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The tack room

1st time owner

24 replies

soda1234 · 28/11/2010 23:43

Very exciting news.DD's first horse will be with us on Friday. Her name is Poppy, she's a 6 yo, grey ISH x Cob. She will be kept at a yard/riding school so lots of helpful, experienced people around.
She's not coming with any tack or rugs so need to shop big time!
Any useful tips appreciated, this is a whole new world for me.
Pls don't post any negative stuff dd has been riding since she was 5,and is now 13, helps every week at the stables, and is very ready to own her first horse.
We need to buy T/O rug and stable rug this week, before she comes, she'll need 6ft. Any recommendations?
Thank you

OP posts:
Pixel · 29/11/2010 00:31

Congratulations, she sounds lovely. Smile

I can't really recommend a brand of rug as I've found over the years that expensive ones don't necessarily last or fit any better than cheap ones so I go for bargains which don't always have a name on them. I will say though, if you can, get two turnouts unless your yard has rug drying facilities. A soaked rug is unlikely to dry by morning and will cause you endless headaches, especially if you end up taking it home and stinking your house/car out . Better two cheap ones than one expensive one if that is your choice. Even if you have somewhere at the yard to dry them they have a habit of losing a legstrap or getting torn just when there's nothing you can do about replacing/repairing them so in that case you might want to get a 'nice' rug plus a cheapy for emergencies.

Also, don't be surprised if you end up getting different sized rugs. We generally found (in the distant past when we 'did' stabling) that indoor rugs fitted better if they were 3" smaller than outdoor ones. Not sure why, they just did. Something to do with them not needing to be roomy enough to gallop about like idiots I expect! Hope you have fun shopping.Smile

frostyfingers · 29/11/2010 10:13

I've used Amigo rugs for the last 6 years - they seem to fit my TB very well, are pretty light and just don't move at all. I take it off and put it back on every day, but it nevers slips when he rolls, and if I didn't "refresh" it every day I don't think it would do any harm. He's wearing a fleece underneath atm as it's -7, but with a neck cover he's fine all through the winter.

seeker · 29/11/2010 10:19

Don't go for Rhinegold for a cob - they fit dd's pony really well and she's a narrow Arab.

We like this website a lot.Toadcake

Or Robinsons are brilliant and cheap.

And remember to look on the notice board at the yard for second hand.

Good luck!

Callisto · 29/11/2010 12:16

Check out Equestrain Clearance: they always have lots of bargains. Also keep an eye out for yard closing down sales - there will be a few in the next 18 months I think.

JRsandCoffee · 29/11/2010 18:59

If you can run to a Fal rug (and indeed get hold of one) they are the best ones and the ones I have are also breathable. I've found them to live longer and be more comfy than any other brand. I'm really not anticipating any further purchases in the next few years and my rugs range from two to six years old. So while they stung a bit at the time I bought them I found it worthwhile.
Whatever you buy do mark them as they are nickable, particularly nice shiny new ones. I painted my postcode in big white letters across mine after someone nicked all the rugs off a newly clipped horse on my old yard (alarmed, security lit, the lot) on a freezing frosty night Angry

soda1234 · 29/11/2010 22:20

Thank you all for the advice, have bought two rugs from equestrian clearance, and a head collar and rope.
We now need to think about saddle and bridle, was planning on going to local saddler and asking him to bring out several to find the best fit. Is this the best way to go?
As Poppy will be used in the riding school, we were considering having a GP saddle for riding school use and a leather saddle for Anna's exclusive use. Is this too much? I seem to think all her christmas presents are coming at once. Sarahx

OP posts:
Callisto · 30/11/2010 08:17

If she is being used in a riding school she really needs a properly fitted saddle. How many sessions will she be doing every week?

GP means general purpose and these saddles come in leather, suede and synthetic. Be prepared for the saddle to cost as much as the horse btw...

coatgate · 30/11/2010 08:23

Oh how exciting. I had my first pony at 13.

Re rugs, in the old days when New Zealands were made of canvas, I used to change into a stable rug at night, but these days, turnout rugs are so fabulous and comfy that I leave mine on all the time - even when wet. There is nothing that dries a rug quicker than a warm horse! If I changed rugs, I would need about 6 as they never seem to dry at my stables. Plus when it is freezing cold, taking off a warm rug and putting on a cold one always seems cruel.

I wouldn't go with two saddles, unless you are very rich. One good one should suffice.

soda1234 · 30/11/2010 08:36

Thank you guys! am certainly not very rich - seem to be getting poorer by the second since horse purchase was agreed!
So, will start with one saddle (Callisto, I intended to type Synthetic not GP). Is the best plan to get the saddler out, or to do something with wire coathangers first?
She will be lightly/rarely used during the week and no more than 1 hour per day at weekends.

OP posts:
AliceandtheGinormousBaps · 30/11/2010 08:41

Google Fasttackdirect, very cheap horse gear, can't link right now, feeding baby

Saggyoldclothcatpuss · 30/11/2010 09:00

My tips: two well fitting turnouts, I like Rhino and try and get either half neck or full neck without a neck seam as it's often the seam that rubs. I also like landa from weatherbeeta. If they fit well, use as stable rugs as well. It saves money and you don't have to keep swapping.
Also, buy second hand English leather tack over cheap new imports or synthetic. New cheap will be stiff and may rub.

seeker · 30/11/2010 11:03

My dd's pony is at working livery too. I'm happy to go on at legnth about the pros and cons of this arrangement (don't worry, almost all pros!) if it would be helpful.

Th pony has a GP saddle that came with her and which is very old and tatty but which fits her very well, and which is at the moment her only saddle. I've just bought what I hope is the ebay bargain of the century which whill become her only saddle if the saddler says it fits as well as her old one. I wouldn't have two, if I were you - it costs money to get them checked and reflocked and it's a potential source of irritation if the wrong saddle is used byt eh wrong person!

olderyetwider · 30/11/2010 11:24

I'd get the saddler to bring out a range of second hand saddles, they're much cheaper than new, and worn in as well so often nicer.

We did the thing with the coat-hanger first so she had some idea, got a nice saddle that was a good fit, then had it restuffed (about £35) to 'bespoke' it. That way you should get a nice leather saddle for the price of a synthetic.

I wouldn't do 2 saddles, but maybe a nice saddle cloth for her exclusive use?

Abbicob · 30/11/2010 13:06

One saddle should be adequate as as others have suggested get the saddler to turn with lots of them for you to try. Your daughter will need to be available to rider her in the saddles as well to get the best fit as the saddler will really need to see the horse move with the saddle on.

Try to get a good leather one and make sure the riding school appreciate the fact that it costs a lot and that they need to be cleaning it for you as well.

Two turnout rugs are better than a stable and turnout rug.

I have a 15.1hh heavy weight show cob and she is in 6'6" rugs. The best makes for cobs are Shires and Rambo in my opinion. I always have shires rugs as they are very roomy and give a great fit on the shoulder.

I have never owned a stable rug as they take too much washing and keeping clean. Also on freezing days the last thing your horse will want is to have his lovely warm rug switched for that freezing thing that is still wet from last night and then thrown out in this weather.

Hope it all goes well I am sure it will x

dontforgetthejoker · 30/11/2010 14:12

Hi! Reading with interest as have just got dd (12) her first horse and we are first timers too. We have had him for a month now and what a steep learning curve it has been. He's kept at a small yard and the owner ( who found him for us ) has been unbelievably helpful. He's a bay, 15.1 hh , 7 years old , and is from Donegal in ireland where he was used for driving as well as riding. We go up every evening and muck out, groom, exercise, feed etc. Morning feed and turn out done for us. He's in borrowed rugs at the mo, but getting new for christmas so this thread very useful. We are so ignorant and realise we don't know something every day ! Thank goodness for the helpful people at the yard! So far it's been great tho, never seen dd so energised and happy, and this is spilling over into other areas of her life too. I thought I would never find the time to do this, but I do (less time on mn, and housework ) and I find it so good for the soul. Sorry to waffle on! Good luck to you Smile

seeker · 30/11/2010 14:51

Wer're almost exactly a year down the line now, and it's been great. Owning the pony has had such a positive impact on dd's life in so very many ways - it's even made her mor focussed and organized about homework!

soda1234 · 30/11/2010 17:23

Thanks for all the helpful advice.
Seeker, your list of the pros and cons of working livery would be great!

OP posts:
Callisto · 30/11/2010 18:16

Don'tforgetthejoker - horses are amazingly good for the soul and so grounding. I love every aspect, even when my hands are freezing and painful from breaking ice on water troughs.

flowerpotwoman · 01/12/2010 15:23

Just wanted to second (third?) all the positive feedback about the impact of pony ownership on DDs. Mine (aged 13) has loved every minute since we took the plunge last August. Nothing like having responsibility for making them grow up: mucking out at 6.30am is quite tough at any age, but it's soo good for her. Grin

flowerpotwoman · 01/12/2010 15:26

PS Especially when it's minus two Wink

olderyetwider · 02/12/2010 15:00

Agree with everyone else about the benefits of pony ownership! We're a year into it, and can't believe how much we've all learnt, and how responsible the kids have become.

We are looking for a horse for me now, to add to pony, DH's horse, and GS's part loan pony. (and then replacement for first pony as rapidly getting outgrown, but GS will hopefully grow into!) We also need to buy transport rather than keep hiring a trailer every weekend for Pony Club.

On the plus side, I've got control of my rug habit, and have only bought 3 new ones so far this winter.

We've never been so together as a family, but never been so skint!

Mayandbump23 · 08/12/2010 10:17

The best rugs for cobs with big shoulders (which I assume yours is, being an ISH x cob) are in my experience Shires and Premier Equine. Good value for money, too. If you want a good synthetic saddle I would recommend Thorowgood, they do a good fit for cobs (though definitely get a qualified fitter to check this) and if you get the T6 model, it looks like leather, too, and is a lot easier to clean, just a quick wipe with a damp cloth.

MitchyInge · 08/12/2010 10:33

My thorowgood is really comfortable, adjustable (gullet) and indestructible, unlike our pony's beautiful leather saddle which has acquired a nasty big scratch - will not miss working livery at all. It was perfect from a keeping them out of mischief point of view though, not sure how I will replace that level of work for them.

Have never regretted having horses and even at current low financial ebb am not tempted by the most generous offers.

Earwigging · 09/12/2010 10:34

Synthetic saddles are good value, especially the ones which can be adjusted at the gullet.

When a horse changes home they are bound to be doing a slightly different level of work so it would be a good idea to have the fit rechecked 6 months down the line. If you have chosen an adjustable synthetic then it's simple to alter it to take account of any change in shape. Alot of horses end up with problems because their backs have not been properly looked after, but sounds like you are starting off on the right track.

I would buy the most expensive outdoor rugs you can afford, I think it ends up being cheaper long term. Also allow for washing/reproofing and minor repairs each year to keep them in good nick (about £20 per rug). Horsewear are my fave, the rambo duo is a lovely rug but not cheap, if on a budget the amigo is their cheapest rug.

Agree about doing without stable rugs, also turn out as much as yard will allow as horses like their freedom and keep warm better on the move. It also saves on bedding costs.

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