If you want to successfully train a horse, you should consider adding some special equipment to your tack room. While you may be able to make do with the tack you already have, training will be much more challenging without the right tools. At a minimum, you should have a halter, a lead rope, a bridle, a bit and a saddle. If you want to work with your horse while you are on the ground, you will also need a longe line, a longeing cavesson, a longe whip, and a good pair of leather gloves.
For horses that are learning the basics, you will need to start with the halter. This is the most important piece of tack you can own and you will be using it long after you finish training your horse, so don’t be afraid to invest in a nice one. Halters are loose fitting and very adjustable, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that fits your horse properly. Once your horse is accustomed to wearing a halter, you will need to teach him to accept a lead rope. Again, this is a piece of tack you will use well after your horse is well trained.
Before you continue from this point, you will have to decide if you want to train your horse to accept a saddle and a bridle before you climb into the saddle. If so, you will need to shop for longeing tack, which is specifically designed so that you can keep control of your horse as you train him from the ground. Since these pieces of equipment help you control your horse, you can easily teach him to walk, trot, canter, back up and turn without actually sitting on his back. Once he understands how to go through the paces, you can accustom him to wearing a saddle and bridle while you train him with the longeing equipment.
The first piece of longeing equipment you will need is the longe line. This line is between 25 and 30 feet long and made of cotton rope. It allows your horse to move around you in a sixty foot wide circle. Of course, you don’t want to get a rope burn from using the longe line, so you may also want to invest in a good pair of gloves.
Next, you will want to decide if you plan to simply use the halter or a bridle with the longe line or if you’d rather use a longeing cavesson, which is designed specifically for the longe line. You can certainly use your halter, but the longeing cavesson has extra padding for your horse’s comfort and extra rings so that you can easily attach the longe line.
The final piece of longeing tack you will need is the longe whip. If you are horrified at the thought of using a longeing whip to train your horse, don’t be. The whip is not used to strike him. Instead, it is a way for you to give him a tap or a nudge when you aren’t within an arm’s reach of him. Think of a longe whip as an arm extension.
If you have a horse that has already been trained, you may think that you do not need to buy any training equipment. However, all horses can use an occasional refresher course at times. In addition, training equipment can be used to help exercise a horse after he has been injured to build his strength back up.