Horses make great pets for people who love to ride them or be around large animals all day. Anyone with a horse knows they’re a lot of upkeep, too. Horses need plenty of supplies to keep them fed and watered, to keep their stalls and stable clean, and to give them a safe place to graze during the day. The materials needed for riding a horse are called “tack,” and finding inexpensive horse tack can be an entire project on its own. If you’re looking to buy or ride a horse, be sure to familiarize yourself with these basic necessities first.
The first thing every rider needs is a saddle. This helps you to stay balanced on the horse and gives you a comfortable place to sit. Every saddle also has a horn, which is a small column at the front of the saddle you can hold on to if the ride gets rough or wrap the reins around if your horse doesn’t need immediate guiding. More important for the horse than the saddle is the saddle blanket. This goes directly onto the horses back to prevent the saddle from rubbing blisters or sores into their skin and irritating them while you ride. It can also help to keep them cool in summer and warm in winter. You’ll want a breastcollar for your saddle if you plan on jumping your horse. This is a strap that goes around the horse’s chest and helps to keep the saddle in place. Also, if your saddle doesn’t come with stirrups attached, you’ll need to add some so you have somewhere to put your feet while you ride.
There are also a number of things that will go on and around the horses the head. The first is the halter, which is a series of straps that goes on the head and around the ears and will help to hold the bridle in place. The bridle is composed of the bit and the reins. The bit is a small bar that goes between the horses teeth at the back of their mouth, and attached to it is the reins. This is how you’ll guide the horse when you ride. Pulling on the reins gently pulls at the horses head and encourages them to change directions, speed up, or slow down.
Horses require a lot of equipment to get them ready to be ridden comfortably and safely.