Let’s face it- our sport is PRICEY! I am always looking for a deal, because I’d rather spend more money on lessons then over priced horse stuff if I can avoid it.
All of my friends know I am an equestrian deal hunter, and that I get a little thrill at finding high-end products for a good price. If couponing for equestrians was a thing, I’d be the queen of it. Basically, I just do not see the point of paying retail if it is not necessary. I mean, it’s not like you can save money on your board bill (typically),or the vet ever has services on sale, so retail is really the one area I can scrimp a little. I have mentioned some of this products in my other post Equestrian Fashion That I Love, but this post goes more in depth to the prices. I am going to share a few of my ‘tips’ and I would LOVE to hear about yours!
1. Looking to buy a Sammy? Get it from Europe. I bought my brown one from My Selleria on sale about a year ago, and including shipping (about $65) it was $307 (yes, that is American dollars). I referenced the original receipt to make sure I was supplying accurate pricing info. They are currently listed at $319, plus about $65 for shipping, $385-390 is still a good bit cheaper then the $440 at Dover and most US stores. They also sell the liners at 1/2 the price.
2. Tack of the day often has great deals. I admit that I religiously check this site, because you never know! It is mostly so-so, but every now and then something great pops up. They tend to have some great prices on breeches (specifically Gersemi, which I adore). I have bought both my pairs of Gersemi breeches off of TOTD for about $60 each, which is seriously an incredible deal. I have also gotten a pair of Goode Rider breeches for $70, the ones that typically retail at $160. TOTD is a branch of Bit of Britain, and the catch is they do not accept returns, so I tend to stick to brands that I KNOW what size I am. Every now and then they will put up a ton of Back On Track items for the entire weekend at 20% off retail, so I never buy BOT until it’s at least 20% off.
3. Speaking of BOT items, buy from Canada! Need BOT items now and can’t wait for them to come up on Tack of the day? I bought quick wraps and hock wraps from Greenhawk. Hock wraps were $59.25 and the quick wraps were $70.36 per pair (I got 2 pairs) and shipping was $30. Total price was $230. If I had bought from SmartPak the total would have been $265 not including tax and free shipping, so I shaved off $35 bucks which is almost the cost of a lesson.
4. My hubby built my tack trunk. Now I realize this isn’t a possibility for everyone- but I would definitely recommend reaching out to a local carpenter, or even trying to find someone who does woodwork as a hobby. If possible though, a DIY tack trunk project cab save big bucks. I ordered the plans on-line for about $10 bucks I think. Good wood is not cheap, so the project still cost around $500- but it is the NICEST quality tack trunk I have ever seen, way nicer then what you usually get for $500. (Feel free to be jealous. My hubby is the BEST)
5. Pick a weekend and plan a DIY session to build your own horse jumps. I feel like this is an obvious money-saver, but certainly takes some time. Jumps are SO EXPENSIVE if you buy them. Wood is cheap. I do not bother buying the pressure treated stuff. Instead, I buy a high quality primer & exterior paint. If you put a couple coats of high quality paint on it, you will protect the wood from the elements pretty dang well. I had the jump cups already, but they were old and rusty so I got a charcoal spray paint with a bit of metallic shine and now they look brand new. I made this set (with minimal hubby involvement) a few months ago.
6. I try to buy lightly used items when I can, such as high-end tack. English Tack Trader on facebook is the best group ever for this. I bought a lovely Red Barn breastplate for $35 and a like new Beval standing martingale for $30, I could go on forever. Nice tack should last ages, so I love buying something that is lightly used, or better yet, not used due to being the wrong size, for 80% off retail price. For saddles, I would recommenced Cindy at DFW Tack Exchange. I purchased my Antares from her for 1/3 the cost of a new one, and then she sold my Pessoa (for what I paid for it 2 years prior!) She allows trials, and is SUPER to work with. I will definitely buy from her again. I realize some horses are a super difficult fit, so it isn’t always possible to buy used, but she has tons of lovely French saddles in a shapes and sizes.
7. Last, but not least. This is the BIGGEST of all my money saving tips, so listen up! If you do not have one currently, go get an equine insurance policy STAT. Seriously, do it. I do not know why everyone doesn’t have an insurance policy for their equine partner. As I have mentioned in previous posts, Rio has been a frequent flier with the vet since I have owned him. Things are slowing down now, and he is doing awesome, but my insurance policy has been a lifesaver on my wallet. His policy covers up to $7,500 of major medical per year, plus an additional $3,000 if he needs colic surgery. They are GREAT about reimbursing me, and are even covering his shockwave treatments he’s been receiving. Once we are done with the shockwave, they will have reimbursed me approx $2,300 in veterinary expenses, aka my policy has paid for itself more then 4xs. I feel so happy to know that Rio is financially covered in the event of injury, and I do not need to stress over how I am going to pay my vet. I will never not have insurance again!
So spill! What do you all do try save a few bucks?! I’m always looking for new tips and tricks!