New horse checklist!


I’ll never forget the first few months of owning my horse. Despite having worked, ridden, and been around horses for over TWO DECADES… we still managed to rack up vet bills, fall off, and learn some valuable lessons in how to be prepared.  Boy howdy, how I wish I’d had a new horse checklist.  So here you go!


Jump to videos and shopping


NOTE: The lessons in how to be prepared happened because I was most definitely not prepared, in any way, shape, or form. It was all worth it… because over time I was able to learn enough to fill this website with all sorts of useful (and sometimes not useful) information.


Create a horse care team with records for your new horse


  • Many of these items require some shopping – so remember that old saying about construction – it will likely take twice as long and cost twice as much. Pad your budget well!


People to line up for your new horse



  • Finding your horse a new home goes hand in hand with finding the right trainer and/or barn manager. I have heard that it can take months or even a year to feel like you know your horse. Having a good team to help you learn about your horse’s habits, dislikes, and spook triggers will greatly help you – especially if you can’t spend 12 hours a day at the barn. I still love to hear stories from the barn peeps telling me that “Migs did this…or did that….”.



back of horse vet truck

Find a veterinarian you like, and then get all of the deets about how they operate!


The vet and farrier team


  • Who is his veterinarian? Set up an account and learn office hours, who to call after hours, payment policies, etc., before you need the vet. You might also be able to have your new horse’s records transferred over from his previous owner.


  • Who is your new horse’s farrier? New horse lesson #1 – Murphy’s law applies to everything – including removing shoes that were put on the day before you picked him up.


  • Insurance Agent! Insurance is an option and, in many cases, a very wise one. A few vet bills without insurance will show you how helpful it can be.



farrier putting on a hot shoe

Maybe his current farrier can become your farrier?


Get this info about your new horse before your unicorn comes home


  • His medical history. You may (or may not) have been given his medical history upon purchase, but at the very least you need some valuable information such as his most recent:


      • Vaccines – which vaccines and when they were given!
      • Fecal Egg Count – results and any deworming medications and when they were dosed.
      • Last farrier visit – know when he’s due again and how many weeks (typically) in-between visits.
      • Last doses of medications/supportive care – many horses receive joint injections or regular injections of joint support meds – when is your horse due again?
      • Membership numbers. If Mr. Fancy Pants is your new show horse, time to start registering him (or moving registration) to your show organizations of choice. Nothing like showing up to the first show without all of your numbers!

Find out your new horse’s routine!


  • His eating routine. Chances are that his new barn and his previous barn are not going to feed on the exact same schedule or have the exact same feed. Knowing the old routine can help you transition into the new one. You may find that the new barn is willing to create a smooth transition for him!


  • His exercise and turnout routine. Many, many horses have a routine; some horses seem to know exactly what time it is and how many minutes you are early or late! Other horses are more adaptable because they live on the road from show to show. Either way, having a general idea of your horse’s typical day will help him be comfortable with his new surroundings and people.


grooming brushes and grooming gloves in a row

Shopping for grooming supplies is probably my favorite thing to do!


New horse shopping list


Basic grooming supplies.


  • Must-haves include grooming gloves, soft and stiff brushes, a tough hoof pick, and mane and tail brushes. Bonus items include mild shampoo, detangler, cactus cloth, and perhaps spot remover or shine maker. A list of items to collect can be found here!


New horse checklist – basic first aid kit


  • While not used as often (hopefully) as grooming kit stuff, perhaps more important. You can’t go wrong with a thermometer, stethoscope, wound cleaners, diapers or maxi pads, elastic medical tape, and wound ointment. You can fill in some of the other items, but these will get you through daily TPR checks and help you with nicks, cuts, etc. Work on completing your Vet Kit over time. For ideas on what you need, read this.


vet first aid kit in a toolbox

A must for every horse owner!


Blankets, sheets, coolers, and fly gear


  • Start building your new horse’s blanket collection by purchasing what he needs now or a few weeks from now. Fly sheets, scrim sheets, cotton sheets, rain sheet for spring and summer. Rain sheet, light blanket, medium blanket, heavy blanket (depending on your distance from the equator) for fall and winter. Fly masks year round! For shopping tips, read this.




  • Saddle and bridle and all of that stuff! If you are lucky enough to have some of his existing tack included in the purchase, you are well on your way to allowing him to be comfortable (hopefully) as this stuff should fit him! I encourage you to find an independent saddle fitter to help you find the perfect new or used saddle for your new horse. Many saddle fitters work with all brands and all styles.

Saddle pads


  • I believe that saddle pads are just as tricky to fit as saddles – so you may buy a few styles until the right one appears. Contoured towlines are a must, and you will need to find one that has the gullet strap in just the right place. You may also find that your favorite purple sparkling saddle pad doesn’t work with your new saddle, so here’s an opportunity to find another style and color that does work. For more on saddle pads, this article is for you.


Leg protection.


  • No leg, no horse. Before you even load him up to come home – he gets a new set of shipping boots or standing wraps with bell boots! You only have to see a horse shred his entire lower leg sliding off the side of a ramp once before you are convinced that shipping protection is needed. This article has a shopping list for you.


two horses in winter blankets looking over a fence

This is where we live now? AWESOME!


What other things must you have before your Mr. Dreamy comes home?




go shopping button for horse products


Stock up here for your horse supplies! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, but it’s ZERO extra cents to you.  You can also visit my Amazon storefront here:  PEG storefront.

Shires Cactus Cloth
$16.79 ($16.79 / Count)
03/11/2024 08:18 am GMT
HandsOn Finishing Gloves - Double Sided
$19.99 ($19.99 / Count)

The jute side buffs to add shine, the other side is fuzzy for lifting dust and applying fly sprays and grooming products.

03/29/2024 08:16 pm GMT
Handson Ergonomic Hoof Pick
$19.99 ($19.99 / Count)

This is the strongest hoof pick available!

03/29/2024 08:17 pm GMT
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Farnam Slick 'N Easy Horse Grooming Block
$5.49 $4.24

Good for grooming, shedding, and bot egg removal

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Electric Cleaner Co Rapid Groom Horse Vacuum
$605.00 ($605.00 / Count)

It's always satisfying to vacuum your horse!

04/10/2024 01:46 pm GMT
HANDSON Pet Grooming Gloves - Grooming, Bathing, Shedding
$24.99 $16.99

These are HandsOn Gloves with special pricing! Only in the color gray.

03/29/2024 08:24 pm GMT
Shapley's Easy-Out No Rinse Shampoo 32 fl.oz

Spot removing, deodorizing, dust busting, shine adding spray.

03/10/2024 05:27 pm GMT
Shapley's No.2 Heavy Oil

For deep conditioning and detangling - coat, mane, and tail.

03/10/2024 07:42 pm GMT
Shapley's Hi Shine Shampoo, 1-Gallon
$49.99 $41.87

Other sizes, too! Adds shine with the most gentle formula.

03/11/2024 02:47 pm GMT
SHAPLEY'S Medi-Care Med Shampoo W/Tea Tree & Lemon Grass, 32 oz

The best shampoo for shine and soothing.

03/11/2024 11:12 am GMT
Shapley's No.1 Light Oil
$19.99 ($0.62 / Fl Oz)

For shine, conditioning, detangling, and stain protection.

03/11/2024 08:33 pm GMT
Shapley’s 32 oz. Color Enhancing Shampoo - Whitening Formula
$23.49 $21.03

For all colors - to add shine and help lift stains.

03/10/2024 06:53 pm GMT
Shapley's Equitone 32 oz. Color Enhancing Shampoo, GOLD

Brighten duns, palominos, and golden colors.

03/10/2024 07:17 pm GMT
SHAPLEY'S 32 oz. Color Enhancing Shampoo, RED
$27.05 $24.75

For chestnuts and some bays

03/10/2024 06:57 pm GMT
Shapley's 32 oz. Color Enhancing Shampoo, BLACK
$23.49 $20.64

For dark bays, black points, and black horses

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Farnam Excalibur Sheath Cleaner 16 OUNCE
$13.49 $9.74 ($0.61 / Ounce)
03/10/2024 09:37 pm GMT
Magic Sheen Spray 1Qt
$23.00 ($23.00 / Count)
03/13/2024 02:08 am GMT
SHAPLEY'S 32 oz. Color Enhancing Shampoo, RED
$27.05 $24.75

For chestnuts and some bays

03/10/2024 06:57 pm GMT
Shapley's 32 oz. Color Enhancing Shampoo, BLACK
$23.49 $20.64

For dark bays, black points, and black horses

03/10/2024 06:48 pm GMT
Magic Sheen Spray 1Qt
$23.00 ($23.00 / Count)
03/13/2024 02:08 am GMT
Fly Whisk

For *mostly* bug free riding

04/08/2024 08:43 pm GMT
SHOOFLY Horse Leggins for fly control
$59.99 $54.09 ($13.52 / Count)
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Cashel Quiet Ride Horse Fly Mask with Long Nose and Ears

This style is great for riding!

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You Can Train Your Horse to Do Anything BOOK

This book is a wonderful, step-by-step guide to helping you "clicker train" your horse with positive reinforcement.

03/11/2024 11:43 pm GMT
Teaching Horses with Positive Reinforcement BOOK

A Guide to Achieving Success with Clicker Training. A great book about horse behavior and how to successfully train your horse with kindness.

03/10/2024 08:07 pm GMT
The Power of Positive Horse Training BOOK

Creating Exceptional Behavior by Changing Equine Relationships with the World Around Them

Horse Behaviour Exposed BOOK

Learn the language of horses

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Thank you!