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What to get a first time horse owner?

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  • What to get a first time horse owner?

    A good friend of mine is getting his very first horse and I have been guiding him through the process. After months and months of searching his horse finally arrives Saturday. Yay!

    SO the part I need help with ideas for is:
    I wanted to put together a sort of "first time horse dad" basket. But cant decided what to include or what to pack it in.

    What would you guys include?

  • #2
    Whee! Shopping for new horse owners! Depending on what he already has, the following are extremely useful:

    A couple nicer hoof picks with a handle likely to fit his hand.
    Curry/mitt you think he might like.
    A brush or two that you recommend.

    If he's not boarding where these are handled by a barn manager type, put together a basic first aid kit for him. Swat, Corona, Thrushbuster, iodine, etc.
    A flyspray that works in your area.
    If you aren't using fecal counts and analysis to do deworming, then include the recommended dewormers for your area for 6-12 months.

    If you are at all scrapbook-y or just highly organized, put together a binder for him where he can track receipts, track schedule and keep notes from vet and farrier visits, etc. Include on the calendar the main competitions from his favorite discipline. If he is thinking of showing, put in a suggestion of when he should ask the vet for the next Coggins etc.

    A couple cool bumper/window stickers for his car or truck, if he is into those.

    How much do we get to help you spend?
    HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
    www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog


    • #3
      First aid kits are super helpful - include the things you don't think about until you need them. Thermometer, bandages, wraps, vetwrap, gauze pads, etc. A vitals chart.

      Maybe compile a bunch of informational articles if he's new to horses? A bunch of cards/brochures for horse services (vet, farrier, etc) in the area?
      Dapplebay - home of original equestrian clothing and accessories.


      • #4
        Tylenol and some good muscle rub.
        Pre-paid appointment with a good chiropractor.
        Bottle of wine.
        That should do it.
        Charlie Piccione
        Natural Performance Hoof Care


        • #5
          A simple first aid book or reference guide would be very helpful.

          A subscription to Equus would be great, too.
          "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bellissimo View Post
            . . .
            What would you guys include?
            Psychiatric counseling . . .


            • #7
              How about a coupon book good for 12 mortgage payments.....After all, now that he owns a horse, it won't be long until he's BROKE!!!


              • #8
                We were going to put together a grooming kit for our daughter's first "adult owned" horse. It turns out that she wanted to pick everything out herself. But it resulted in a great shopping trip.

                So perhaps a gift card to your favorite tack/supply source and a joint trip to advise on what's really useful. Followed by a trip to get your favorite indulgence (ice cream in my case)
                The other female in my husband's life has four legs


                • Original Poster

                  Hahahaha I totally agree with Psychiatric counseling!

                  There is not really a budget. . .But I have my own horses so I'm already broke.

                  All I managed to come up with on my own was a hoof pick, a brush or two, sweat scraper, and treats. lol I probably should throw in a bottle of wine!

                  It will be living at a polo club and I know they don't have much in the way of first aid things on hand. So I was trying to go that route.

                  Like horsegeeks said, I was trying to stay away from fun things to shop for and do more necessity type things.

                  I couldn't decide if I wanted to use a little bucket or one of those grooming tote bags to put it in. I have never owned one of those totes, are they useful?


                  • #10
                    I don't know how much horse ownership knowledge this "newbie" might have, so the following suggestion may not be appropriate - but its based on seeing two newbies come into our barn in the last 12 months...scary but true...

                    Give the person 3-4 sessions with a person who can teach them the things: (perhaps you, barn manager, trainer etc)
                    Correct way to put on protective boots
                    How to correctly wrap a leg
                    Picking feet, what to look for (loose shoe, no shoe, nail, thrush)
                    Proper way to bridle and saddle a horse
                    How to recognize that the horse might not feel well
                    How to take his temperature
                    General safety tips
                    Barn etiquette
                    tack cleaning
                    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                    • #11
                      If you're concerned about buying stuff that he doesn't need or wants to pick out himself, then buy stuff that every horse owner can never own too much of and constantly runs out of:

                      Fly spray
                      Lead ropes
                      Curry combs
                      Gift cards for gas or the coffee/food joint that's on his way to/from the barn
                      Extra pens for the tack box--you're always looking for one when it's time to write board checks, or vet checks, or farrier checks...
                      Pocket clippers for whiskers, ears, etc.

                      Just me, but I'd put this stuff in a bucket rather than a grooming tote. Veteran horse owners have dozens of buckets. New horse owners can never seem to find a bucket when they need to clean tack, throw together a quick kit for first aid/grooming/a quick trailer trip/etc.

                      If the budget is very generous, you could get him a really nice checkbook cover like this because he's about to make really good friends with his checkbook:
                      Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


                      • #12
                        I think I'd recommend setting him up with a binder like someone suggested to keep all the important documents that us less organized yet experienced horse owners wished we kept better track of. You may also want to include lists of important things he'll need, like what your ideal first aid kit would include, or your ideal grooming kit, or winter pony wardrobe.

                        I know you want to show a nice gesture by getting him something, but what he probably needs the most is knowledge and someone willing to share it. Perhaps you could get him a gift certificate to your favorite tack store like others have suggested and tell him you'll go shopping together so you can give your input on favorite items. A gift certificate to the coffee/food place on the way to the barn is also a great idea.

                        If you are thinking about the first aid thing, you should make sure to include a small dry bag from the WalMart camping section. Horses are horses, so I'm sure his horse will get an abcess, and being a good horse owner, he'll want to soak it, and inevitably someone will convince him that the best method is a bucket and patience. The best method is a dry bag (or used IV bag from the vet) full of epsom salts and betadine that is duct taped at the pasterns. Another first aid item that not enough people own is a human digital 3-second thermometer. For some reason tack shops seem to be 10 years behind thermometer trends- while they seem to have finally ditched mercury ones, the digital ones still take 3 minutes or so of standing by an angry horse's behind. You should also consider teaching him how to hoof pack and wrap a leg. Show him the difference between good and bad wraps, and tell him to practice often. I'm amazed at the people at my barn who can't wrap a leg well, and it's such an essential skill.


                        • #13
                          How about a nice monogrammed halter with the horse's name? Not exactly a gift basket, but it would be a nice touch.
                          HoofGuide.com offers an extensive collection of videos related to horse hoof care.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 2tempe View Post
                            I don't know how much horse ownership knowledge this "newbie" might have, so the following suggestion may not be appropriate - but its based on seeing two newbies come into our barn in the last 12 months...scary but true...

                            Give the person 3-4 sessions with a person who can teach them the things: (perhaps you, barn manager, trainer etc)
                            Correct way to put on protective boots
                            How to correctly wrap a leg
                            Picking feet, what to look for (loose shoe, no shoe, nail, thrush)
                            Proper way to bridle and saddle a horse
                            How to recognize that the horse might not feel well
                            How to take his temperature
                            General safety tips
                            Barn etiquette
                            tack cleaning
                            This is an excellent starter list. If we knew how much the new owner knows, we could be a bit more 'on target' with suggestions.

                            How to Lunge a horse
                            How to load a horse into a trailer
                            How to safely tie a horse

                            Maybe get a copy of the Pony Club books?


                            • #15
                              Grooming totes are very useful, especially if your horse is not in love with being groomed! Most of the time, I hand graze mine for an intensive grooming session, so the tote is very handy! I just got this one and I am very happy with it.


                              Also, the "Horses for Dummies" book is actually very informative and has a lot of good information in it.

                              Other suggestions include cookies, hoof pick, curry comb, brushes, a good mane and tail brush, fly spray, thermometer (and vaseline!), Betadine, a good de-tangler product, Corona, triple antibiotic ointment, and a weight tape.


                              • Original Poster

                                I knew you all would have good ideas!

                                This is for a newbie who has NOTHING so far. SO I really like the idea of a first aid guide or horses for dummies book!!

                                I think I have it narrowed down to:
                                Hoof Pick, Body Brush, Curry, Sweat Scraper, Treats, and Lead Rope because I don't think you can ever have too many of these things!

                                Swat, VetWrap, and Saddle Soap because I'm not sure these would be thought of.

                                Some type of horsey book now that you have given me the idea.

                                Tape (for tails) and maybe a set of polos since these two things are what everyone is always trying to find around the barn.

                                My local tack shops sale is coming up so I'm hoping to snag most of this stuff there!


                                • #17
                                  [QUOTE=Paige777;6241079]First aid kits are super helpful - include the things you don't think about until you need them. Thermometer, bandages, wraps, vetwrap, gauze pads, etc. A vitals chart.

                                  Being a new horse owner (as of October) this is a great idea... you always think of the everyday things you will need as a new owner but you don't think of all the emergency stuff you need until it's 6 pm on a Sunday and you're horse has hurt itself and you have NOTHING to take care of it... and on top of it, all the stores are closed!! (does it sound like i've been there?? haha) I'm voting on the first aid kit!! Great Idea!!