New horse checklist!
I’ll never forget the first few months of owning my horse. Despite having worked, ridden, and been around horses for over TWO DECADES… we still managed to rack up vet bills, fall off, and learn some valuable lessons in how to be prepared. Boy howdy, how I wish I’d had a new horse checklist. So here you go!
NOTE: The lessons in how to be prepared happened because I was most definitely not prepared, in any way, shape, or form. It was all worth it… because over time I was able to learn enough to fill this website with all sorts of useful (and sometimes not useful) information.
Create a horse care team with records for your new horse
- Many of these items require some shopping – so remember that old saying about construction – it will likely take twice as long and cost twice as much. Pad your budget well!
People to line up for your new horse
- Where is your horse going to live? So many factors are involved here, and so many questions to ask potential boarding barns. If you need to look for a boarding barn, this article has a few questions to start asking.
- Finding your horse a new home goes hand in hand with finding the right trainer and/or barn manager. I have heard that it can take months or even a year to feel like you know your horse. Having a good team to help you learn about your horse’s habits, dislikes, and spook triggers will greatly help you – especially if you can’t spend 12 hours a day at the barn. I still love to hear stories from the barn peeps telling me that “Migs did this…or did that….”.
Find a veterinarian you like, and then get all of the deets about how they operate!
The vet and farrier team
- Who is his veterinarian? Set up an account and learn office hours, who to call after hours, payment policies, etc., before you need the vet. You might also be able to have your new horse’s records transferred over from his previous owner.
- Who is your new horse’s farrier? New horse lesson #1 – Murphy’s law applies to everything – including removing shoes that were put on the day before you picked him up.
- Insurance Agent! Insurance is an option and, in many cases, a very wise one. A few vet bills without insurance will show you how helpful it can be.
Maybe his current farrier can become your farrier?
Get this info about your new horse before your unicorn comes home
- His medical history. You may (or may not) have been given his medical history upon purchase, but at the very least you need some valuable information such as his most recent:
- Vaccines – which vaccines and when they were given!
- Fecal Egg Count – results and any deworming medications and when they were dosed.
- Last farrier visit – know when he’s due again and how many weeks (typically) in-between visits.
- Last doses of medications/supportive care – many horses receive joint injections or regular injections of joint support meds – when is your horse due again?
- Membership numbers. If Mr. Fancy Pants is your new show horse, time to start registering him (or moving registration) to your show organizations of choice. Nothing like showing up to the first show without all of your numbers!
Find out your new horse’s routine!
- His eating routine. Chances are that his new barn and his previous barn are not going to feed on the exact same schedule or have the exact same feed. Knowing the old routine can help you transition into the new one. You may find that the new barn is willing to create a smooth transition for him!
- His exercise and turnout routine. Many, many horses have a routine; some horses seem to know exactly what time it is and how many minutes you are early or late! Other horses are more adaptable because they live on the road from show to show. Either way, having a general idea of your horse’s typical day will help him be comfortable with his new surroundings and people.
Shopping for grooming supplies is probably my favorite thing to do!
New horse shopping list
Basic grooming supplies.
- Must-haves include grooming gloves, soft and stiff brushes, a tough hoof pick, and mane and tail brushes. Bonus items include mild shampoo, detangler, cactus cloth, and perhaps spot remover or shine maker. A list of items to collect can be found here!
New horse checklist – basic first aid kit
- While not used as often (hopefully) as grooming kit stuff, perhaps more important. You can’t go wrong with a thermometer, stethoscope, wound cleaners, diapers or maxi pads, elastic medical tape, and wound ointment. You can fill in some of the other items, but these will get you through daily TPR checks and help you with nicks, cuts, etc. Work on completing your Vet Kit over time. For ideas on what you need, read this.
A must for every horse owner!
Blankets, sheets, coolers, and fly gear
- Start building your new horse’s blanket collection by purchasing what he needs now or a few weeks from now. Fly sheets, scrim sheets, cotton sheets, rain sheet for spring and summer. Rain sheet, light blanket, medium blanket, heavy blanket (depending on your distance from the equator) for fall and winter. Fly masks year round! For shopping tips, read this.
- Saddle and bridle and all of that stuff! If you are lucky enough to have some of his existing tack included in the purchase, you are well on your way to allowing him to be comfortable (hopefully) as this stuff should fit him! I encourage you to find an independent saddle fitter to help you find the perfect new or used saddle for your new horse. Many saddle fitters work with all brands and all styles.
- I believe that saddle pads are just as tricky to fit as saddles – so you may buy a few styles until the right one appears. Contoured towlines are a must, and you will need to find one that has the gullet strap in just the right place. You may also find that your favorite purple sparkling saddle pad doesn’t work with your new saddle, so here’s an opportunity to find another style and color that does work. For more on saddle pads, this article is for you.
- No leg, no horse. Before you even load him up to come home – he gets a new set of shipping boots or standing wraps with bell boots! You only have to see a horse shred his entire lower leg sliding off the side of a ramp once before you are convinced that shipping protection is needed. This article has a shopping list for you.
This is where we live now? AWESOME!
What other things must you have before your Mr. Dreamy comes home?
This new horse checklist shopping list can get you started. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which are not a penny more for you. I couldn’t be more grateful for your support!
HandsOn Grooming Gloves – also, use code PEG for some free shipping!
Genuine Cactus Cloth – Natural – 18 X 16-1/2 Standard This is much better for stain removal and spreading natural oils around.
Sox for Horses – for any skin funk, fly problems, summer sore, stomping, etc.
JT Tough-1 Fold Up Thinning Knife – my favorite mane blade for making a mane even!
Solocomb By Dh Animal Products – for thinning the mane without pulling.
FIRST AID SUPPLIES
3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope, Black Edition Chestpiece, Black Tube, 27 inch, 5803 – For finding heart rate and gut sounds
Sore No More Liniment Bottle – pick your size
Cavallo Simple Hoof Boot for Horses, Black – thick-soled hoof boot for riding and hoof wrapping.
EasyCare Easyboot Glove Soft Hoof Boot – these boots are designed for riding, not hoof packing, and have a more precise fit.
Hoof Wraps Brand Bandage – Affordable wrap for hoof protection
Amigo Mio Fly sheet – I love this one, the extra long tail prevents bugs up the butt, and the neckpiece is great. It’s also super light, which means it tears easily.