WHERE CAN YOU FIND"AFFORDABLE RIDING GEAR!?"
Is there such a thing?
Well, let me tell you how it began for me.
When I started lesson training, for some reason, I had this notion in my mind that all riders wore Polo shirts and breeches?! So that, was what I was heading out to the stores to buy! With my small clothes budget of $100. I went down to my local Target and bought 4 cotton Polo shirts and 3 pairs of knee high socks (In a variety of colors) Total=$58. Breeches unfortunately, are not sold in Target! so for those I popped into my local saddle shop, Olsen Nolte for my breeches, helmet, a pair of heel boots. Here is where the reality of the sport I had just joined, hit my wallet like a smack across the face! If I thought I was going to get away with purchasing all new riding gear on a tuppence of $100. I was was mistaken! In fact, if I knew then what I know now I would have told myself to forget any budget! The key to saving money on riding clothing is to buy quality clothing and gear that will last you until you can't patch up the holes anymore! Which is what I came to terms with and did. All in all, I spent close to $470 (which isn't that bad!) and my horde included 4-shirts/3-socks/1 pair of paddock boots/1 pair of Tuff Rider breeches/ 1 pair of half-chaps and a helmet. Thanks Olsen Note for starting me out on the right foot! They have great quality tack and clothing for shows, mucking around the barn and about everthing else you can think of for that "Must have now" buyer.
Tailored Sportsman Breeches,Contrast Patch Trophy Hunter Breeches and Kastel Denmark Shirt "They are all so comfortable!"- Leah Feliz
Don't miss-understand me. One can ride and own a horse on a semblance of a budget (I'll write an article on that later!) and there are plenty of was to do it! without your horse or your wallet scraping the bottom of the trough. With that said, there is a saying going around that "All horse owners work to feed their horses!" and in some respect that is true.
As a horse owner and rider I want the best quality gear i can afford for myself and my horse. Buying cheap is a conscious choice! and you will most likely get what you pay for! You will most likely end up replacing that cheap item in the short term then if you made an investment now and bought good quality. There are a few item out there I don't mind buying cheap, like my cotton polo shirts and socks for example they are going to get dirty, need to go into the washer multiply times and the only place I will be wearing them is to the barn so cotton t-shirts and socks from Target were by far my cheapest and best buy! The truth of it is, I could have searched a bit harder on the internet for the items purchased above, I could have bought used boots/half chaps and breeches. (Not the helmet! Always buy a NEW helmet!) or even looked on Craigslist. There are always former riders looking to sell their good stuff! But I wanted new and I wanted it now, and so I got it. And it cost me! That was my reality.
Ariat Pro-Performer Paddock boots and classic half chaps "The quality of the half-chaps has decreased a bit in recent years. I have a pair for the barn and a pair for fashion. I have 4 pairs currently. I can't seem to let go them well worn!"- Lisa Frey
Last month article "Challenges for Plus Size Riders" - by Katherine Shelton, showed another side to the struggle, I had not thought of. I took for granted (being of average size) that I can pop down to my local saddlery to satisfying my need to impulse buy a variety of brands that many cannot. They must wait and or buy online, and choices are slim. There are few brands and a lot of in store retailers dont carry plus sizes in their favorite brands and styles. Let's not forget about the junior riders out there? Where as I am an adult, those poor parents! their kids are still growing! What an expense that must be! But as mentioned before if you buy good quality it will last you! I would even go as so far, as to say that (if your an adult!) if you find a brand or style that you like, if you can afford it buy 2! that way your set for at least a year or two!
What are your favorite brands?