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The tack room

any tips for saving £££ ?

32 replies

MitchyInge · 26/07/2009 14:34

Just wondering where, how or if any of you cut any financial corners with your horses? Would like to trim enough from current outgoings to get new pony on loan (one interntational sideways showjumper horse between 4 of us is just not working!).

Are there cheaper alternatives to stuff like Blue Chip, Cortaflex for example, but that are as good? Do you hunt around for second hand bits of tack/body protectors? Try to improve your riding by yourself/with friends instead of paying for lessons? Sell off unwanted rugs? Or do you trim the £££ from other areas of your lives? Or are you all stinky rich?

OP posts:
horseymum · 26/07/2009 19:54

My horse is out on loan just now so not costing me anything but i was generally quite stingy when I had her - she just got the basics and nothing fancy. What I bought was good quality just didn't have 10 different types of the same thing! I think looking to see what are really essentials helps. I wouldn't buy second hand body protectors but maybe tack if i was sure it was good quality - otherwise tis false economy and getting better stuff to last longer is cheaper in the long run.
My horse had the least amount of equipment of all my friends! Was lucky that she is very good doer so didn't cost much in feed, kept shoes on well etc.

Owls · 26/07/2009 20:53


Mmmm. Thinks. Shoes? Could you get by with a trim instead? Keeping at grass? If stabled feed hay not haylege. Straw not shavings. Rubber matting then you will cut down on bedding altogether. Agree with horseymum no to second hand body protectors/hats. Must admit I always use Blue Chip but have never tried anything else. Not much help really. Sorry.

Although if you're getting one on loan I think you will find the extra cost just gets absorbed somehow. And the mantra is "I have horses there will never be enough money". What are you thinking of getting?

I think you should arrange a nationwide tour for the sideways jumper!

kormachameleon · 26/07/2009 21:00

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pixel · 26/07/2009 21:47

We try and co-ordinate our routine vet visits for jabs and teeth with other people so we share the call-out fee, plus our vet practice gives a 5% discount if we pay on the day rather than waiting for the bill, so it's worth asking about that.

LadyOfWaffle · 26/07/2009 21:57

Basic feed - mix it yourself. Second hand tack (bar saddles if you have a very unique horse), second hand good quality rugs, sell anything you don't need. No lessons, get friends to look at your position etc., get schooling exercises from the net. Straw rather than shavings, or rubber matting is a good investment. What do you spend out on at the moment?

Pixel · 26/07/2009 22:26

Make yourself a kit for mending rugs with some good strong needles, thread, pliers, thimble etc.(we got some nylon thread from an outdoor shop that is usually for mending sails, it doesn't rot). If you sew up small tears or loose fittings as soon as they occur, rather than let them get worse, you can really extend the life of your rugs.
Also, if you do end up having to chuck out a rug, keep the leg straps, clips etc and some of the material for replacements and patching on your others.

MitchyInge · 26/07/2009 23:08

loads of ideas, thanks! I forget about sharing call-out fee, fell foul of that last week

have got all last year's rug disasters to sell, barely used - might get a few £ for them?

we're living out at the moment so costs are at their lowest - shoes last twice as long (6 weeks instead of 3 when stabled ) they're always worn out but we go nakey on the back feet anyway.

I only need an extra £200 a month to cover the loan, everything included, no vet fees or farrier to pay - it's not a fortune is it? am going to write everything down but I suspect we pay that out in lessons alone

OP posts:
MitchyInge · 26/07/2009 23:09

she's a very pretty sec B

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Loshad · 26/07/2009 23:11

Bluechip/other expensive feed balancers totally non essential and really expensive - look at the vit/min content - feedmarks basic (sorry can't remember it's name atm - sunday night wine) has a higher level of most than the balancers, partic if you are already feeding cortaflex. add a bit of veg oil it you really want to.
Buy hay/haylage/straw in bulk off field from farmers - saves a fortune.
Every time you want to buy the horse something ask yourself if you really need it - wait a week ot two - do you still really need it or have youy managed without it.
Deffo second hand tack - both my saddles (1 jumping, 1 dressage before you think i'm super loaded) were bought second hand and fit really well and are comfortable to ride in, just a little more time and effort to source. Mare only has one bridle - change bit between phases at ODE's.
Add a week onto shoeing cycle if feet are good - ie go to 7 rather than 6 weeks - long term savings rather than immediate.
An old one i haven't used for years was to ride to vets for booster jabs - saves ££'s if logistically possible (no longer the case)

MitchyInge · 26/07/2009 23:19

"Every time you want to buy the horse something ask yourself if you really need it - wait a week ot two - do you still really need it or have youy managed without it."

I think this alone will save me quite a bit, and not just when it comes to the horse!

Have been thinking of knocking the blue chip on the head anyway, not least because Project Topline turned into Project Belly depressingly quickly

OP posts:
Loshad · 26/07/2009 23:27

deffo knock blue chip on head, it's so not worth the cash - apols about awful typing

MitchyInge · 26/07/2009 23:34

am in no position to accept apologies about other people's typing

well that's about £20 a month (I think a bag lasts us 2 months) we'll save straight away!

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alicecrail · 29/07/2009 16:52


Ours are run on a budget (had to compromise to move to a better yard)

We use Sharp Nutrition Pure Grow 28 instead of BC and i think it works much better. It costs £9 a sack as opposed to £36 for BC

We have rubber matting and straw which we buy huge bales of for £16 (he might even deliver out your way) and big bales of hay that are £50 but are over half a tonne.

I get feed from a local company Rands and Wilson (again, may be close to you) that make their own mixes that are great and cheaper by about £2 - £3 a bag.

I don't have lessons as such. But if i am having problems with anything, my grandma comes up to help me. Could you have a lesson every 2-3weeks instead? (i'm sorry i couldn't see how often you were having them) and ask for homework?

Both our horses only have front shoes on as well.

MitchyInge · 30/07/2009 10:03

ah the rubber matting, definitely getting some this winter (out in summer) to save on shoes if nothing else

most stuff is included in my livery, it's just extras really, DIY wouldn't be cheaper at this yard as we get substantial discount in return for use in riding school

I was having several hours of lessons each week, some subsidised as part of an Otley college course, some free as guinea pig student for teacher training sessions, and one paid for - I should be able to ride by now but it seems that just as I started to make some improvement it's all stopped for summer! I might try one or two lessons a month (find someone to share so it's cheaper?) and ask for homework, am I thick to have not thought of that before?

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Owls · 31/07/2009 08:55

So what's the decision then Mitchy? Are you going to bite the bullet and take on the other pony?

Alice, is this Sharp Nutrition something that's only available where you are? I've googled it and it's a bit vague. Sounds good though. I confess I've always been a bit of a Blue Chip fan but it is an expensive habit!

MitchyInge · 31/07/2009 10:28

yes we have her on trial loan for a month - she'd be a bit too small to actually buy with any long term view, but we can have some fun this summer

am OBSESSED with idea of getting another pony permanently though - is hard to think of anything else!

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Pixel · 31/07/2009 18:33

Slippery slope. That's all I'm saying.

skihorse · 05/08/2009 15:30

IMO a lot of people get sucked in to buying unecessary crap. It's been a few years since I bought "Your Horse" - but I used to flick through that feeling more and more like a bad mummy for not having everything advertised.

The latest trend at my yard seems to be some sort of solar-reflecting-bug-reflecting-superhero-cape-rug thing and I don't even know what it is. But my gal has survived 9 years thus far and will probably continue to do so without said rug.

I glance in other people's cupboards at the yard and can't believe how much utter shit they have there.

I only own one bridle and when I want to use a different bit I ... wait for it... swap it around!

She's barefoot too which saves a fortune because you can do a little cosmetic work yourself and if you're a week late with the farrier it's not all doom & gloom. As an added bonus for being barefoot you won't need overreach/brushing/fetlock boots - no shoes, no scrapes!

exchangeandmart · 05/08/2009 16:08

If you are looking for second hand tack etc (the way forward in these times in my opinion) have a look at the outdoor pursuits and/or pet section at exchange and mart I get most my stuff for my boys online as it is cheaper. Especially as one has terrible sweet itch and therefore must be rugged up all summer and wear fly masks etc, but he has a particular fetish for taking off his mask and hiding it in the field and also making holes in his rug - there is no way i would be able to afford new every time! Good luck with it all.

skihorse · 05/08/2009 19:39

I've had some awesome stuff from ebay, e.g., Stubben scandica VSD in her size 5 years old for 300 euros!

I'm also signed up to Derby house and they have some great "temporary" offers if you don't mind buying stuff at the "wrong" time of year.

MitchyInge · 06/08/2009 10:10

will content myself with this week's purchases amounting to 4 new girth straps

definitely checking out those second hand options next time we need something, and have sold a market harborough which I'd never used and don't remember why I bought it in the first place

have not ridden since Friday due to my imaginary swine flu thing I always feel like I am starting all over again if I don't ride for a week or so

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skihorse · 06/08/2009 10:31

mitchyinge I'm exactly the same, if I'm forced out the saddle for any period of time I get back on and feel like a terrified newbie.

Anyway, as far as moneysaving goes, I found a new livery yard yesterday for 195 euros a month rather than 400. Difference? No indoor arena which whilst will be a pita in the winter, if I'm totally honest I don't like riding after work in the cold and dark anyway. Other difference - no vile 14 year olds in Pikeur breeches thinking they "rool the school"!

MitchyInge · 06/08/2009 10:38

I can't imagine moving yards, no other place would tolerate me! I don't know if I could save much on livery anyway, £50 a week in summer, £60 in winter (working livery) and includes feed, hay, water, outdoor schools (2 and a half), x country course (when my horse isn't banned from it ) and really good hacking all around. I love the people there too, lots of social things going on. And it's really scruffy so I feel at home - new, shiny yards scare me!

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skihorse · 06/08/2009 12:16

haha I know what you mean, the new place is reassuringly scruffy - no polished brass balls in sight! Yeh this new place seems a lot more sociable, they all go out hacking together on weekends and even weekends away at the seaside - with the horses of course. At my current place it's just dressage, dressage, dressage - one woman has had her horse 10 years and has never hacked!

Plus if that 14 year old snooty little cow throws my stuff ON THE FLOOR one more time I'm going to belt her!

alicecrail · 07/08/2009 13:51

Owls was it here you wanted me?

My feed supplier suggested it and we have found it amazing. I didn't know anything about it before. Perhaps ask at feed supplier/tack shops.

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