I am on the hunt for a horse and may have just found Mr. Right. Still, nothing is in stone and won't be for a couple of weeks minimum. The big tack store here just sent out a private notice about closing their doors. A huge liquidation will begin in a few days. Here's my question...what can I safely buy now without a horse, until one is decided on and purchased? This will be my first horse and so I got nothin' at this point. And so the horse will only be a fraction of my overall expense.
Dang! One more question...if the stable has certain colors, should I also attempt to buy those colors?
Well, unless you know for SURE what size of horse you will be buying (like you are only shopping for a 16.2+ TB or only shopping for a large pony), I wouldn't be buying anything like a bridle/halter, sheets/blankets, etc... You could, though, buy all the grooming and maintenance stuff with little risk: brushes, fly spray, leads, tack cleaning stuff, wraps, saddle pads (you know what size saddle you ride in), etc... Ask a friend who already owns a horse to go with you, they can help you figure out what you need that isn't size specific.
What did I buy when I was horseless, hmmm.
Well I bought an average sized bridle, saddle pads, a fleeceworks half pad, grooming tools, totes and buckets, shampoos, fly spray, a selection of bits and a selection of different sized girths (because I was riding school horses in my own saddle and some of them were pretty chunky, we also had horses that shared bridles and bits so if I wanted to ride in the same lesson . . .). Stirrup leathers, Fillis irons that I liked, extra wide Peacock irons for in case DH needed some, tons of stuff for me, from boots to socks. Average sized halter and a lead rope too.
The one thing I did not buy was the blanket - they need to fit well.
Things I would NOT buy without knowing for sure what size horse it was going on:
Halter (though if you know you're going to get a horse-sized horse, you could get away with this, or if you think you want a smaller horse, maybe you could get a cob-sized halter, or if you want a bigger horse, warmblood/oversize...)
Fly mask (though like the halter, if you have an idea of the size of horse you're looking for and you're pretty set on it, you might could fudge this one)
Other things not already mentioned you could buy that aren't horse-size dependent:
Stirrup leathers and irons (the catch here is to ensure that later you get a saddle that matches your leathers, hah)
Those little horse shaver things (more useful than you'd think!)
You can buy first aid supplies, grooming equipment, lead ropes, saddle pads, fly spray, polo wraps, etc...basically anything that isn't too "size specific".
If you're shopping in a certain size horse range, say 15.2-16.2, then you could probably get away with buying a bridle. You could also buy things like brush boots, a breastplate, a halter, etc.
Stay away from buying a girth and a saddle...everything else I would go for. If stuff ends up not fitting you can always sell it on eBay or Craigslist.
well, if you are almost positive what horse you are going to end up with, if you buy quality stuff and it doesn't fit you can always resell. I would only do this though if something like a bridle was a killer deal though.
Otherwise, anything grooming/cleaning/etc is fair game! Same with riding clothes for yourself. Since buying my own I've had to buy a few more pairs of breeches due to riding more.
Have fun! Buying stuff for the horse is a neverending process.
I would buy everything but blankets. If you can find really good deals, anything you don't use, you can probably sell without loosing money. Or you can just be like the rest of us who have a ton of stuff in our basements/attics that we are afraid to get rid of because we may need it one day.