Essential Giving for the First-Time Horse Owner


If a first-time horse owner had everything they needed to care for, show and ride a horse from the start, there would be no fun in collecting specialty items and building a barn full of useful equipment. Knowing the expense involved in owning a horse, why not treat your horse lover to a special gift to start off their collection? With a great selection of both fun and essential items, you are sure to find a great gift that fits within your budget.

Owning a horse is an expense that offers great rewards. Chances are, if your horse lover has made the decision to own a horse, they are aware of the financial responsibility that accompanies ownership. From horse care and safety products, to stabling (if they do not own a barn), riding equipment, maintenance utilities and travel needs, owning a horse can be a large financial responsibility. Make the process a little easier and a lot more fun by contributing to your horse lover’s collection.

Because size and tastes differ, it is always more difficult to buy a gift for someone else than it is to buy for yourself. Items that make great gifts, such as general care products, brushes or cleaning equipment can be purchased easily. Other items, like saddles, bridles and other tack that have size restrictions may require the rider or horse to be fitted, which means they may need to be present during the purchase. Whether or not you want this gift to be a surprise could affect what you decide to purchase as a gift.

If you are a horse owner yourself then you probably already have a good idea of what an owner needs to get started. Otherwise, you may need a little help sorting through the horse and equipment terminology. Below are some great ideas to help you start shopping for that perfect gift.


Horse Tack

Like anything else, horse equipment can be expensive depending on what you buy. You want to buy quality that will last more than a few months, without breaking the bank. Though the price of equipment may vary, typically the more “bells and whistles” the equipment has, the more expensive it will be. By keeping your purchase simple and focusing on quality, you can find great products at a reasonable price.

Horse tack is important to the safety of the rider because it aids the rider in controlling the horse. Bits, bridles, harnesses and reins are examples of horse tack and would make an important contribution to a new owner’s collection. These items may be sold separately or as a set, vary in width and are usually adjustable to fit comfortably on the horse.

Prior to buying horse and rider supplies or equipment, you will want to gather a little information. First, it may be important to determine the type of riding that will be pursued. The equipment needs of the rider may be different if pleasure riding is on the agenda versus show jumping or vaulting. Contact your local retailer, search the web or get some advice from a seasoned rider before purchasing horse tack. Don’t forget about size; horse tack should fit comfortably, so you may want to measure the horse for a particular piece of equipment. Better yet, bring the new horse owner along with you as your shop.


Horse Care

Great care must be taken to maintain the health of a horse. A few great gift ideas to help the first-time owner care for their horse may include blankets, a muck kit, sanitizer, or even equine vitamins. Water buckets, troughs and feed storage bins are also essential items for good horse care.

Horse brushes and combs are essential components to any horse care equipment collection. The dandy brush, for example, has stiff bristles and comes in handy when you are brushing through a heavily soiled coat. Even though horse care items may not cost a significant amount of money by themselves, having to purchase them all at once could set an owner back a few hundred dollars.


Rider Essentials

When shopping for a special gift it is easy to think of the horse, but let’s not forget the rider. A rider has special needs that should not be forgotten. Safety is key when riding a horse, so why not invest in a riding helmet. This important piece of equipment will help protect the rider should they get kicked or fall. There are different types of riding helmets to choose from. Each type of helmet has unique characteristics that are better suited to certain types of riding. Determine which type of helmet is needed before making this purchase.

Other important protective items that would make great gifts for a rider include sturdy pants made of a durable material, a riding jacket and boots for both riding (preferably with a slight heal to prevent slipping) and cleaning. Chaps are another important piece of riding gear because they protect the rider’s legs and help secure the rider while mounted on the horse. Gloves, a simple gift, have invaluable uses to a rider. A good pair of gloves will not only protect the rider’s hands against abrasive materials and unsanitary functions, they will also help keep them dry and warm when the elements are at their worst.


Gifts for Shows and Travel

If your first-time horse owner is interested in showing or competing there are several great gifts to add value to their collection. First of all, if they have not completed a class in the discipline of their choice, offering private lessons could teach them additional skills. Why not subscribe the rider to an equestrian magazine of their choice, or help them get involved by giving them a membership to a like organization?

If the rider is already participating in lessons or shows, how about dressing them in style with appropriate show attire? Purchase “travel size” horse care items that fit well in a trailer, or prepare a travel kit that includes first aid items for them to take on overnight journeys. Lastly, a gift as simple as a sturdy three ring binder to keep all of the horse’s medical records and show information could be just what they need to keep them organized before a show.

Owning a horse is a big responsibility, but it is a venture that can offer great rewards. If you are looking for the perfect gift for a new horse owner, you are sure to find essentials that fit within your budget. With the cost of horse ownership being more than that of other animals, every gift can bring them one step closer to having a full collection of essential items for horse and rider.