I think that it is customary for a horse to come with a halter and lead when sold. I would have an extra halter and lead on hand just in case though. Keep it in the car, and drag it out if you need to. Even if the horse does come with one, it's good to have a spare. Most folks have old grungy ones that they're more than willing to give away.
I would assume that the horse is not coming with any tack or equipment other than the halter and lead, and asking if it does may sound a little forward. Usually if a horse is being sold with a saddle or anything else then it would be stated in the ad or by the owner. However, I would ask if they have any tack or equipment that they would be willing to sell with the horse. It's unlikely that they'll suddenly remember that they were going to send the saddle with it, but you may get a good deal on some things if the owner is getting out of horses altogether. It's not like they would get any use out of it, so they'd probably rather sell it than have it sit around. The idea of just giving stuff away isn't appealing to too many folks though!
Some states have laws on the books that a seller must give the buyer a halter and lead rope when they sell a horse. When I sell a horse I generally give halter, lead rope, and blanket(s) if they have one or more that were specifically bought for them. If I had a horse that was tricky to fit for a saddle and I had a good fitting saddle I would also sell that with the horse, included in the price. I'd say that right in the ad though.
^ I actually didn't know that! I wonder if that's the case in my state...I had to bring my own halter and lead when I bought both of my girls.
I didn't necessarily mind giving away the halter and lead with my filly, I just wish I'd have thought to give them an old one and not the brand spanking new yacht rope personalized rope halter and lead rope that I had on her xD those two things combined probably cost me 1/4 of what I sold the horse for! Oh well!
When I bought "Corporal" (1982-2009, RIP) as a 4yo at auction he didn't even come with a lead rope!
Still, no harm in asking, and it doesn't make you sound new to horses. Agreed that it's better for this equipment to be gone if the seller is really getting out of horses. I also picked up an OTTB for free, but the owner kept the papers.
He was a gelding......
Oh, well, I guess the papers kept her warm at night.
Never hurts to ask, they might have something they want to get rid of.
I found homes for my two ponies and the new owners got two saddles, three bridles, 4 halters, 2 leads 2 saddle blankets, 20 pounds feed, a bag of probiotics, and a bucket full of brushes. One of the ponies didn't work out, didn't like a lot of kids. I picked the one pony up and half the tack and went to the next good home, a companion for a young horse, with lead lining one child.
Neither of my girls came with halter and lead. The first was boarded where she was bought so it wasn't an issue, the second I came prepared because I didn't know selling a horse with the halter and lead was a thing. I just assumed if they were selling just the horse, it was JUST the horse.