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

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

Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 8.37.39 PM

 

 

 

 

 

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

Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 8.42.31 PM

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

Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 8.44.53 PM

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

Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 8.49.13 PM

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

Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 8.53.36 PM

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

Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 8.50.47 PM

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

Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 8.56.38 PM

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

Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 8.57.39 PM

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

Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 8.58.46 PM.png

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

My Top Picks from Dover’s Winter Sale

Dover has launched their annual winter sale with items being up to 75% off! I have gone through and picked out the items that I think are the best deals for their price. I even have the links for you to take you directly to the item’s page on the Dover site.

Breeches

Riding Sport Ladies Plaid Pocket 

Riding Sport Plaid Pocket Full Seat

Dover Basic Knee Patch Breech

Clothing

Riding Sport Ladies Quilted Vest

Devon Aire Ladies Concour Elite Show Coat

Riding Sport Laced Belt

AriatTek Performance Socks

For your horse

Dover Honeycomb Chill Chaser

Rider’s International Quilted Saddle Pad with Piping

Dumor Halter

Hamilton Halter

Dover Bright Spun Lead

Dover Nylon Lead

Dover Cotton Lead

Happy Budgeting!

-Hannah + Z