Tips from Western Rider Danielle

Danielle is an equestrian in grad school with three horses. She trains in natural horsemanship and competes with her horses in trail/obstacle classes and western dressage. She too knows the struggles of affording the equestrian lifestyle and has some tips to offer for our western riders out there. We can all learn something new from someone who rides in a different discipline than ourselves. I’d love to see more equestrians banding together to support each other across all of the different sports we do with our horses. Despite our differences, we can all be brought together by our love of the horse.

“I want people to know they can still look good at shows and not have to buy exclusively from big brands like Dover and Smartpak. Support local businesses like consignment stores! ”

Danielle got her helmet and rag from Amazon. She advises to shop Amazon for sales and discounts, instead of going to your big name retailer. She paid $20 less than retail price for her helmet on Amazon. For rags, Danielle says to search “silk scarves”. Hers was $9 compared to Wild Rag’s price of $40.

Her boots are both scores from thrift stores, with the riding boots costing $11 and the paddock/muck boots for $10.  Her western shirt? – Boyfriend’s closet.

Some other tips she has include putting baby oil in manes and tails before brushing as a cheaper alternative to detangler. She also says climbing rope is the strongest rope around and is great to use for reins and lead ropes.

Thanks for all the great tips Danielle!

You can follow her on Instagram @artofrescuecounseling

Happy Budgeting!

-Hannah + Z

Top Ten Fashion Picks from Dover’s Spring Catalog

I love spring time! That means out with the dark and rusty and in with the colorful and vibrant! Here are the top ten affordable clothing items that stood out to me in Dover’s new spring catalog.

1. Ariat Sunstopper 1/4 Zip Print Shirt

Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 10.41.30 AM.png

Sun shirts are life in the spring and summer! They keep you cool, while protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. I have this same shirt in a solid navy and wear it all the time. I love the pop of the light blue color and the cute print on this new version! Coming in at $54.95, Ariat always fairly prices their sun shirts compared to competitor brands.

2. CoolBlast Sleeveless Shirt by Dover

Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 10.45.37 AM.png

Sometimes you just have to go sleeveless in the intense heat of the south. I love how this tank still keeps you looking professional, but provides fresh air and ventilation with CoolBlast technology. Priced at $49.00

3. Riding Sport Essential Polo Shirt by Dover

Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 10.53.06 AM.png

You can’t beat this price of $29.00 for a comfy and classic polo! Perfect for lessons or a casual hack. It comes in some gorgeous colors too including- Aster Purple, Chambray, Light Grey, and Navy.


4. Tredstep Symphony Paris Show Shirt

Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 10.57.52 AM.png

This show shirt is made of breathable material to keep you cool on those long hot show days. The mesh on the underside of the arms provides extra air flow. I love the little (hidden) pop of color you get on the inside of the collar and cuffs. In the hunter world, it’s nice to be able to express your style in a discreet way! This shirt comes in the blush color pictured above and also a sky blue. Priced at $59.95.


5. RJ Classics Devon Show Coat

Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 11.06.40 AM.png

This is my show coat! I love it because it is a quality brand, looks professional, and is completely affordable. I have it in the navy, but it is also available in black. Priced at $139.00, this is a deal you won’t regret! If anyone has any specific questions about this coat, I’d be happy to answer them. I have worn it at summer and winter shows.

6. Horseware Competition Coat

Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 11.09.28 AM.png

I don’t know about you guys, but I have been digging the show coat colors popping up that slightly veer away from the traditional navy and black. I’ve seen light grey, lighter blues, burgundy, and hunter green more recently at shows then ever before. I have been craving a burgundy or hunter green coat, and when I saw this one came in it, I was so excited! This coat goes for only $109.95 and is an extremely affordable option.

7. New Riding Sport By Dover Essential Breech

Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 11.22.45 AM.png

I have always worn the Riding Sport breeches, as I have found they are an affordable quality breech that will stand up to heavy use. They are comfortable and stretchy. Dover has redesigned them and I am loving the new logo! There is a cute little horse head on the top right hip. They have integrated EquiTru Rise technology that helps the breeches better form and stay formed to your body. They are offered in a variety of colors, including this bright strawberry that I may just have to try! $49.00

8. New Riding Sport by Dover Essential Full Seat

Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 11.26.02 AM.pngScreen Shot 2019-04-02 at 11.26.13 AM.png

The same features as the Essential Breech, but with a full silicone seat. The full seat has even been redone in a bit by bit pattern. So unique! $59.00

9. Ariat Sunstopper Show Shirt


Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 11.35.28 AM.png

Another sun shirt by Ariat that I proudly own! This shirt comes only in the classic white and is perfect for hunters. I can honestly say it has helped to keep me cool under my show coat in hot weather. You can not go wrong with any of Ariat’s sun shirts! $49.95 is a steal for a quality sleeved show shirt.


10. Ovation Zocks

Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 11.47.09 AM.png

Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 11.46.47 AM.png

These boot socks are adorable! I love how they come in so many different creative patterns. They just released a few new patterns as well including flamingos and foxes! These remind me a lot of the Dreamers & Schemers socks, but for about half the price! $9.95 vs $17.99.

(All photo credits to Dover Saddlery)
Happy Budgeting!
-Hannah + Z


Tack Trunk Tour

Here’s a list of the products in my trunk that I shared in my tour video… Be sure to check it out on IGTV and leave me a comment!

Husky Trunk

File Crate

SHE products

Cowboy Magic Show Shine

Cowboy Magic Yellow Out

Mane and Tail

Endure Fly Spray

Leather New

Boot Bag

Helmet Bag

Manna Pro Treats

Bob’s Sweet Stripes

Corona Ointment

Vetrolin Bath Shampoo

Vetrolin Liniment 

Happy Budgeting!

-Hannah + Z

Riding in College

I know many of today’s equestrians are in high school. If you are, chances are you’ve thought “What am I going to do about riding in college??” There are many different paths you can take, so first decide what you want to do, what your funds look like, and how much time you think you have. Better yet, how well do you manage your time?


Many colleges have IHSA equestrian teams. I personally did not ride on my college’s team due to the time commitment. If you think you will have the time or think you can balance riding with school and work, then IHSA is a great way to continue riding throughout college without all the responsibilities that come with owning or leasing your own horse. You will get the opportunity to ride a wide range of different horses and hone in on your equitation skills! I’m not sure about all colleges, but at mine the riders were only required to pay for their own show clothing… everything else was covered!

Half Lease

Committing to team practices, workouts, traveling, shows, and meetings may sound like too much for you to keep up with at college. A half lease is a great option if you are still wanting to ride a few times a week. Look around for local barns near your campus and see if you can find a horse available for a half lease. This option is more time manageable. However, keep in mind that half leases typically run around the price for half of board.

Weekly Lessons

Another thing you can do at a local barn is take weekly lessons. This only requires one day of the week of your time, but your riding skills will stay up to par! Plus you’ll be getting that horsey time we all crave. Sticking to weekly lessons is also much more affordable than a half lease.

Your own thing on your own time

Now for the option that I chose… a modge-podge of things on my own time. I rode at my home barn whenever I came home from college. Whether it was for the weekend or on a break, you could always catch me back at my old barn. I had many riding opportunities here such as helping hack greenies and earning lessons/rides for helping around the farm. Sometimes I went for long periods of time without returning home so I had to find some way to ride in between. I did a couple things to get in some riding, while at college. I found a local barn and took lessons when I could afford it and had the time. I also put out an ad on Facebook detailing my experience and asking if anyone was looking for an exercise rider for their horse(s). I stated I would exercise their horses for free, just in the exchange of getting the riding time! I got SO many responses from individual owners and ended up riding a lady’s OTTB gelding a couple times a week for her one year.

Let me know if you have specific questions about how I managed time and money for riding or how I got different opportunities set up. I’d be happy to help out!

Happy Budgeting!

-Hannah + Z

Buying a Saddle

Whether you’re looking to buy your first or just for an upgrade, searching for a saddle can be very overwhelming. There are so many different brands and dealers out there, all throwing seemingly very similar products out there for extremely wide ranges of costs, availability, and quality. Don’t let the high price tags scare you though. You don’t have to spend thousands to get a long lasting saddle. I sure didn’t! I’ll share with you a few tips I have for you when you go saddle hunting.

Look Local

If you have any locally owned or small business tack shops in your area, I would definitely recommend starting there. This is where I got my saddle at and had a great experience! (If you’re in the North Georgia area by me, I highly suggest you go check out Hamp’s Tack & Supplies.) These shops usually have dealer licenses, which allow them to purchase the saddles as the whole sale price, but without jacking up the price like chain shops, such as Dover, when they go to sell. Buying from small businesses also means a more personal experience, where they are more willing to work with you to help you find exactly what you need in your specific situation. Some take payment plans and many will allow you to try the saddle on your horse before purchasing. My saddle was listed at Dover for $1000 and I paid hundreds less by purchasing at a locally owned tack store. I was able to take the saddle on a trial and instill a payment plan. Whenever I am in need of a new saddle, this is the route I will take again!

Buy Used

Don’t be afraid to buy used! People outgrow saddles and end up with different horses, so many need to sell their saddle so they can get one that better fits them. A lot of the time these saddles are not heavily used and in great condition! You can see huge price drops between the brand new amount versus the used. I wouldn’t suggest buying a very old and worn saddle if you are looking for something to last you a long time, however, there is no reason that well taken of saddles cannot serve a second purpose to a new person. Look for M.Toulouse, Pessoa, and BT Crump!

Know your brands

Do your research and know which brands you are interested in and which ones you are not. It’s good to know ahead of time which saddles are out of your price range so that when you start to shop, stores do not pressure you into purchasing one that you are not in a position to. It’s also important to know which “cheaper” brands out there to stay away from due to poor quality. I love a good deal, but not if it isn’t going to be worth while! Have a plan of which saddles you are interested in before approaching a seller. My saddle is an HDR and I love it! A couple other brands I would recommend new are Wintec and Circuit. Stay away from cheap starter kits from brands like Silver Fox and Camelot.


I hope this helps you in your saddle search!

Happy Budgeting!

-Hannah + Z

Breeches and Riding Pants

Can someone tell me why there are breeches out there that cost hundreds of dollars?? I’ve heard great things about some of the high-end brands like Tailored Sportsman, but if you’re on a budget like me, you’re looking for an affordable price without sacrificing good quality.  I’ve tried a couple cheaper options that I would not recommend due to poor quality.  However, there are three brands of breeches and other riding pants that I wear and would recommend purchasing!

Riding Sport by Dover

Screen Shot 2019-03-09 at 2.19.13 PM

This is my favorite brand of breeches for many reasons. Dover always puts out quality products. Their breeches are made of strong material and meant to last. They have a variety of options from fun colors to different styles. They have a basic riding pant that I would recommend for casual schooling. Full-seat breeches can sometimes run a high dollar. The Riding Sport Full Seat Breeches are a great option for an affordable price.I have worn mine for over a year now. Lastly, they also have breeches with more of the competitor look to help you shine in the show ring! Definitely check these out at your local Dover store on online their website.

Devon Aire

Screen Shot 2019-03-09 at 2.20.37 PM

I picked up a pair of these last second for a show one time and they have never let me down! I love the ribbed material and the stitching on the knee patches. These are breathable and perfect for summer. Always under $100, Devon Are delivers a quality riding pant for a very affordable price.

Tuff Rider

Screen Shot 2019-03-09 at 2.29.46 PM.png

Let me start by saying that I only recommend a couple of the riding pants products from Tuff Rider. I have had great success with these two styles and I would advise you to stick to them when shopping the brand. Their ribbed breeches are great quality and I have used them for showing. They have a very sleek and clean look with a subtle logo printed on the knee patches. Tuff Rider also offers a ventilated riding tight. These things are incredible! They are made of dry-fit material with ventilation along the outsides of the legs and silicone grips on the insides. These are so comfortable and easy to slip on and go. My favorite to ride in during the summer!

Tuff Rider offers a variety of products, but I would not recommend their starter breeches or any of their pull-on breeches. I have found they easily rip and acquire holes after only a few rides. This is due to the material being so thin. They are very easy to break at the seams.


You can find Devon Are and TuffRider at Dover, Stateline Tack, and Amazon. Let me know if you try one of these for the first time…I’d love to hear how it works out for you!


Happy Budgeting!

-Hannah + Z

Rider Spotlight: Bailey Petronis

Meet Bailey Petronis! She’s the recent winner of my silly horse photo contest, and if you haven’t seen her winning entries, you seriously need to go look at them now lol.

Bailey is 12 years old and in the 7th grade. This year she will be showing her pony Picasso in hunters and horse Tonto in jumpers. She knows its a hard year ahead with a lot of new things to learn, but she’s so excited! It will be so fun! Bailey loves all animals, especially her dogs.

You can keep up with Bailey’s adventures on Instagram by following her at @my5geldings.

Thanks for being in my first rider spotlight ever Bailey!

Happy Budgeting!

-Hannah + Z