Equestrian Products That Are Expensive, But Worth It

Photo by Anouska Haantjes

The equestrian marketplace is full of a lot of items, but how are we supposed to know what’s best? Are fancy shampoos better than Mane & Tail? Are we better off spending our precious dollars on fancy stirrups or exquisite leatherwork? 

Of course, everyone has a different opinion on what the be all, end all products are for the barn. That’s why we asked riders around the country from all walks of life – what do you think is expensive, but worth it?

“My Parlantis. I’ve never had such a close feel or such a great fit in tall boots before. I still can’t believe I spent that much money but they are proving to be worth it so far!” – Adult Amateur hunter rider, Rennie Dyball

“My Tucci tall boots!” – Junior rider, Estelle Kraft

“Custom Stübben Saddle with biomex for my back problems.” – Adult Amateur hunter rider, Sandra Olson

“Ogilvy saddle pads, my Bruno saddle, and Edgewood tack from the late 90s/early 00s.” – Adult Amateur hunter rider, Anna Corley

“Jay Shuttleworth Bits!” – The Plaid Horse Publisher, Piper Klemm

“Custom Saddlery saddles, Kastel Denmark shirts, and Le Mieux saddle pads.” – Adult Amateur dressage rider, Austen Gage

“My custom Stübben saddle and of course… Grey Goose vodka! :)” – Adult Amateur hunter rider, Christina Brady

“Sergio Grassi Walk n Ride paddock boots.” – The Plaid Horse Editor, Sissy Wickes

“Trust flexi-soft three ring bit and my Veredus open front boots. Also the EquiFit gel bands that go over your ankles. They’re $30 a pop and I need to replace them every couple of months as they wear out, but I wouldn’t be able to walk in my tall boots at shows without them.” – Adult Amateur jumper rider, Alie Cline

“Deer skin riding gloves and deerskin full seat breeches. No other full seats will give you the same “stick” as deerskin.” – Adult Amateur eventing rider, Dare Jones

“My Burlingham tack locker… it helps that I got it for a song on a local tack sale site, but it has room for all of my precious items like my GPA First Lady (perfect fit with sun protection!) and my custom Custom Saddlery dressage saddle. Only the best for my tack babies!” – Adult Amateur dressage rider, Joanne Scott

“A helmet that fits properly! Always protect that money maker.” – Adult Amateur hunter/jumper rider, Amy Fleischmann

“To quote Bill Steinkraus’ Riding and Jumping, ‘Quality is the best economy.'” – Eventer, Jess Clawson

“Peter Pletcher Dee bit, CWD saddle, Parlanti boots, Ogilvy saddle pads, tough blankets from SmartPak, and Kensington fly sheets. Oh and good farrier services and shoes.” Adult Amateur hunter rider, Kristina McCombie

Photo by Erica O’Neil

“Black Country saddle, Pikeur breeches, Roeckl gloves, Eskadron boots, Ogilvy saddle pads, and Lemieux saddle pads… #tackaddict” – Adult Amateur dressage rider, Michelle Beckes

“The Equifit silver soap!” – Professional hunter/jumper groom, Ally Bradley

“My custom CWD saddles makes SUCH a difference in how I feel the horses move. Being a trainer, having a saddle that fits a variety of horses is so nice. I also LOVE my OLD school woven rug square saddle pad. No slip, breathable, and can’t find them anywhere anymore!” – Hunter/jumper trainer, Katherine Deichmann

“Back on Track products are pricey but totally worth it for their therapeutic value. I thought they were a waste of money until I tried their socks after my broken foot and now I see the benefits they have for his back & legs too.” – Adult Amateur dressage rider, Marissa Quigley

“My Kask helmet! I haven’t had such a comfortable, well-fitting and pretty helmet in so long!” – Adult Amateur eventer, Amber Lengele

“My La Mundial custom boots, because its so hard for me to find off the rack boots for my giant feet, tiny ankles, slim calf and short height!” – Adult Amateur hunter rider, Lysette Williams

“My Edgewood Bridle! Best thing ever made!” – Hunter/jumper trainer, Sarah Lynn Ward

“My County Innovation saddle for sure — I spend enough hours in it to help make the price tag worth it, plus it makes so many other things easier. A better fitting saddle means less maintenance for my horse. A better balanced saddle enables me to be comfortable, secure and ride to my ability.” – Adult Amateur hunter rider, Tracy Beavers

“Devoucoux Biarritz, Veredus boots for the pony, DeNiro boots for the person, Herm Sprenger bits … those are the necessities. The splurge is Duftler spur belts. I also get a ton of mileage out of my Asmar All-Weather Rider jacket and wouldn’t hesitate to replace it if necessary.” – Adult Amateur hunter/jumper rider, Karen McBurney

“My Kask helmet and Trilogy saddle are two things that I’ll never regret buying.” – Dressage trainer, Jodi Perkins

“My Custom Gemini dressage saddle. Absolutely life changing for me and my horses. Also Petrie boots. Boots and saddles are where I splurge. Everything else I buy on eBay and Amazon, haha!” – Dressage trainer, Lauren Baggert

“My custom Antares saddle. It’s amazing how a well fitting saddle can change everything!” – Adult Amateur hunter/jumper rider, Karley Fuller

“My Butet Premium saddle, Edgewood bridles and Roeckl gloves.” – Hunter/Jumper rider, Cinnamon Farquhar Fuller

“My royal rider stirrups! I know there are cheaper alternatives but none fit the way these do & provide the same stability & grip over jumps!” – Adult Amateur hunter/jumper rider, Janet Liu

“All my “expensive but worth it” moments apply to show bills. We use good quality long lasting gear, and spend too much money competing in beautiful locations.” – Adult Amateur jumper rider, Olivia Carr

“Something easy… Show Sheen for tails!” – Boarding farm owner and sporthorse breeder, Meredith Douthit

“Ogilvy profile pads. They fit my large flapped saddle, look beautiful, and wear like iron. It’s not exactly a product, but I think spending a fair amount on a pre-purchase exam is money well spent.” – Adult Amateur hunter/jumper rider, Kristen Morse

Photo by Erica O’Neil

“Back on Track mesh sheet.” – Adult Amateur working equitation rider, Karen Burch

“Tailored Sportsmans! They’re the only breeches that fit me right!” – Adult Amateur jumper rider, Annie Drew Strelzick

“Le Fash Bamboo show shirt.” – Adult Amateur jumper rider, Carey Goodwin

“Rambo blankets! My horses stay out 24/7 except in really bad weather (aka snow/ice and when it’s cold and raining) I haven’t found a blanket yet that has fit my horses or kept them dry like a Rambo. Plus they seem to be the only ones that my horses don’t rip either. Every time I try something else I regret it!” – Adult Amateur eventer, Bette Sumrell Mann

“I buy so much that’s “expensive” but lasts forever. I’ve always bought the highest end Ariat paddock boots available and my current pair are over 10 years old. I spent way more than I should have on a Mattes half pad that also lasted me 10+ years (and is still in great shape but I don’t need it with my new saddle). Last year I finally splurged and bought a custom county saddle which I’ve been wanting to buy since I bought my mare 14 years ago and it was worth every penny. Something else I think is really important is taking impeccable care of your equipment. My husband bought me a Dover brand bridle for Dora 4 years ago and it’s still like new because I clean and condition it after every ride (ok maybe I skip one once in a while but who doesn’t?!). I wash my saddle pads after every ride and religiously clean and polish my boots. You can get away with less brand name stuff if you really take care of it.” – Adult Amateur hunter/jumper rider, Lauren Elizabeth

“Parlanti Riding Boots…worth every penny, and they break in fast!” – Adult Amateur hunter/jumper rider, Stacia Brown Navarro

“Miss Shield because it keeps the sun off my face and my pale skin needs all the help it can get.” – Junior rider, Ellison Neumann

“Dubarry Boots. My Galways are my barn boots – I’ve had them six years, christening them by walking the XC course, interviewing Allison Springer at the London Olympics. I wear them 5+ times/week, doing stalls, walking through water, etc. and I don’t do ANYTHING to take care of them, and they just get better looking and more comfortable with age and wear. My Longfords are my “fancy” Dubes, and I wear the to work or for errands on cold, rainy, or snowy days. With minimal oiling of minor toe scuffs, they’ve looked gorgeous for over four years so far. Can’t recommend Dubarry highly enough!” – Adult Amateur rider, Sarah Mann

“My Pikeur tan breeches. They literally last forever if you only wear them for shows and keep them nice!” – Junior rider, Carly Phoon