An introduction to buying on a budget. Spending wisely.
"Riding is expensive!" We hear that all the time. We say it all the time. We all know how expensive this highly addictive passion of ours is... But we don't let that stop us! Even if we're not exactly in a good spot financially.
Growing up I had to learn to stretch every dollar as far as I could. Well my parents did actually. I would wear my paddock boots till they disintegrated. My helmet was those ugly shiny plastic ones with foam inside. I only had two pairs of schooling tights despite riding every day and I saved for 4 months to buy my first pair of half chaps. At one point I even wore rubber tall boots that were to short for me for a while. I may not be proud of my "look" in photos from back then but I am proud of the lessons I've learned from it. I may have a little more financial freedom now but I still like to spend wisely.
Whether you NEED to keep things frugal in order to survive or you just like saving money where you can here are some of my top tips for budget friendly riding essentials.
- Look for value!
- Don't be afraid to buy second hand.
- Do a dupe.
- Make use of sales and coupons.
When I say look for value I don't mean picking the cheapest option. I can testify that you usually get what you pay for. But I don't mean finding the best materials and most high tech options either. It's not always necessary. By value I mean the best bang for your buck. Especially when it comes to durability like with gloves and boots. Don't get something loosely stitched or where you can see the glue. It won't last. Spend a few bucks extra for the next step up.
But if your concern is mostly style for example if your in the market for a Helmet be sure to get one that is ASTM certified. Helmets can range from $45.00 to $1,500! Granted you want to find something light, comfortable and flattering. But you don't need to spend $500.00 to fit that criteria. However I can understand not wanting to look unprofessional in a run of the mill low end cheapie helmet either. There are tons of helmets out there that are in the midrange price that get the job done but still look classy.
Buying second hand is nothing to be ashamed of or apprehensive to do. And sometimes its all you can do when you need something specific that is a pricey item such as a saddle. It's also a great option if you want to boost your collection of something you use everyday like schooling breeches.
But where does one find second hand riding gear you may ask...
There are lots of options. You could join Equestrian Facebook groups that buy and sell riding gear. I have found good deals on Instagram too. Ebay is an option too. But there are quite a few equestrian websites dedicated to buying and selling equestrian gear specifically - like Styled Equine! As always use a secure payment method such a paypal.
But if you can't find a deal that suits you or you prefer to buy something new do a dupe! Seriously. Lots of "generic" or in house brands do some pretty nice dupes of higher end pricier stuff. Again make sure its good quality. But I have some generic dupe breeches that have held up for 5+ years!
Whether you choose to do a dupe or splurge on the real deal always watch out for sales and make use of coupons! Just about every tack store large or small has a newsletter you can sign up for to receive all the sale adds and coupon/promo codes. I know its a pain to get bombarded with emails but if you have to make an email account just for these because they can save you $$$. I usually wait till blankets go on sale and then use a promo code on top of that so I can get the best deal possible on what I need.
Thank you to Gabriela for contributing this blog. You can follow her journey on her blog, The Gallop To Greatness.