What To Look For When Buying Your Own Horse & Tack Required

How to buy your first horse and tack you’ll need to get you started!

Part 1

So TBL Readers are you ready to by your first horse? Let me tell you… I say part one, because there is just so many things to cover when buying your first horse, I couldn't possibly cover it in one article. For this piece, I'm going to give you my thoughts on tell you how I chose my horse.

(Above is a video of my horse Odin's Phury)

Choosing a horse is no easy task. It took me a year to find my horse Phury! It was months of traveling every weekend to look and test ride horses, and after a few pre-inspection exams three near buys I finally found my guy.

There are many things to consider when buying your first horse. For me …The main thing that I knew, was that I needed was a horse that would fit my riding ability as well as fit within the scope of my riding goals. I wanted a horse for a novice rider, as well as to compete in the hunter-jumper arena. An all-round mount that could possibly do some endurance & cross-country. So working with a trainer, we came up with the following list of things to look for in my horse.

  • Not spooky
  • Willing to jump over fences (no refusing)
  • Not too hard on the bit
  • Trained to walk /trot/canter (that means no horses off the track)
  • Not to forward
  • Gelding or Mare
  • At least 16 hands
A "Hand" is a unit of measure equal to 4 inches, used to measure the height of a horse at the highest point of the withers. The number of whole hands is properly followed by a period, then the remaining height in inches.

The above are just a few of the traits I was looking for. But there are also health traits you will need as well. See below

  • He must have good feet! (Hooves must be in good shape! You can’t ride on bad hooves!)
  • Conformation
  • Overall health. Good teeth, any lameness issues, arthritis
  • Can the horse tie? Can it trailer, will it stand for the farrier?
  • Does it bite? Is it aggressive in anyway

You will need to do your research. A lot goes into viewing and testing a horse (Much more than what I list here)

The pre-inspection exam is a choice  up for debate. I have known some people who don’t get them. (To the new horse purchaser I wouldn’t recommend this! If you do that …you’re doing it do that at your own risk! And tell me people, would you buy a used car without having a mechanic doing a full test? Even at the basic level? The answer is no. So don’t do it with your horse.)

For more information: http://www.equinelegalsolutions.com/first-horse.html

Tack for your new horse!

This is where it gets fun! And potentially expensive, depending on the brands you buy, and the quality. What you should look out for as a new horse owner and rider is  for local tack sales! You can find really good items at reasonable prices.

For the horse buyer, every horse needs the following basic items:
(This list is the bare minimum!)

  • Saddle & Saddle pad
  • Halter & Lead rope
  • Grooming Supplies
  • Stirrups & leathers
  • Splint boots
  • Crop
  • Bridle & Bit
  • Horse Blanket
  • Fly mask

For the horse rider: (English Saddle)

  • Helmut
  • Heeled boot
  • Riding Breeches ( or comfortable pants NOT jeans)
  • T-Shirt/Polo Shirt
  • Athletic socks
  • Gloves
  • Spurs (potentially)


    If you have any questions contact me at kwase@thatbarnlife.com