My Experience with the Dover Tent Sale

Like everyone else, I was thrilled to get my flyer in the mail announcing the spring tent sale at Dover. This is a time to score great deals at up to 70% off with potential of additional discounts. Last year, I got so many useful items at the sale. This year was a bit of a different story.

I only ended up buying three items from the sale. All the other things that I needed, I had to buy full price in-store. I was in desperate need of some new breeches, a new flysheet, riding socks and fly spray to stock up on.  None of the breeches in my price range fit me. I tried on probably 5 or 6 different pairs in several sizes before I gave up. There was one fly sheet that was pony sized. The only fly masks at the sale did not have ear coverage. No socks! They had a lack of care products as well. I remember last year I got fly spray, leather oil, and hoof hardener all on sale. So disappointing! Well without further ado, I will share with you what I did buy from the sale and the items that I picked out in-store.

Tent Sale

I got Z some new sports boots for $40 that were originally $100. My old ones were starting to rub and irritate a spot on the outside of his cannon bone. Then my favorite purchase was two summer riding tanks. These are by Noble Outfitters and made in soft dry-fit material. They came in a variety of patterns and colors. I chose a purple and a blue/green design. Each of the tanks went for $20.

…that’s it.

In-Store

A fly sheet was a must and I could not leave without one. I went and looked at several options and guess what brand I decided on? Weatherbeeta! This brand is truly amazing. I’ve had great success with my medium weight blanket and turnout sheet by them. They offer high quality prices for an affordable price. The specific sheet that I got was the ComFiTex Essential Mesh II. It is light weight, yet durable.  The fly spray I ended up getting was the UltraShield Ex that comes in a black bottle. They redesigned the bottle to be able to spray in all directions, including upside down!

I got two pairs of socks. One with flamingos and one with SLOTHS! I saw those and had to have them. The brands were Ovation and Noble Outfitters, both about $10 each.

I purchased two pairs of breeches. One pair was a super score as they were originally $135, but were on a Mother’s Day deal for $41! They were the Noble Outfitters Signature Side-Zip Breeches. These are still on sale online and in-store! The other pair I got were the ribbed full-seat breeches by Tuff Rider. I’ve had great experience with these breeches in the past, so I knew it would be a good purchase. I got them in a fun, rusty blue color for about $50.

The last item I purchased was a beautiful light blue sunshirt by Ariat. In the summer, I try to ride when the sun is not at its fiercest, but sometimes I do need to ride in the afternoon when the sun is brutal. UV protection is so important and I love that this shirt protects me from the sun’s harmful rays, while keeping me cool with mesh materials. I already had this shirt in navy, so I knew I would love another one. They had one more that was in a peachy color with a horse print on it. I wanted it so bad, but I told myself I only needed to buy one, so I went with the blue since it would go with more.

In conclusion, I think we all have a love-hate relationship with Dover. They are my go to for items needed quickly and they have a great variety of products and options. They really let me down this year with the tent sale though! Maybe next time, Dover!

Happy Budgeting!

-Hannah + Z

 

My Top 10 Picks from Smartpak’s Spring Catalog

1. Piper Tights

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I love riding tights rather than breeches on hot summer days, but what really caught my eye with these was the thigh pocket. It is perfect to put your phone in while riding! I ride by myself a lot, so I always like to have my phone on my body incase of an emergency. Stuffing it into the pockets of my breeches is not comfortable and I worry about it falling out! I have seen some other tights with pockets like these, but they were well over $100. Smartpak’s Piper Tights retail for $49.95.

2.  Piper Breeches

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I have not personally tried these, but I have heard wonderful things about them and will be ordering some soon! They seem to be the perfect middle ground between cheaper breeches and the ones that will break your bank. They come in so many different fun colors. It is hard to choose just one! They are available in original or midrise, and knee patch or fullseat. Piper Breeches retail for $79.95-$89.95.

3. Horseware Competition Jacket

Ok I am obsessed with this one. Not only is it a steal to get a quality show coat for $109.95, but it comes in gorgeous colors- including one I have never seen before! It comes in a khaki with a blush pink collar and I am dying to have it. Unfortunately, if I walked in the hunter ring with that on, the judge would take one look at me and move me to the bottom of the list haha. If you do jumpers, you should definitely check out this gorgeous coat! It also comes in traditional navy and black, as well as hunter green and maroon. I am set on getting a green or maroon coat this summer!

4. Piper Long Sleeve Show Shirt

I adore the cute print options that are available on the collar and cuffs with this shirt. There are flowers, donuts, polkadots, or little foxes to choose from. On the traditional white show shirt, you can rock this in the hunter and eq rings, without showing it off to the judge! This shirt goes for $34.95, which is way cheaper than what I have been paying for show shirts in the past. I’ve got to try this one!

5. Piper Short Sleeve Polo

Who doesn’t need more summer appropriate shirts for schooling? At only $ 29.95, this polo is perfect to keep you looking sharp during your lessons or hacks!

6. Piper Long Sleeve Sun Shirt

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I’ll admit I am not religious with putting on sunscreen, even though I know it is so important! Every summer I get burnt shoulders and arms from riding in the sun, and you can’t forget the awful farmer’s tan! This sun shirt is powered by Coolcore fabric, which is known for its moisture wicking and cooling abilities. It provides SPF 50 to protect you from harmful UV rays. At $39.95, this is a must for the summer season.

7. Smartpak SmartMesh Fly Sheet

My horse is extremely bothered by flies. Even just a couple can make him moody. Last year, I had a really hard time with his fly sheet making him too hot. I didn’t know what to do because the sheet definitely repelled better than the spray, but he was getting covered in sweat! Well I realized I didn’t have a lightweight, breathable fly sheet like the SmartMesh Sheet. This sheet is made out of an entirely different material than my previous one. The mesh allows air to flow freely in and out to help keep him cool! It comes with the neck guard attachment for just $99.95. Another good alternative flysheet that is almost the exact same thing, is the Weatherbeeta ComFiTec Ripshield, also coming with the detachable neck guard for $129.95.

8. UGARD Supplement

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Guys, this stuff is life changing. 2 months ago, I started Z on this supplement, in addition to the Ulcerguard paste for treatment of ulcers. I have finished with the paste treatment and I have continued to keep him on the supplement weeks after. He is so much more of a happier horse! He was suffering from the bad ulcers and that made him extremely irritable in cross-ties and nippy throughout the whole tacking process. I can absolutely tell he is no longer in pain. If you would like more info on treating ulcers with UGARD and Ulcergard paste, I would be happy to share with you how I did it without going broke!

9. Roma ProTek Wither Relief Pad

I have used and loved Roma pads of different types for years. This one is a great addition to the barn by offering protection under your saddle. It is available in either front or back lift to fit the needs of your saddle and horse. It is black in color and made of foam material that doesn’t absorb moisture, making it easy to keep clean! This pad retails for $29.95.

10. Smartpak Small Circles AP Saddle Pad

This one reminds me very much of my circle pad from Roma. I have found the circle pattern provides much more cushion, in my opinion. Coming in a variety of fun colors, at only $19.95, this is one you don’t want to miss out on!

 

Happy Budgeting!

-Hannah + Z

Photo credits to SmartPak and Pixabay

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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

How to Save on Horse Care

Leasing or owning a horse comes with many care expenses. There are board costs, vet/farrier, dentist, feed, and wormer just to name a few. Since owning Z, I needed to come up with a plan to provide the best care for him at the lowest price. These options will not work for all horses, but these are some factors to look at when considering the care expenses of your horse.

Board

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Board is probably going to be your biggest recurring expense. I’ve seen board fees range from $250-$1000 per month. A lot depends on what services you want to come with your horse’s board. It also depends on the specific facility. Some facilities offer the same services as others for significantly cheaper. You just have to look around and compare prices and services. Pasture board and self-care board are going to be your cheapest options. I understand that these aren’t possible for all horses, but if you have the ability, I would suggest pasture boarding your horse, as long as shelter is provided such as a run-in shed. I have Z in a combination of pasture and self-care board and it has saved me so much money. He lives out with a big herd in beautiful fields, but he also gets his own stall in the barn. I decide when I want to bring him in. Most of the time, he is happier outside, but he does like to come in during heavy rain or cold weather. If you need to have full board service for your horse, my biggest piece of advice would be to look around and compare facilities. Just in my city, I know of a barn with full board service, indoor and outdoor arenas for $300 cheaper a month than another barn with the same services and only an outdoor arena. Don’t get ripped off!

Farrier

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If your horse can go barefoot, let it go barefoot!!! There is no reason to put shoes on a horse that is perfectly sound with no other issues without shoes. Paying for just a trim every 6 weeks sure beats what my friends pay for 2 or 4 shoes. If your horse needs shoes (which some do!) see if you can put 2 on the front and leave or pull off the back ones. Unless a horse has specific issues with its feet or is in a certain situation, it does not need back shoes. If your horse has 4 shoes and you do pull the back ones, be prepared for your horse to go lame for a while to get adjusted to his new feet.

Vet/Dentist

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The best way to save on vet and dentist services is to compare prices with reviews of the quality of service. Vet and dentist prices will vary on the same services per each vet and dentist. Vets and dentists usually charge a farm call fee. This is a flat rate for them just to come out to your farm. If your horse is due for vaccinations, coggins, or teeth filing, see if you can team up with other people at your barn and have them come for all the horses at once. That way you can all split the farm call fee, saving you a bit of money.

Feed and Worming

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If you have your horse in full board, feed and worming are often included in your monthly rate. If they’re not though, you need to speak with your trainers and vet to determine what feed is right for your horse. Once you know what feed you’re going to use, go buy in bulk! It seems like a lot of money up front, but it is so much cheaper in the long run. Also, ask for rewards cards. I feed Triple Crown and when I buy 10 bags, I earn 1 free. As far as worming, there are different opinions on how often a horse should be wormed. Some people say every two months. Z gets wormed every 6 months and that is what my trainer goes by as well. You give it once in the spring and once in the fall.

 

Happy Budgeting!

-Hannah + Z

What to Buy Used and New

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Tall Boots

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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.

Helmets

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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

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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.

Grooming Products

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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.

Happy Budgeting!

-Hannah + Z

Why I don’t buy pretty treats

Let me start off by saying this is in no way to bash treat companies that produce beautiful and gourmet treats. This is just my personal opinion of why I don’t buy them and how you can use your money more efficiently when purchasing treats for your horse.


I can’t lie, the treats shaped like little pizzas, cupcakes, and seasonal shapes are absolutely adorable. They take some real talent to create the artwork on them. At one point I was purchasing treats from one of these companies on a regular basis and even scored an ambassadorship with them. However, I noticed that with the amount I was spending, I was quickly running out of treats. I like to give a treat after every ride (and other times just to spoil :). I also realized while I loved to look at the cute shape and take pictures of them, my horse could not care less. He didn’t enjoy these more than any other treat I’ve given him. They go straight in his mouth without even a glance at what it is lol. This is when I decided that I was spending too much on treats just to be able to post on social media about it with cute pictures. It wasn’t even about rewarding my horse anymore. I started looking at cheaper options and I will share with you my top two favorite affordable and long-lasting treats!


My first go-to treat is the wafers and nuggets by MannaPro. They come in several different flavors like peppermint, apple, carrot spice, and butterscotch. What I love about these treats is that they come with so many in a package! Even their smallest 1 lb bag can last me a really long time. I love their different package sizings as well. Depending on where you buy from, here is about what to expect for pricing and number of treats.

Small- $5, 80 treats

Medium- $10, 300 treats

Bulk- $25-30, 700 treats

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My other go-to treat is plain old peppermints! Guys, horses love these things and you can get them anywhere! You can buy them in smaller sizes for cheaper or you can get the big buckets for around $10. My favorite is Bob’s Sweet Stripes Peppermint Candy.

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You decide your own opinion about treat choices for your horse. There is nothing wrong with deluxe treats for special occasions, but for day to day treats, they are not what I recommend. Hope this was helpful!

Happy Budgeting!

-Hannah + Z

Links:

Mannapro Treats

Bob’s Sweet Stripes