and mouse feces can be toxic. Either way, it will result in you having to dispose of all your feed.

15. Feed Scoop

Pet Champion Feeding

A large measuring scoop works well to scoop out grain for your horse. Some people use an empty coffee can, which can work just as well.

16. Equine First Aid Kit

A basic first aid kit is critical to being able to deal with any cuts or wounds as they happen. Horses tend to hurt themselves frequently.

In a herd, they can bite each other hard enough to break the skin. If your horse is fenced in by barbed wire, they are notorious for leaning on the fence to eat the grass on the other side. This inevitably leaves them with all sorts of tiny cuts and nicks that you’ll need to clean up.



Hopefully, this list has given you a good idea of the essentials that you will need for your new horse. If you are boarding your horse, the barn or stable will likely provide most of the daily care items for you. Keeping a horse at home requires more preparation and supplies. Making sure you’re prepared before your horse comes home will help you keep them safe and happy.

Featured Image Credit: SusImage, Shutterstock

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