When I first got my horse, I wasn’t exactly rolling in cash. Let’s face it, I’m still not! I’m sure you are in the same place. Saving money on your horse’s needs is important to be able to afford the necessities for you and your horse. It’s no secret that horses are expensive! So what’s a less than fabulously wealthy horse person to do? Avoid going broke, try these 6 tips to save money on your horse needs (and still buy quality) items for your horse.
1. Shop Clearance Sales
What’s the best thing about tack stores? Tack store sales! End of season clearance sales are the best for getting cheap, brand name items at half (or even less) than their normal retail price. Clearances are my favorite time to get next year’s blankets or other things I know Mud Pony will need. The key to clearance sales is to think ahead. You will be buying your items at the end of the season you will need them. You also need to be okay with having last year’s model. Those blankets I scored an amazing deal on? Yeah, last years. Does my horse care? No. Be warned, if you want a specific color or pattern it can be hard to find. The same with sizes, sometimes you have to settle to get that amazing deal!
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Looking for good sales? VTO Saddlery you can score great deals!
2. Buy Used
When it comes to tack, sometimes used is better! To save money on your horse’s tack used tack is an affordable option. You might have champagne tastes and a beer budget, but you still can get that used County saddle you’ve had your eye on. Used tack has other benefits too, namely no break in times! It’s not perfect however, be careful when buying used tack to make sure it’s in good working order. It’s especially important to pay close attention to a used saddle’s condition – especially the tree! Broken saddle trees are automatic do not buys! THey are not safe and cannot be reliably repaired.
3. Buy in Bulk
There is a reason bulk retailers are so popular: you can save money. This applies to both human needs and equine needs. Buying in bulk is great for things like hay, and wormer. Gather your barn friends together and go in on a few round bales or a load of hay together. You can usually get a bulk discount on items like this and end up saving a good bit of money. Also, check out the bulk retailers of human goods for things your horse might need, like oil for their feed!
4. Shop Around
Prices vary by store and location, so be sure to shop around for the best deals. A little research before you head out the door or place an order online can help you save money. Don’t forget to include shipping when you are taking a look at online prices. They sure can seem tempting, but sometimes that shipping makes it cheaper to buy those items at a slightly higher price at your neighborhood tack or feed store.
Shopping online? There are resources to help you score the best deals! I love the browser add on Price Blink, it automatically helps you find cheaper items and discount codes!
Many online tack stores offer automation services for items you will probably buy often. Things like wormer, supplements, even common grooming supplies all may be cheaper if you commit to an order every month or two. If you know you will be reusing a product month after month, look into autoship options. This is not only very useful (never run out of supplements again!) but quite cost-effective! As a long distance horse-mom, automation is a life saver! I love the satisfaction of knowing my horse will never run out of supplements because every month they are automatically ordered and shipped right to the barn. The peace of mind is well worth it!
6. Don’t Be A Brand Snob
Ouch. It hurts, I know. But if Parlantis aren’t in your budget, they aren’t in your budget (unless maybe you can find them used – see item #2). No matter your price point everyone has a budget. Brand names may be cool or trendy or in, but there are many different brands that don’t have the glamor but still offer quality products. Less expensive brands still carry good quality items. Don’t overlook them because they don’t carry the brand name you want or your favorite cool equestrians use. Choose quality items that will last you a decent amount of time in a price range you can afford. Look beyond the brand name to the performance of the product and the value you get for the cost you pay.
Horses are expensive, but there are ways you can make the horse habit more affordable. There are plenty of ways you can save money on horse care essentials if you take a little time to shop around, browse the clearance section, or choose used over new. I love nothing better than pampering my horse with things I scored an amazing deal on, I get double satisfaction from knowing I’m giving him the best care I can, while not going broke in the process. More money saved leads to more money to spend on horses or something like that, right?