Originally posted in spring of 2019, I’ve decided to revive this post of equestrian hacks & dupes for those wanting to save a little where possible. I’ve updated all the old links and prices to some great hacks, and I’ve added way more. All the new content is at the top (in case you already read my old post of hacks).
Let’s face it, almost everything that is branded for equestrians has a crazy mark-up. If you are like me, you love your horse like a member of your family, and you want the very best for them. Thankfully, this does not mean that you have to always splurge on equestrian specific products!!! There are many “hacks/dupes”, aka non-equestrian branded products that are basically the same thing, that save you money and are comparable. I have reached out to equestrian community and have received some amazing feedback. I am so excited to share this list of equestrian product hacks with everyone.
What’s the difference between a hack and a dupe? I don’t know. I’m in my early 30’s and I’m honestly not that ‘woke’ (did I use that right?!). Fair warning: I used the terms interchangeably because I wasn’t organized enough to pick one and stick with it.
A lot of equestrian brands originate in Europe, and they cost significantly less to purchase direct from European retailers. I’ve research a few specific examples for you guys. Also don’t from get Australian retailers- there are great deals to be had there too. (Thanks to all of you who reminded me about this great hack!)
- Samshield helmets. Your basic model Samshield now retails for $500 from sites like Smartpak and Dover. You can order the exact helmet from Repost Equestrian out of the UK for $376 which includes shipping. If you are like me and already have a ton of Samshield liners, you can save even more by just buying a new shell, which would bring your order total down to $346. I’ve bought every Samshield I’ve ever owned from Europe. Shipping can take longer, but it’s absolute worth the savings!
- Eskadron, Pikeur, Animo, and Equiline are a few other brands that or often significantly cheaper from UK or EU retailers. Some sites to consider are Amira Equi, My Sellera, Equishop, and Just Riding are a few popular ones.
- Check out Hufglocken based in Australia for some stellar deals on gorgeous Mattes pads! Shipping is only $15 on most items. (credit to @jeffrey.dressage.fjord)
We all know how convenient a good show backpack is. What you may not know if that you don’t have to sell your first child to afford one. The ability to hold a helmet is the best design aspect, and you can find other backpacks that aren’t equestrian specific to meet this need. The dupe version also has side pockets that are PERFECT for hold crops & whips. Stacie from Amateur at Large blog shared this amazing dupe with me. The best part (other then saving money)? You can find them in colors to match you barn colors!
- $320 Samshield Icon Pack from SmartPak
- $35 for this one from Amazon. Just search “baseball backpack” for many other options too!
Ankle Gel Bands
If you’ve ever broken in new boots, you will know how much better life is with gel bands. They go around your ankle, and protect you from rubs and abrasions. I have personally used this dupe version from Amazon and LOVE them. I actually prefer the dupe. It has a nice cushy area of gel padding that you can place exactly where you need it without adding bulk to your entire ankle. I put the gel strip at the back on my heel/ankle and am 100% saved from rubbing. (@hayner.g uses the ice skater gel bands too!)
Stop paying $11 for a single no-knot hairnet. Just stop it. Google “wig cap” and save yourself so much money. These are all I use now, and they are the best dupe of all time! For a video comparison of the two check out my IG highlights.
- $ 11 RWR No Knot Hairnet from Smartpack
- $6.60 for a DOZEN wig caps from Amazon. I have medium blonde highlighted hair and order the beige color.
It’s no secret that Rio has had his fair share of injuries, so I learned pretty quickly to shop first aid supplies in bulk. I actually found Amazon to be a great resource with really competitive prices.
- $2.20/roll of vet wrap at Smartpak, or $2.10/roll if you buy the pack of 18 (4″ x 5 yards)
- $1.42/roll when you buy this 12-pack from Amazon (4″ x 5 yards)
Fabric Grooming Tote
Skip the pricey equestrian branded grooming totes!!! The prices for a basic bag are absolutely insane. Instead, opt for a tool bag/tote. Just as hardy (with all the great pockets) but a fraction of the price. (submitted by @halomazing)
- $50 for this Noble Equestrian groom tote from Dover (12 inches, an “array” of pockets)
- $7 for this Voyager tool bag from Harbor Freight (12 inches, 21 pockets, can zip close)
Have a horse with really sensitive skin, or one that is freshly clipped? Belly bands are great for protecting sensitive skin from rubs, and now you don’t need to shell out $140 to do so with this dupe!
- $140 Equifit belly band from SmartPak
- $63 for the Horze belly band from Equinavia (hint: use code AMATEURHOUR for free shipping from this site)
Surpass Topical Anti-inflammatory
Surpass is a topical cream used for the control of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in the hock, knee, fetlock and pastern joints in horses. It is by prescription only. Lucky for us, there is now an OTC generic available (with the same active ingredient- 1% Diclofenac) at any drugstore. I still advise you discuss with your veterinarian before using though!!
Tack Trunk with wheels
Pretty sure every equestrian knows about this amazing dupe, but just incase you don’t- the Stanley/Husky tool trunks with wheels are the best inexpensive tack trunk you will ever own. They even come with a sliding “tool tray” that 100% wants to be a grooming tray. Want to spruce up your Stanley trunk? These cargo nets from amazon are the bomb (applied with sticky adhesive, no tools necessary!) and they are only $12 for a pair. They are PERFECT for holding things like gloves, spurs, hairnets, etc. Etsy also has lots of shops that make custom trunk covers for these size trunks.
- $400 Sportote deluxe trunk from Schneider’s
- $75 Stanley tool trunk from Home Depot
Do you buy sponges from tack stores? Knock it off! Just stop. Spend the extra money you will save on horse treats and stop buying marked up horse sponges! (thanks for the tip @connieincolorado)
- $5 for a single Carr & Day sponge from SmartPak
- $3.44 for a 3 pack of large sponges from Home Depot
Fleece tendon boots
If you’re like me, you have probably found yourself lusting over a super pricey high end brand of equestrian tack at some point. Sometimes you decide to splurge, but sometimes spending $280+ for a pair of tendon boots is just never going to happen- and that’s ok! If you want the same “look” there are plenty of less expensive dupes for a lot of the more popular items. (Thanks to @chestnutchronicles for this dupe!)
- $280 Veredus Vento Carbon Gel Open Fronts boots from FarmVet
- $90 Arma Carbon SupaFleece Tendon boots from Dover
Wide Noseband Bridle
I can 100% vouch for this dupe. These bridles are so similar that when I see them at tack shops or on horses I literally cannot tell which is which without checking the tag. I have the dupe version (Ovation) and it is seriously the nicest bridle ever for the price. You REALLY can’t tell it’s not the same bridle as the much pricier Pessoa! Read my review of the Ovation bridle here if you want to hear my in-depth thoughts on it.
- $300 Pessoa Fancy Stitch Wide Noseband bridle from Smartpak
- $200 Ovation Elite Fancy Stitched Wide Noseband bridle from Smartpak
Anatomic Contour Bridle
Another bridle dupe you’ll love with even more savings: Don’t have the $400+ to spend on a bridle? Me either! But, if you love the look of this D’yon Anatomic Contour bridle you can still good a very nice quality bridle for substantially less. (Thanks to @chestnutchronicles for this dupe!)
Plastic groom tote
Three tier basket cart
Ok, ok, so this isn’t an exact match, but honestly I feel like the hack version looks way more functional and versatile!
- $160 for the equine specific version from Smartpak
- $90 for this version from Ace Hardware
The nice rubbery ball type ones (submitted by @Havana_has_my_heart)
Bickmore Mac Wipes
Equestrian specific disposable grooming wipe (submitted by @theecequestrian, socalequestrian, & @juliacskowronek). Fragrance and alcohol free, baby wipes are great for wiping gunk out of eyes and noses, cleaning your tack off in a pinch, wiping sweat off of your own face, cleaning oil off your own hands, etc. Not quite as large or as sturdy as the Bickmore wipes, you still get wayyyyyyyy more for your money’s worth! I always have a stash in my trunk.
- $22 for 63 wipes from SmartPak
- $18 for 1152 baby wipes from Sam’s Club.
A blend of dried raspberry leaves to support a quiet disposition in mares and geldings (submitted by @remarkablemare)
- $13 for 8z oz from Riding Warehouse
- Hack: Raspberry leaves in bulk from Amazon, $13 for 16 oz (50% cheaper!)
Equiderma Zinc Oxide Paste
A treatment for scratches & rain rot (submitted by @remarkablemare & @caroline.lurie.eq)
- $23.70 for 16 oz at SmartPak
- $8 for 16 oz of generic Desitin maximum strength diaper rash cream (40% zinc oxide) from Walmart
Stop splurging on equestrian specific shampoo & conditioner when the human stuff smells amazing and is much much cheaper!
- $10-25 equestrian branded shampoos
- $2 & up for the human versions
Leg brace & antifungal solution
2 different hacks for this one!
- There are many products that claim to be great as a leg brace under standing wraps and have anti-fungal properties, so I couldn’t choose just one for a direct comparison. Must of them range anywhere from $10-25.
- $5.37 for 1 liter at Walmart: Listerine Mouthwash diluted with water is a great leg brace and to help stop any itching/fungus/hair loss. I used to use Listerine myself when I was a junior on my Arabian’s face & cannon bone crud in the summers and it worked great, so I can vouch for this one! (Submitted by @corleyan)
- $2 for 16 oz at Walgreens (or buy in bulk at Sam’s club like I do, it’s even cheaper) Wintergreen alcohol is also a wonderful leg brace. Make sure the legs are completely dry before wrapping though!! This website actually has tons of great uses for common rubbing alcohol when I comes to our equine friends, I highly recommend checking it out. (submitted by @flying.french.flower, @kbiggsy )
Coat shine spray submitted by @remarkablemare, she credits this amazing hack product for her mare Juliet’s beautifully shiny coat, and says dust doesn’t stick to it, and it doesn’t like a residue like Show Sheen does. Talk about a win-win!
- $11.74 for 15 oz continuous spray Show Sheen at Smartpak
- $5 for 15.9 ox ORS Olive Oil Sheen Spray at Target
As we all know, there are many brands of equestrian specific sunshirts at different price points. These price points tend me to PRICEY though. You are lucky if you find one in your size under $50. Most retail for $75 and up. You do NOT need to buy equestrian specific shirts to protect yourself from the sun though! Many people have suggested checking out sale racks at places like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Athleta etc. Any place that sells gold/tennis gear should have sunshirts, and some even have under arm mesh. Get creative and shop around for the best prices and styles! (submitted by: @pamgoeseventing, @equi.ranch, @theecequestrian, @theplatinumequine, @connieincolorado)
- People have reported finding these non-equestrian specific sunshirts in the $15-20 range
Quick Knot braiding pins
Equestrian specific metal pins used for button braids.
- 100 for $45 from Saddleword
- 100 for $8 from Walmart: Curved bobby pins are definitely not exactly the same as the specifically horse designed Quick Knot braiding pins, @trou_story_farm swears by these and says they are a great alternative to the pricey equestrian specific ones!
Show Sheen for body clipping
If you body clip then you probably know that a coat shiner will help the blades slide through the coat easier by reducing friction, which also helps keep you clippers from getting hot. I just clipped Rio a few weeks ago and DOUSED him in Show Sheen for this purpose. Save money by making your own: Mix 1/3 baby oil and 2/3 water in a spray bottle, spray all over pre-clipping like you would do with Show Sheen. Get the one pictured from Target and you also get the added moisturizer and soothing of Vit E and aloe- perfect for clipping! (submitted by @corleyan)
No need to buy pricey equestrian specifc bit cleaner! Denture cleaner is GREAT for cleaning dirty bits. Throw a bit in a tub with some water and one of these tablets and it will be sparkly clean in no time and with little effort. Don’t believe me? Check out this guest blog post that talks all about it!
- $15 for 32 oz bit cleaner from Schneider’s Tack
- $2.93 for 84 count denture cleaner at Walmart
Made with a blend of natural butters and essential oils, this balm moisturizes, revitalizes, and helps heal skin for a smoother, softer feel. It also smells great and the ponies love it! (submitted by @Armani_monster)
- $19 for 4 oz from FarmVet
- $5.23 for 7.25 oz Coconut Oil from Amazon
Saddle rack for your car
- $180 for this Pegasus brand one
- $10 trash can from Target, lay it on the flat side and you are good to go! (submitted by @kaylahaynes_). Want to learn more about this awesome hack? Check out Kayla’s blog! She also lists tons of great uses for everyday products at the barn!
- $16 If you don’t have an SUV, you can use this saddle sling from Etsy. I have one of these, and it works great for the money!
- $13 for 16 oz Quicksilver at SmartPak
- $7.39 for 8 oz Mrs. Stewarts at Walmart: At first glance, it may seem like you aren’t saving money with the non-equine specific version, but a little of this stuff goes a long way! @hayner.g says she puts 2 capfuls in a bucket of sudsy water to get her 2 large greys bright and shiny. She also recommends following up with a conditioner so as to no dry out their hair.
- $28 for 7.5 lbs (120 oz) of Orvus shampoo: @jessies_hoofprints says she use Orvus on her greys and it’s the whitest they’ve ever been! You get so much for the price that it is an excellent value.
I have one! I got this backpack as an alternative to the super pricey Samshield one (bonus that it came in hunter green):
Love this, thanks!
Thank you for these hacks! So many fabulous ideas!
I’m also in my late 20s as an adult amateur recently getting back into showing and these hacks are wonderful!! Thank you!