Monday, May 3, 2010

Saddles, Tack, Repairs, Oh My!

Have you ever thought about the high costs that go into your horse operation? Whether it’s a new saddle, blankets, or equipment repairs, costs do add up. Equipment and tack ranks high in the expense list, but by following a few tips you might be able to slash expenditures.

Horses seem to have an endless demand of newer equipment. As your animal grows, it outgrows blankets, harnesses, and other tack. What is your first response to outgrown equipment? Well most horse owners tend to run off to their nearest tack shop to buy the newest equipment. Instead, how about calling your tack shop and asking if they have a consignment section. Consignments are great for buying saddles, bridles, blankets, and much more. Another great outlet is the internet. Check out online auctions for bargains on horse equipment. You may find the gear you need for half the price online. Some stores whether it be online or in your neighborhood, put equipment on sale at the end of the seasons. Be a bargain shopper and buy during these times to get the best deals on all your necessities.

How about all that equipment in your stable? When is the last time you did some spring cleaning? Do you really need all ten of those blankets? Why not earn some money by selling some of that nearly new equipment in your barn? You can even use those online auction sites to sell your equipment. Earn some cash to buy some other equipment that you need for your operation. Or why not have a tack swap meet for all of your horse friends. Invite your friends to bring unwanted tack to a gathering. This is a great way to get newer equipment by not paying full price.

Learn how to do as much as possible on your own. This includes repairs, cleaning, and polishing. Sometimes it is not necessary to replace your equipment with the newer version when something rips or brakes. Equipment that rips, can easily be hand sewn back together instead of buying new. Often times harnesses, halters, and bridles become tarnished over time. Many folks recommend a ‘special solution’ that could break the bank. There is no need to buy polish; all you need is a little baking soda and vinegar. This homemade recipe will be excellent for your equipment, environment, and of course your wallet. It also doesn’t hurt to keep your equipment clean and oiled. It is not only much easier to work with equipment that is clean, but it will also probably save you money on repairs. After you have cleaned the brass with your homemade polish recipe, try cleaning your own rugs and blankets as well. Shampoo, toothbrush, towels, and a little bit of extra scrubbing will go a long way when it comes to cleaning on a budget.

So next time you are evaluating your horse costs, remember there are ways to decrease your bills. Don’t make yourself crazy by thinking about all the high costs. Evaluate all expenses and determine if there are ways to cut back. You may be able to find equipment and tack for less, all you need to do is a little research.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you provide some info for dairy producers supplementing minerals for dry cows on pasture?

Thank you!