A quick straw poll of the H&H staff revealed that the items below are essential for keeping their horsey lives running smoothly. Do you agree? What would you add to the list?
1. Fleece rug. The GP of rugs, useful for everything from an extra layer in winter to travelling to cooling down after exercise.
2. Overreach boots. Especially ones that survive turnout…
3. Baby oil. For cheap show shine.
4. Magic brush. Gets mud and grime off that other brushes can’t touch.
5. Riding gloves. Nobody wants chapped hands.
6. Suncream/lip balm. Sore lips and skin from riding oblivious in the sun – ouch!
7. Beanie hat. Here’s a secret – if you have long(ish) hair, pile your hair into the hat when mucking out, to save having to wash it when rushing straight off.
8. Dubarrys in the winter, Ariat short paddock boots in summer. Good boots can be life-changing.
9. Plasters. An essential part of any first aid kit.
10. Stud cleaning tap. One that doesn’t break, anyway….
11. Duct tape. For all your hoof-bandaging needs.
12. Wrist warmers/fingerless gloves. Nothing more annoying than having to take gloves off (inevitably losing one) when adjusting bridles.
13. Rubbermaid foldable steps. The best foldable steps, apparently.
14. Baby wipes. Remove stains, clean bums and eyes, no sweat.
15. Ariat Bromont insulated boots. Warm and waterproof plus the zips make them incredibly easy to get on and off.
16. Pariani over reach boots. Brilliant on a hunter that pulls his shoes off and generally don’t turn inside out, even in deep mud.
17. Thermatex boots. Keeps legs warm in winter, great for horses with poor hoof growth.
18. Forward-cut Butet saddle — fantastic for somebody who has little legs and rides a bit like a jockey.
19. SEGS gloves with rubber palms. Do these still exist?
20. Future fork. Durable and perfect for skipping out.
21. Ice boots. The best way of cooling down your horse’s legs.
22. Ride on waterproof saddle cover. Because wet leather is horrible.
23. Joules fluffy fox socks. They’ll keep your feet toasty on cold days.
24. Wind-up torch. For searching for your horse in the field in the pitch black.
25. Absorbine Hoof Black. A mirror-like finish for show day.
26. Rolltrack saddle trolley. So useful for shows.
27. Un-snappable plaiting bands. ‘Nuff said.
28. Solo comb. Even a bad hairdresser can make a good job of mane-tidying.
29. Tyre feed bowl. So food can’t get thrown everywhere.
30. Dually headcollar. For the reluctant loader.
31. Thermals. For under jods in winter.
32. Deosect. Use this powerful insecticide as the ultimate fly repellant.
33. Stable rubber. To add polish.
34. A step. Every yard needs one, to stand on and plait the tricky bits.
35. Roller spurs. A wise choice if your horse is a sensitive soul.
36. Trimming clippers. A sturdy pair of these are a sound investment.
37. Plastic curry comb. Vital for those muddy days.
38. Poo-pick scoop and fork. Skipping out, sweeping the yard – can anyone function without this?
39. Tub trugs. Even the clumsiest of horses struggles to ‘kill’ them.
40. Hoof pick torch. Great for those late night field checks.
41. Fly mask. A summer must-have.
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42. Leather bucking strap. For the friskier of beasts.
43. Half rubber lined reins. They look prettier but won’t hurt your hands.
44. ‘Bendy’ stirrups. If you’ve got bad ankles, knees or hips, these can save you from agony.
45. A good leather headcollar. If you turn your horse out in a headcollar, leather is always better.
46. Mane and tail spray. For silky locks on show day.
47. Trickle Net. So he can’t scoff his entire hay ration in five minutes flat.
48. Baling twine. Useful for everything from hanging up haynets to drying rugs, yet you can never find any when you need any, such as to tie up your horse at a show.
49. Thermos flask. We’re not sure how you’re meant to survive the winter without one of these.
50. Treats! Essential – for you and your horse…