Bringing Your New Horse Home: Tips For The First Time Owner  

So, after weeks, possibly months, of searching for your perfect equine partner, you have finally bought the horse of your dreams. Congratulations!

Becoming a horse owner for the very first time is tremendously exciting, but it can also be quite nerve racking. You are now responsible for all of your horse’s daily needs, requiring 100% commitment from you, seven days a week, in all weathers.

“Hey, I hear that you’re my new mom!”

Also, moving your new horse into another barn is likely going to be quite stressful for him, and time must be allowed for him to adjust and settle in. Think back to when you started school or a new job and how lost and awkward you felt. That is precisely how your horse will feel. Your horse will be in unfamiliar surroundings with unfamiliar faces, both equine and human, having left the security of his previous owner and stable mates behind, in a place that was once his home.

If you follow our tips, you will be fully prepared for your new arrival, and you can help your horse settle into a happy new life with you.

Before Your Horse Arrives

Before bringing your new horse home, you will need to organize a few things.


If you intend to board your new horse, you should reserve and pay a deposit for a stable at a suitable barn. You can either opt for full board, or provide everything yourself. This choice will depend on your circumstances and financial situation.

Find out which vets, farriers, and horse dentists the barn uses and ask for their contact numbers.  Also find out if an instructor is based there, or if you’re allowed one from outside of the facility.

If you are providing your horse’s bedding, then you will need to acquire wood shavings or straw from a supplier.


Although you can buy things as you go along, you will need a few essential pieces of equipment before your horse arrives:

A saddle is a crucial piece of equipment for a new horse owner!

  1. Headcollar and lead-rope (it is a good idea to have a couple in case they break)
  2. Feed and water buckets
  3. Brushing boots
  4. Rugs (depending on time of year)
  5. Saddle and bridle: if your horse doesn’t have any, then you will need to arrange an appointment with a qualified saddle fitter. Ask around for recommendations.
  6. Grooming kit- this should include:
  • Body brush
  • Dandy brush
  • Water brush
  • Rubber curry comb
  • Metal curry comb
  • Mane comb
  • Hoof pick
  • Hoof oil and brush
  • Stable rubber
  • Sponges
  • Sweat scraper
  • Box to keep equipment in

7. First aid kit- this should include:

  • Bandages
  • Thermometer
  • Gauze pads
  • Antibiotic spray
  • Wound powder
  • A ready-to-use poultice, e.g. Animalintex
  • Cotton wool
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • First aid box with telephone number of veterinarian

Feed and Hay

Find out what feed and hay your new horse is currently having along with any supplements. You may wish to switch to another brand of feed, but this should be changed gradually over seven to ten days to decrease the risk of colic.

Buy a couple of bags of his current feed and ask the previous owner if you can purchase one or two bales of hay so you can mix it with yours.


If you don’t have a trailer, then you need to hire one to collect your horse. The barn may provide this or recommend someone who can do it for you. Make sure you buy or borrow travel boots to protect your horse during the journey.

A horse trailer is a good thing to have even after the initial move-in day.

Equine Insurance

It is essential that you have insurance for your new horse. With so many different policies available, it can be incredibly overwhelming for a new horse owner. Most owners choose an insurance plan that includes veterinary expenses, mortality, personal injury, and third-party liability. Contact equine insurance companies who can guide you toward the best policy for you and your horse.

Your Horse’s Health

Before you move your new horse from his current home, make sure he is in good health and that all his worming and vaccinations are up-to-date. Get a copy of his vaccine records, including a copy of the Coggins Test.

Find out from the previous owner what your horse’s usual routine is, so you can try and follow a similar pattern, helping him to settle more comfortably.

Prepare The Stable

If another horse was using the stable before your horse, ensure it was cleaned out completely and disinfected before placing your new bedding in it.

Provide a salt lick and use water buckets even if there is an automatic drinker so you can see how much your horse is drinking. Horses typically don’t like unfamiliar water, so make sure it is clean and fresh to encourage him to drink. If possible, ask the previous owner for the bucket that your horse was using before.

Arrival Of Your New Horse

Be prepared for your horse to be anxious and difficult to lead when he comes off the trailer. It may be better if someone more experienced with horses can handle him when he first arrives at the barn.

Remove his travel boots and put him in his stable with clean water and some hay, allowing him to take in his new surroundings. Make sure he can see the other horses in the barn, and expect a lot of whinnying!

It is best not to do much with your new horse for the first few days so he can have a chance to settle. Spend time gently grooming him so the two of you can start to bond. Brush him slowly and talk to him so your voice becomes familiar. You can also lead him around the grounds using a bridle for greater control.

Witnessing a bond being created between a horse and her owner.


When turning your horse out for the first time, use boots on his legs for protection. Put him in a paddock adjacent to the other horses so he can safely get to know them and they can check out their newest companion. Keep an eye on him though, as horses can still kick and bite each other even with a fence dividing them.

Having time in the paddock will help him relax and get him accustomed to his surroundings. You should cut his feed down if he is not working so you don’t risk him having colic.

After a few days, it should be fine to turn him out with the herd, but make sure you are there to keep an eye on things as you don’t want any injuries either to your horse or others. After all, it is their very first time meeting without a fence dividing them.

Just a pair of friends meeting for the very first time.

Riding For The First Time

When you decide to ride your new horse for the first time, go slowly. You may even want to lunge beforehand to get rid of any excessive energy.

Ride in the arena the first few times and don’t ask too much of him. Just do some basic schooling and keep things simple. If you feel everything is going well with your horse after a few days, take him for a light ride. He may spook easily, so ask one of the other horse owners if they can ride with you for safety, and so you can learn the best routes.

If you take things slowly with your horse at the beginning, he will eventually settle. Depending on the animal’s personality and temperament, it can take a couple of weeks or up to six months.

Check that your horse is eating and drinking normally and consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns regarding his well-being.

Keep in contact with the previous owner. They will be pleased to know how your horse is doing and they can often advise you on his typical habits and behaviour if you have any doubts or concerns.

This horse is greatly enjoying getting to know his new owner.

Build healthy relationships with the other owners at the barn. That way you can help each other out with the care of each other’s horses, ride together, and seek their advice when needed.

If you can afford it, continue to take regular lessons with a good, qualified instructor so you and your horse can progress together and establish a partnership.

Most of all, enjoy the wonderful feeling of being a proud new horse owner!

Alison O’Callaghan, our Equine Editor, is a professional horse riding instructor and has owned many types of pets. When she is not riding horses or walking her dog, she loves to write about animals. If you’d like to contact Alison, you can email her at 

Surprising Benefits of Clipping Your Dog’s Nails Regularly

Even if you are one of the best dog owners, trimming your dog’s nails is one of those things that you can easily fall behind on. Since most dogs have nails that tend to grow fast like weeds, you will need to clip your dog’s nails regularly to keep up with the pace at which his nails are growing.

Many people tend to think that they don’t need to do anything if their dog’s nails aren’t curling around. You don’t have to wait for your dog’s nails to scratch your skin while he jumps on you to know that they need to be trimmed. Although it might seem like both you and your dog don’t want to deal with a nail trim, for the sake of your dog, clip those nails regularly to keep them short.

An example of beautifully short nails.

You may think that you can’t trim your dog’s nails due to a of lack of experience or the fear of over-cutting the nails. Well, that is something to be concerned about because you don’t want to hurt your dog’s nails to the point that they start bleeding. In the unfortunate event that your dog’s nails start bleeding while you are trimming them, you should learn how to stop your dog’s nails from bleeding to prevent excessive blood loss.

Doing so will save your dog’s life. The rule of thumb is: if you can’t trim your dog’s nails at home, it is good to seek professional assistance so that you don’t get the whole process wrong. Seeking professional help will also minimize the chances of doing the trial and error method on your dog’s precious nails.

How Often Should You Clip Your Dog’s Nails?

You might ask yourself, “How often is often enough?” There are some important factors that will affect how often your dog’s nails should get trimmed. These factors include: the type of surface that your dog walks on most of the time, your dog’s breed, and their diet.

Is your dog mostly indoors and just walking on your soft carpet? Does he only go outdoors within your compound to walk on the soft grass and dirt? Do you walk him in the streets on concrete surfaces? If your dog is always active and walks on hard surfaces, then he will need less frequent nail clipping sessions. This is because the hard surfaces will be grinding down on his nails. His nails won’t grow as fast or be very long. However, if your dog is mostly indoors or if he spends most of his time walking on soft surfaces like grass and dirt, he will most likely require more trims.

Your dog’s breed will also determine how frequently you will be trimming his nails. Some dog breeds have nails that will grow at very fast rates as compared to other dog breeds.

Thick, black nails are some of the hardest kinds to trim. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Your dog’s diet also affects the rate at which his nails will be growing. If you feed him a well-balanced diet that is full of minerals and vitamins, his nails will grow very fast. Keep in mind that this should never be an excuse for not feeding your dog on a well-balanced meal.

When it comes to how often you should trim your dog’s nails, you should be able to clip your pooch’s nails as often as possible so that his nails do not touch the ground when he is standing. If you clip your dog’s nails more often, there will be great benefits for both you and the dog. The more you will do it, the more your dog will become accustomed to having his nails clipped. If your dog becomes used to having his nails trimmed, you or the person that will be doing the clipping will have an easier time doing the nails.

Benefits of Clipping Your Dog’s Nails

Do you know that there is a relation between your dog’s nails and his health and comfort? There are several benefits of clipping your dog’s nails regularly and they include:

Comfort While Walking

The length of your dog’s nails determines how comfortable they will be while they are walking. If your dog’s nails are too long, they will touch the ground while your dog is standing. If you let your dog’s nails overgrow, you will not only have to deal with a cosmetic issue, you will also have to deal with a potentially serious health issue.

These pretty paws need to stay healthy to keep the whole dog healthy!

Dogs usually walk on their toes. This is called digitigrade walking. When their nails grow to be very long, the nails will curve and dig painfully into the pads of their paws. They will, therefore, have difficulty in walking on their toes because of the pain. Your dog will then rest his weight further back on his paw to compensate for this difficulty in walking.

The result of this change will cause an awkward posture while walking. This awkward gait will put a lot of pressure and strain on the joints and muscles of your dog. Your dog will develop joint pain and discomfort while he is walking due to this posture. He will also be less steady on his feet.

No Damage to Your Carpets and Bedding

If your dog’s nails are overgrown, you can expect him to claw your carpets, either on purpose or accidentally. This is because his long nails can get caught in the carpet. He will, therefore, rip or fray your carpet as he attempts to free his stuck claws.

When your dog is sleeping, his claws can also rip his bedding. If he jumps on your bed, you might need to consider replacing your bedding because his long claws can leave holes in your sheets and comforter.

We don’t want this carpet to get any more shaggy!

No Injuries to Your Dog’s Skin or Your Skin

When you come back from work, your dog is probably very excited to see you and, as a result, he will jump on you. If your dog has long nails, this can be quite unpleasant. His sharp nails might break your skin when he jumps up. He can also cause injuries to other people that come to your house, or accidentally hurt other pets while playing.

Your dog can also cause injuries to his own skin when he scratches himself. He can easily scratch himself bloody if his nails are too long. Armed with the best dog nail clippers, clipping your dog’s nails will protect his skin, and your skin, too!

Training Your Dog to Accept Getting His Nails Clipped       

Most dogs don’t like the idea of getting their nails clipped. If you have such a dog, you will probably have a hard time trying to make your dog sit still so that you can clip his nails. You will first have to get him used to nail clipping sessions. How can you achieve this?

Don’t dig in your heels if your pooch is anxious and is not tolerating you clipping his nails. You can take a break and maybe play with him for a while before you can resume your clipping session. With time, he will get used to it.

You can click here to watch this helpful video to help you train your dog to enjoy having his nails clipped.

If you start young, your pup won’t mind having their nails trimmed!

A Word of Caution

Care must be taken when clipping your dog’s nails. This is to avoid causing injuries on your dog’s toes. You will, therefore, need the best tips on how to clip dog nails so that the whole procedure is safe and smooth for your dog.

If you hurt your dog while clipping his nails, he is likely going to be fearful of having his nails clipped. He may not cooperate the next time you need to clip his nails. If you are not willing to clip your dog’s nails at home, you can take your dog to a veterinarian or a groomer. Your Pet Space now offers nail trims and bathing, so don’t hesitate to ask!

Cutting it Short

Getting your fur baby groomed on a regular basis is very important since it is beneficial to your dog’s health. One of the ways that you can groom your dog is by trimming his nails. Apart from aesthetic benefits, clipping your dog’s nails will ensure that your dog walks comfortably, and there will be no more click-click clicking when your dog is walking on hard surfaces!

Your carpet, bedding, and furniture will also be safe from damages, not forgetting that it will help protect your dog’s skin, and your skin too. You should, therefore, have a nail clipper nearby to clip your dog’s nails whenever they grow long. Good luck in clipping your dog’s nails!

Do you have something you wish to add on the benefits of clipping your dog’s nails? Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comment section below.

Joy Henderson: Hello everyone! I’m Joy and I really love dogs and would like to share all my knowledge fellow dog lovers like me. Please feel free to share your story with me at