Horse Training Equipment List: The Things You Actually Need

Rope halter on a horse

Horse Training Equipment List

When it comes to training a horse, there are few pieces of equipment that can greatly improve your horse training process. I remember when I first started training horses and being a little uncertain as to what equipment is the most beneficial. That said, I’ve compiled all of the most beneficial horse training products for you here.

What is the best equipment for horse training? The best equipment for horse training is: 

  • A Rope Halter 
  • A Lead Rope 
  • A Lunge Whip
  • A Round Pen

 

While you can certainly make progress training a horse without the equipment mentioned above, having these tools on hand while training is highly beneficial because it can make the process much easier. Many of the manufactures of these horse products have training in mind when designing and selling their products. Keep reading to learn more!

Essential Equipment for Horse Training

The tools I mentioned above are what I consider to be an integral part of my horse training process. Anytime I’m doing groundwork or training a horse, I’ll have my rope halter, lead rope, and lunge whip on hand. It’s important to understand how each item is meant to be used. That said, let’s examine each one in a little more depth so you understand exactly what they’re for.

Rope Halter

Equipment needed for horse training

A rope halter is a type of halter designed specifically for training. While the halter you may use on a day-to-day basis may be made out of leather or nylon straps, the rope halter is made from a rope.

When a rope halter is made, knots are tied to form the shape of the halter. If made correctly, the knots in the halter will rest over the pressure point areas on a horse’s face. This makes it easy to communicate pressure and release to your horse, which you need to be able to do in the training process.

When you use a rope halter, it’s important to be mindful of the pressure you’re applying to the horse’s face. Remember, the knots on the halter are there to communicate pressure.

If you’re continuously hanging on your horse’s face, it can cause discomfort and make him dull to the pressure. The halters must be used with a “pressure and release” mentality, meaning that if your horse responds correctly, you immediately release the pressure.

Unlike a leather halter, rope halters rarely break if the horse were to pull back or have a meltdown. The rope halters are incredibly durable. I don’t recommend using them to tie your horse in a trailer or if you tie your horse and walk away for a moment.

Your horse could get themselves in a situation where if the halter doesn’t break, they could injure themselves by falling down or getting tangled. For this reason, I use rope halters exclusively for training purposes.

If you are looking to purchase a rope halter, I recommend the Weaver Leather Silvertip Four Knot Rope Halter on Amazon. This halter has two extra knots over the noseband to help communicate pressure to the horse, which is really helpful. A good rope halter is an essential piece of horse training equipment, so it’s definitely worth the small investment.

Lead Rope Horse training lead ropes

Believe it or not, but the lead rope you choose can make a difference when training your horse. When it comes to training and doing groundwork, the longer the lead rope, the better. You need to have enough rope that the horse can maneuver around you and learn how to communicate without being directly next to you.

When it comes to horse training, choose a lead rope between 9′-12′ in length. This way, you can fit at least one horse-length in between you and your horse if need be. You can also do more things with a longer lead rope, like lunging, driving, and using the rope to throw over the horse for desensitization.

Knotty Girlz Premium 12ft. Yacht Rope Lead Rope on Amazon is a great choice of training lead ropes. Lead ropes made out of yacht rope are especially strong and durable.

Lunge Whip

A lunge whip is a long whip usually over 4ft in length commonly used for lunging the horse in a circle around you; however, it can be used for many more things when it comes to horse training. Lunge whips can be used for desensitizing, communicating personal space, and acting as an extension of your arm to communicate to your horse.

What a lunge whip is not used for is smacking your horse or punishing them. The last thing you want your horse to be afraid of is the lunge whip. Anytime I’m training, I have my lead rope in one hand and my lunge whip in the other.

My goal is to be able to rub the lunge whip all over my horse and be able to wave it around and they don’t freak out. However, when I go to use it as an extension of my arm, the horse needs to respond to it.

If my horse is being pushy when leading, I can stick the lunge whip out in front of him and make small circles with it to tell the horse to back off. If a horse also tries to stick their head over me, I can stick the lead rope straight up in the air over me to block the horse from doing this.

I personally like the Weaver Leather Livestock Whip on Amazon because of its length and the short string at the end. This whip is perfect for doing groundwork with your horse.

Round Pen

Another great thing to have for horse training is a round pen. While you may not be able to purchase a round pen because you board your horse, you don’t have the money, or you don’t have the space to put one, they are a great buy that will go a long way in your horse training.

A round pen is a pen that has been shaped to be circular an average diameter of 50 ft. The circular shape of a round pen can help encourage the horse to move forward along the outside while still being able to see the handler who stands in the middle of the pen. 

If you want to introduce yourself to a new horse, free-lunge your horse, or have a confined environment to get on a horse for the first time, a round pen is great to have. You can also use them to allow an injured or sick horse a turnout or quarantine. Round pens have many uses, and they are a must-have on any horse farm.

While a round pen isn’t something you can purchase from Amazon, visit any farm store in your area and they’ll have panels you can buy to make one. To learn more about buying a round pen, check out our article Buying a Round Pen Guide: Pricing, Size, Footing.

If you don’t have access to a round pen, don’t worry! Many people have successfully trained a horse without one, and there are tools, like lunge lines, you can use in larger areas to help limit the distance your horse can travel away from you.

Here’s a video I made on how to lunge a horse without a round pen:

 

Additional Horse Training Equipment 

Since we’ve covered the essential equipment for horse training, let’s go over some additional equipment you can purchase to improve your horse training!

Lunge Line lunge line for horses

A lunge line is a long nylon or cotton strap/rope that is used to lunge your horse in a circle around you if you are in a large arena or field.

This tool is usually 30ft in length and can attach to the horse’s halter and bridle while you hold the other end. The Intrepid International Poly Lunge Line with Chain is a lunge line that has great reviews on Amazon. 

Surcingle

A surcingle is a piece of equipment that wraps over your horse’s heart girth and can be used to get your horse used to the feeling of a girth being tightened around him.

It can also be used to teach your horse to drive! The Horze Nylon Lunging Girth Surcingle is a great product for those just learning about horse training and using a surcingle.

Caveson

A caveson is basically a halter that allows you to connect extra ropes to it. When lunging your horse on a lunge line, you can connect the lunge line to the metal ring on the top of the noseband.

Many horse trainers will use a surcingle and a caveson by using a strap that buckles to both and teaches the horse to soften and round their neck. If you are looking to purchase a caveson, check out Perri’s Nylon Lunge Caveson on Amazon.

Carrot Stick

A carrot stick is a stick that is about 4ft in length. It differs from a lunge whip in that the stick is strong and durable, while a lunge whip is flexible and bendable.

A carrot stick can be used like a lunge whip to desensitize your horse, communicate personal space, and act as an extension of your arm. I personally use a carrot stick if I’m working with a pushy or aggressive horse and I need to keep something solid between me and the horse. Check out the Downunder Horsemanship Handy Stick on Amazon.

Flag

When I say flag, I don’t mean one you see at the top of a flag pole. A flag is a piece of fabric or even a plastic bag that you can tie to the end of your lunge whip or carrot stick.

This can be used to desensitize your horse but also to encourage a horse that is usually dull to aids. You can purchase a flag stick here, but you can easily make your own by simply tying fabric to one of your sticks.

I hope this article was helpful in finding training equipment for your horse. Did you know I have tons of articles about groundwork and how to train horses? You can check some of them out below!

 

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