A Quick Guide for Your First Horse Tack Purchase

A Quick Guide for Your First Horse Tack Purchase

Purchasing tack for your first horse is exciting but it can be confusing if you don't know what to look for. Check out this quick guide to make sure you get everything you need.

What Do You Need?

What Do You Need

Some people use the word tack to describe anything needed to care for your horse. However, tack usually refers to any equipment designed to assist when riding or driving your horse. This can include:

  • Saddle
  • Saddle pad
  • Stirrups
  • Cinch/Girth
  • Bridle/Halter
  • Reins
  • Bit
  • Breastplate
  • Driving harness
  • Blinkers
  • Ear Net
  • Horse blanket

Tack comes in a variety of styles designed for different types of riding. For example, there are different saddle requirements for Western and English riders. What you purchase will depend on your riding style, intended use, and aesthetic preferences.

When To Make Your Purchase?

When To Make Your Purchase

It's a good idea to spend a little time with your horse before purchasing any tack. Most tack is meant to be worn, so it's important to make sure you get the right fit. Some horses also have special requirements based on their training or personalities. Horses trained to ride with bits may not be as responsive to a hackamore bridle, which relies on nose pressure for control. If you have a horse with a habit of tossing its head up when riding, buying a tie down will give you a better riding experience. Some horses even have allergies to certain types of material, so you'll need to know if this is an issue before purchasing a saddle pad to avoid an allergic reaction.

What To Look For When Shopping for Horse Tack

What To Look For When Shopping for Horse Tack

When you've created a list of what you need and first enter the tack shop, you might feel a little overwhelmed at all the options available.

  • Tack styles: Western and English riding tack are usually separated, so start there based on your riding style.
  • Affordability: While assessing your choice, remember that your first priority should be to find something affordable. Horse care can be costly, so pay attention to your budget to prevent overspending. If new tack is out of your price range, used items can be a great solution if they've been cared for.
  • Size: Once you've narrowed down your options, eliminate anything that isn't sized appropriately. This is important for your safety and the comfort of your horse.
  • Condition: Finally, check each item for frayed fibers, loose stitching, or other signs of damage. Good craftsmanship will extend the life of your tack and prevent breakage that could put you or your horse at risk of injury.
  • Maintenance: Don't forget to get the necessary tools to care for your tack as well. Regular cleaning and oiling of bridles and saddles will also help you get a few extra years out of your purchase.