Horses are expensive. There’s feed, vet bills, and boarding costs, plus all that tack and equipment. Plus, sometimes you just want some new things, whether or not you technically need them, which means you love a good sale. Sometimes, though, low prices and bargain-basement sales can make you a little nervous. After all, that inexpensive horse tack you’re considering not only needs to look nice. It also needs to keep you and your horse safe. So how can you tell if you’re getting a great deal or just getting taken for a ride?
You can get some great products from off-brands or small companies you’ve never heard of, but if the prices seem too good to be true, it’s worth looking a little closer. If you don’t know the brand, do a little research into the manufacturer, looking for information on production techniques, business practices, and user reviews. Purchasing an unknown brand at a deep discount from a well-respected company or website can also be a good sign, as that retailer has hopefully done their research and stands behind the product. If you’re purchasing your tack from a discount site, do some research into how they get their stock, such as whether they’re a reseller for overstocked items or how they evaluate products they accept on consignment.
Shopping In Person
If you’re at an auction or perusing the resale section of your local tack shop, try to inspect the products just like you would the equipment in your own tack room. Check out the stitching, looking for any loose threads or places that have been repaired. Inspect the leather for any areas that have excess wear or pieces that appear loose, and check for structural integrity in hidden pieces like the horn or tree on your saddle. After all, no price is a great deal on tack that doesn’t keep you safe, secure, and on your horse where you belong.