Wow, I feel like it has been forever since I was last on here. I have exciting newsss.... We're getting our first horse this Sunday!! I volunteer with a rescue group and I got my mom into it. We pulled this one horse from the Camelot auctions in PA and my mom is in love with him. He is the sweetest thing ever... Perfect first horse. If anything, we need to work on his confidence because he constantly has to be right next to you and gets bullied a bit by other horses.
His name right now is Sundance, but we're possibly thinking Kennedy... Let me know if you have suggestions!! He is part draft horse, but is really not that big! He is 15.6 hands I think and 10 years old. He is a little bit stocky and that's where the "draft" part comes in I suppose.
So, we are boarding at a barn with four other horses. The rescue group has approved them already and we've been out there.
My questions are, what supplies would you recommend? Is there anything that you forgot when you first got a horse? We currently have:
-light blanket (he is SUPER furry)
I may be forgetting something but I think that's it for now. The barn has food buckets, hay, bedding, salt blocks, and water provided. We just wanted to install a water bucket in the stall.
Also -- I ride English (since last May... not too experienced yet!), but my mom (who has little experience) wants to do Western. From what we know, Sundance definitely can do Western and I will try out English.... I know he neck reins so I would like to try that (I've done it a few times before) with the rope halter. But then I have an English saddle -- assuming it fits, it is okay to use this, right? I'm thinking that as long as we are pretty consistent with what we ask of him, the tack shouldn't really matter. I am not a fan of hackamores and as I do NOT have soft hands (working on that!). Should I get an English bridle with a mild bit? Or is this really all just preference?
I'm also a little worried about introducing him with the other horses but from what I read it is best to keep them apart, but still able to see each other until they don't react. Is that correct?
Sorry for all the questions... It's just all happening SO fast all the sudden and I'm getting nervous! Oh, he is up to date on his Coggins and vaccines, and has been checked out by a vet. The farrier is scheduled to come 2/6.
Here are some pics :) Attachment 361698 Attachment 361706 Attachment 361714 Attachment 361722
*Also -- I will wait a bit to ride him until he is settled, but how will I know how much work is enough in the beginning until he gets back up to riding regularly?
I personally like Sundance, Sunny for short maybe. He is bright and happy looking lol.
He doesn't look part draft to me. (FYI 15.6 hands doesn't exist :) each hand is 4 inches.)
I like to have scissors... you will always need them when you don't have them!
Maybe thrush treatment
Basic first aid kit (I assume the barn will have more stuff if need be)
If you are going to blanket him I would have a light/med/heavy and maybe turnout sheet depending on the climate (in Virginia you could probably skip the heavy) If you want one for just in case I would probably pick a medium, but again, depends on the climate.
You may want a fly sheet but I would wait until summer and see how much the flies bother him. I would get a fly mask.
Tack of course! Extra equipment if wanted (a lot of boarding places provide stuff, say for lunging)
A lot of boarding places provide food? Not sure of what you meant by that. Are you rough boarding?
I personally don't use rope halters but at least one good halter. Pref a breakaway, and lead.
Most stuff will come as you need it :)
He will be fine with different tack, he may not be used to it but no biggy. The big thing is if he is used to bit pressure. Some western horses are not. I would get a snaffle assuming he goes well in it and use that for both. You can even use the same bridle, no reason not to if he's not showing. It's good that he knows to neckrein. If you are worried about your hands just do that instead until you get more comfortable. Not sure what you mean by preference.
I like to think any decent barn would know how to introduce them. I would keep them separate, they can meet each other over the fence line. With four I would just stick him out but if you want to be super safe you can put him in with a buddy and get him used to them one by one.
Wait until he's settled to ride and keep it slow until you feel he's completely comfortable. Baring anything healthwise most horses are ok to go into regular work with no prepping, assuming your regular work is light. Start out every now and then then several times a week then whenever you want. As far as getting him into shape that's different. I would start off lots of walking and work off of that, do you have a trainer to help you? You could probably start a separate thread for advice there when you're ready. As a beginner you won't be working him hard for a while I assume so I wouldn't stress to much about that.
Everything will be fine, it's great that you're so excited, but remember for the other people it's just another horse, it's fun but they are used to it and will know how to handle stuff!
He's super cute, btw :)
EDIT- I agree with sponges, and maybe a sweat scraper too! I think he looks all QH, more TB type but I don't think he's actually a TB very QH and my guess is he could easily be a purebred.