Quality On A Budget: Buying The Tack Of Your Dreams
Since the invention of social media, brand awareness has increased tenfold. This is especially true in the equine industry. It is so easy to scroll down Instagram and day dream over the tack of your idols and peers. Often, when it comes time to buy new tack we gravitate towards the brands others speak highly of. So, what happens when your dream tack doesn't match your budget?
The fact of the matter is that most equestrians are operating within a budget and cannot simply go out and buy customized tack on any given day. Does this mean that owning your dream tack isn't realistic? Of course not! It just means that you have to get savvy with your money and know where to look.
Lets first talk saddles. Now, for most people this is the most expensive tack item they ever purchase. That being said, my first bit of advice is BE PICKY! Saddles, if taken care of properly can last well over 10 years. So, when you purchase one know that you're making an investment. With the plethora of brands available, how do you make a decision on what is best for you? This is where my second tip comes in, talk to your trainer and fellow barn members. Ask if it would be okay to sit in their saddle; this gives you an opportunity to test out how different brands work for you. More often than not your trainer and peers will be more than happy to let you hack in their saddle. Take this time to evaluate the feel of the saddle. Do you feel balanced? Are you secure? Do you feel as if the saddle is putting you into a chair seat? Do you feel as if you're tipping too far forward? While you may not be the same seat size, flap length, or flap forwardness as your peers it is fairly easy to determine which brand or two you feel the most comfortable in.
Now that you know which brand(s) fit your needs and desires best what is the next step? This is when I suggest that you take the time to look on sites such as Facebook and eBay to see what is out there within your desired brand and budget. While sellers from sites like Facebook and eBay give you all of the information they can, it is imperative to remember that they do not specialize in selling saddles and may not be able to fully inform you about small fit details that can make or break a saddles fit. This could potentially mean that you are cutting into your budget every time you ship in a saddle that doesn't work. My tried and true advice is to go with a reputable company whose priority is ensuring your purchase meets your criteria. They can help you compare brands based off of your needs and budget before you ship a saddle in on trial. My personal two favorite companies are Bonjour Tack and Highline Tack and Apparel.
Bonjour Tack, located in Springdale Arkansas, specializes in affordable high quality preowned English saddles. Covering the disciplines of hunters, jumpers, equitation, eventing, endurance, and dressage, they almost always have a saddle for every rider! Customers can also consign or trade in their current tack when purchasing new items to help cut down the purchase price. On top of selling saddles, they provide their customers with a variety of other preowned horse tack and brand-name apparel. When shopping at Bonjour Tack remember to mention that you follow the Hairnets and Breeches Blog for a discount on your next purchase! Even if you are not currently in the market for new tack be sure to follow Bonjour Tack on Facebook and Instagram, to be the first to know when new tack becomes available! For Bonjour Tack's Facebook page click here and to follow their Instagram click here! Below are just some of the awesome deals they have!
2017 Voltaire Lexington
2008 CWD se02
Medium Wide Tree
Another absolute favorite company of mine is Highline Tack and Apparel! They're located in Chapel Hill, NC and specialize in high end preowned English tack! Highline Tack and Apparel supplies its clients with exceptional budget-friendly saddles and tack for the hunter, jumper, eventer, and dressage rider. On top of tack, they have a wide range of gently used top of the line show quality apparel. Highline Tack and Apparel is consistently a favorite among equestrians by providing their customers with...
Saddle fitting assistance for horse/rider
Payment plans that work with every budget
Trials on all saddles
Consignment and trade-in options
Another really great thing about Highline Tack and Apparel is their dedication to keeping up with emerging trends within the industry by having employees located in the United States and Europe! When purchasing, be sure to mention that you follow the Hairnets and Breeches Blog for a free Highline Tack and Apparel hat! To stay up to date with the industries trends and to be the first to know about new tack follow them on Facebook here and on Instagram here! Checkout some of their great deals below.
2013 Butet Premium $3475
Seat Style M (semi-deep)
Flap: 1.5 (forward)
Flap Length: 12.75"
This saddle fits with the current trends within todays industry! By giving you a close contact feel but remaining extremely stable Butet's are always a favorite for professionals and amateurs alike!
Seat Style: Partition (semi-deep)
Flap: 4A (comparable to a 2A in CWD)
Flap Length: 13.5"
Another popular and more affordable French made saddle! Cut-Back sweat flap provides rider with lots of stability. Fits a majority of horses exceptionally well!
2004 Devoucoux Biarritz $2000
Flap: 2 (standard/straight)
Flap Length: 12.75
Gullet measurement: 4.75" (medium-wide)
This particular make/model is popular in the hunters! Gives riders excellent stability, and many prefer the narrow twist this brand provides.
2005 Devoucoux Makila $2,475
Flap Length: 14.5"
Many riders love the narrow twist and cushy seat this brand provides.
Now, for those who are looking for tack items such as bridles I have a great recommendation for you too! If you join the Facebook group Mosso Cavallo you will have the opportunity to buy high quality bridles in advance at special rates prior to them becoming public. This is a great way for anyone on a budget to be able to afford top of the line bridles they may otherwise be unable to afford.