If you’re ready to take the leap into owning your very own horse, there are many considerations involved, and lots of preparation to do. But we can help! Here’s our starter guide to owning your first horse.
Choosing a Breed
This should be the first thing you think about. Just like dogs, horse breeds have different dispositions, personalities, and abilities. One breed that is suitable for new horse owners is the American Quarter Horse. As one of the most ubiquitous breeds in North America, the American Quarter Horse is known for its docile nature. This breed’s versatility makes it popular at rodeos, shows, and working on ranches. They exist in nearly all colours, have well-muscled bodies, rounded hindquarters, and broad chests. American Quarter Horses have a reputation as loving and mild-tempered. Another breed a new owner should look into is the Tennessee Walking Horse – also known to be gentle, a good trait for beginners.
Grooming and Healthcare
Keeping your horse happy and healthy will be your number one concern as an owner. There are more health and wellness considerations than the average small family pet, but the rewards are well worth the energy you’ll invest in your horse’s life.
Regular bathing and grooming removes sweat and loose hair and keeps the skin and coat shiny and healthy. You’ll need to consider bathing and grooming supplies – Curry Combs, grooming gloves, and brushes made specifically for a horses coat. Use a hoof pick in your grooming and maintenance routines to make sure they’re free of debris and free from infection so your horse can move with ease and comfort.
Aside from the human apparel you’ll need to have riding adventures with your horse, you’ll also have to think about equipment needed for the horse’s daily life. A good quality saddle that is right for both your needs and the horse’s is essential. They come in many varieties depending on what kind of activity you plan on engaging in together. Bridles and reins will be your communication connection to your horse, allowing you to direct their movement while riding. Halters and leads will help you control movement both on and off your horse.
Another consideration as you prepare to enter the exciting world of horse ownership includes, of course, learning to ride and how to handle and interact with the animal properly. Proper training also includes the issue of rider health and safety, so that both you and your horse are enjoying your time together with minimal risk.And last but certainly not least, is the place your horse will call home. Be sure to thoroughly research your housing options and look for things like safe terrain free from hazards, quality shelters from heat and cold weather, access to salt, etc., and ascertain that your new friend will have proper food and water and regular supervision.
Our horses are like family members and its our responsibility to take care of their health and well-being, whether that’s through proper exercise, nutrition, or grooming. There are many products that help us take great care of them, one of which is the horse blanket.
A blanket can serve several purposes throughout a horse’s life. In colder weather, a blanket designed for warmth is necessary for a horse that spends time outdoors. Winter blankets, or turnouts, are insulated to trap warmth around the horse’s torso, with some including a “hood” extending up the neck as well for further coverage. Winter blankets and coverings are made with a tough waterproof polyester outer layer and filled with warming fibres to retain heat.
Lighter blankets are also available and fill other needs for your horse. Cooling blankets, more commonly referred to as coolers, can be used in summer, and are made of lighter fabrics. Fly sheets help protect the horse from pestering insects, and rain sheets repel water to keep the horse dry and comfortable. The breathable fabric allows air to flow and moisture to escape. Special turnouts also exist to serve as protection during travel or to preserve grooming for show horses.
Some coverings are multi-purpose. A layered turnout can adapt to quickly changing weather – easily swap out a fleece layer for a rainproof layer, or keep your horse comfortable during transportation.Whatever your climate, whatever your needs, Picovs has you covered when it comes to the right blanket or turnout for your horse.
Riding a horse is a totally individualistic experience, with all of us having our own quirks, preferences, relationship with the animal, and overall personal style. Although we all bring our own flair to our riding, most of us in North America tend to fall into one of the two most popular styles – Western and English.
The Western style of riding is heavily influenced by the Spanish Conquistadors who brought it to the Americas. The style was adapted by cowboys to suit the day to day needs on the ranch like herding cattle on horseback. The saddle used by cowboys tended to be more comfortable, designed for long periods of riding over rough terrain, and distributes weight evenly across the horse’s back for the animal’s comfort.
A rider’s attire is reflective of their preferred style of riding as well. Those who have adopted Western style often wear a wide brimmed hat, another element influenced by the hot sun of the cattle ranch, usually made of leather or felt. This style of riding often necessitates a more casual and practical dress code – denim was a favourite of cowboys and other manual laborers for its durability and affordability. The always-recognizable cowboy boot was designed for long periods of riding without slipping, and without laces to avoid any tangles while on the trail.
English riding has European and military origins. Saddle design focuses on allowing the horse freedom of movement to engage in activities like classical dressage and racing. English saddles are often used for everyday pleasure riding, and are used for Equestrian sports in the Olympic games.
Although particulars differ in each style - be it Western or English - the love of the horse and riding are universal traits shared across the entire sport.