You will come across many different opinions on this topic. I am simply stating my opinion and what I go by. You can determine what is best for you and your horse.
Let’s start with what is ok to buy used.
Saddles run a high dollar. I’m talking hundreds, even thousands! To save yourself from dropping that kind of cash, it is a great idea to look at used saddles. You can find them online or in tack shops sometimes. It is definitely important to look at the quality of the saddle. Look for any severe blemishes, cracking leather, and loose or missing pieces. Always try the saddle before you buy it to see if you like the way the seat feels. If a used saddle has been well taken care of, then there is no reason why it can’t serve its purpose to a new owner.
Bridles and Bits
With bridles and bits, the same thing goes with them about saddles. Look for damages and the quality thoroughly before purchasing. Bridles and bits that have been cleaned and oiled (bridles) will stay in good condition.
Show Coats and Breeches
This is probably my favorite thing to purchase used! People grow out of or move on from their coats and breeches all the time. If there are no stains or tears, go for it! I got a really nice pair of used breeches from the donate pile at my old barn! If the show coat is clean and has a good fit on you, a used one will help you shine just as bright in the show ring.
Stable Blankets and Other Sheets
Since stable blankets and other sheets such as fly sheets or fleece coolers aren’t meant to be waterproof, they have a longer lifespan. Make sure to measure your horse so you know the exact size you are looking for. Then always check the quality of the blanket or sheet you are buying. Make sure there are no rips or stains that bother you and that all surcingles strap securely.
Polo Wraps and Boots
Used fleece has no less quality (unless there are tears) than fleece from a new package. This is why polo wraps are great to buy used. People usually sell them for very cheap as they get tired of the colors or are trying to clean out their tack box. Boots for your horse can also be purchased used a lot cheaper than their retail price. With boots, just check the quality and make sure there is no damage and that the straps fasten securely.
These things are crazy expensive! It drives me nuts. The only new tall boots I have bought have been on closeout sale. A lot of times riders switch to a different boot or the boots don’t fit how they like once they start riding in them. If you can find a quality pair of tall boots in your size used, go for it! It’s such a steal!
Alright, now let’s look at what you should only buy new.
In my opinion, you should NEVER buy a used helmet. Helmets lose their ability to protect your head as they get hits. A used helmet may have no dents or blemished, but it could have still taken a hit when the rider fell. Yes, there are some honest people who will sell quality helmets that haven’t taken hits. However you never really know how old the helmet is and what it has been through. When it comes to protecting your skull, play it safe and buy a new helmet.
Turnout Blankets and Sheets
Turnout blankets and sheets are meant to be worn outside and they are waterproof to keep horses dry during rain or snow. Over time, these blankets lose their waterproofing ability. The older the blanket, the less likely it will be waterproof. There are sprays you can buy to reboost the waterproofing of the blanket or sheet, but in my opinion, it is best to just get a new one for your horse. That way you know it is not old and has not been heavily used.
I think all grooming products such as brushes, hoof picks, and sprays should be bought new for your horse. The brushes are already hard enough to keep clean and sterilized, why add on the factor of them being used on many horses before. This one you may have a different opinion on, but I personally don’t want to brush and use products on my horse that are old and have been on many horses before. Plus, grooming products don’t run that high and they can come in kits to get all the tools you need for an even lower price.
-Hannah + Z