To those of you living in the United States, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Though, here in Canada, we don't share the same Thanksgiving day as you, we have caught on to your Black Friday. So you can bet that I'll be out and about looking for some great deals.
In the spirit of finding good deals, I thought today's post should be about finding deals when buying your tack which is something that all of us can take advantage of.
When you are shopping for some new tack or riding gear for yourself, there are a few things you need to consider: level of experience, price, quality and information.
Depending on your level of experience, you may not need to buy the top of the line. If you're just learning how to ride, chances are you can get away with things like some inexpensive rubber boots. They're easy to take care of and they won't hurt your bank as much if you decide that riding is not for you. You also probably won't need to buy any tack because you'll be riding a horse the school has and his tack is already purchased by the stable.
If you're an intermediate rider, you're more likely to buy a good pair of leather boots (possibly two pairs if you are competing) and a nice helmet. If you're leasing or you have bought your own horse, you can spend some of your money on some good tack in the colours and styles of your choice.
When you're an advanced rider, you understand that the quality can make a difference in your ride. You'll probably spend your money on a few great pairs of boots, helmets, pants and jackets. When it comes to your horse's tack, you can spend a little more to make sure it fits both him and you perfectly for a more comfortable ride.
The price of your tack and apparel also comes into effect. Granted, a less experienced rider will pay less than an advanced rider would, but you can also find some great deals. Sometimes you'll find that some tack shops will carry different brands and different prices than others. There's no harm done with shopping around. If you find a saddle or a pair of boots that you really liked, take a note of them and see if you can find a better deal somewhere else. If you can't then you can always go back to where you found them in the first place.
Remember not to compromise on quality because of the price. At a beginner level, there may not be as many options, but make sure to loot at the quality of the seams of a boot compared to another, for example. You don't want to save a couple of dollars just to have them last for a few months. Apart from riding gear, compromising quality for price is especially true for tack. Not all leather is treated equally. Some can take more abuse than others. You never want to be in a situation where your stirrup leather snaps in half while you are posting your trot. The trick is to find the right balance of quality and price that works for you.
Finally the other thing you need to remember is information. You should know as much about what you are buying before you buy it. Take the time to research and ask questions. This is especially important if you are planning on buying things online. You want to make sure you are getting exactly what you want and not something else. You can find some great deals online that you may not find in stores if you start looking.
So that is it for this week. I wish you all a wonderful weekend and thank you for reading Pure Horse Sense.
Until next time, happy riding!