BY IZZY FEINSTEIN
It is a widely known fact that horseback riding is one of the most expensive sports in the world. Equestrians do not only have to purchase the proper equipment for themselves, but for their equine partners as well. Outfit you and your horse in style without breaking the bank with these alternatives to high-priced products.
Instead of using Pomm’s Ear Plugs ($12.95 for one set of two plugs) at home, use foam ball cat toys such as Grreat Choice Ball Cat Toy from Petsmart ($3.39 for two sets of two toys). These cat toys are the same shape, and are made from the same sponge-y material as traditional earballs. Plus, their fun colors almost guarantee you will never lose another set of earballs again!
Beat the heat this summer in a Dover Saddlery CoolBlast IceFil Long Sleeve Shirt ($49.99) at almost half the price of their competitors. Dover Saddlery CoolBlast IceFil Long Sleeve Shirts are a similar style that offers a lightweight, breathable IceFil material, with long sleeves to shield your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. They are also available in a similar set of colors. At a lower price point, the Dover Saddlery CoolBlast IceFil Long Sleeve Shirt is the perfect alternative for an equestrian on a budget.
Keep up with the tan kneepatch trend with Riding Sport by Dover Saddlery’s Empire Classic Knee-Patch Breech ($59.99), while not breaking the bank with the higher priced Tailored Sportsman Vintage Patch Low-Rise Front-Zip Breech ($189.99). Made from four-way stretch fabric in a low-rise fit, Dover Saddlery’s Empire Classic Knee-Patch Breech offers European-styling at a more affordable price point. Available in black with tan patches, french blue with tan patches, navy with tan patches, and wine with tan patches and a range of sizes from 24 to 34, these breeches are ideal for the fashion-forward equestrian.
A more durable alternative to the classic Parlanti show boots ($1000), the Parlanti Essential Collection ($600) is the ultimate balance between a show boot and schooling boot. Handcrafted in Italy and lined with canvas for further durability, these boots have a custom look with an off-the-rack purchase price. The Parlanti Essential boots are available in 2 styles, the Miami Field Boot and Denver Dress Boot.
Hunter green shadbellies have become iconic in the hunter ring due to influential equestrians such as Gia Rinaldi, Devin Seek, Tracy Fenney, Haylie Rolfe, and Maggie Jayne. However, these beautiful shadbellies made by Charles Ancona come with a hefty price tag ($995 or more). R.J. Classics has come to the rescue for equestrians on a budget, offering the equally as stunning R.J. Classics Classic Green Shadbelly ($328). You do not have to sacrifice quality for a cheaper price, as The R.J. Classics Green Shadbelly is made with moisture wicking fabric and comes with reversible points so you do not have to fully unbutton the points to take the coat on and off.
Keeping their horse as comfortable as possible at all times is important to many equestrians, which is why many choose to use a half pad underneath their saddle. Lami-Cell makes comfort attainable for the horses of equestrians on a budget. Their Memory Half Pad ($59.99) is reasonably priced compared to competitor EcoGold ($249.99). Both non-slip, shock absorbing half pads are made with foam for maximum comfort and durability by reducing pressure at the points of greatest weight. However, Lami-Cell’s significantly lower price point for a high-quality product makes it a solid choice.
Horseback riding is an expensive sport, but staying smart about purchases and researching all options before purchasing an item can help make it more affordable while not forgoing quality.