Equipping Your Barn

Whether you are a new horse owner stocking up on stabling supplies, a seasoned equestrian making a routine inventory of your tack box, or someone looking for a handy gift for a horse-loving pal, it's good to know what every well-stocked barn should contain.

Grooming Tools

For good looks and good health, grooming supplies are high on every equestrian's list.

Store these items in a tote box. Special equine tote boxes can be purchased at tack shops or through horse catalogs. Cheaper boxes can be bought at department and discount stores.

Tack and Accessories

Horse owners also need tack and equine accessories.

Stable blankets and rugs provide extra warmth in chilly weather for stabled and winter-clipped horses. A blanket is suitable for stalled horses. Those that are turned out on cold days in snow or sleet benefit from a rug, which is better for keeping moisture away from the skin.

Blankets are available in wool, nylon, cotton or blends. The handiest are those with leg straps, which helps keep them from twisting up. Rugs are heavier and are always made of wool because of its moisture repellency.
Cooling sheets are thrown across the horse after a workout to prevent the horse from cooling down too fast and getting chilled as he's being walked out. Many prefer cotton sheets because of their absorbent qualities.

Odds and Ends

Medical Items

Minor medical emergencies occur from time to time, but if you're unfamiliar with how to handle a medical situation or deal with treatments, call someone who does or contact your veterinarian. The horse owner's medical kit should including the following:

A human first aid kit containing bandages, peroxide, cotton balls, soap or disinfectant, and iodine or Mercurochrome for cuts, scrapes and bruises

A fair amount of money and planning are needed to equip a barn properly for emergencies as well as for the routine maintenance of owning, riding and showing your equine. But seasoned horse owners know that it's money and effort well spent.