In an economy where everything is getting more and more expensive, it sometimes seems impossible to fit our hobbies into the budget. Even more so when it involves horses. Below are some tips that may help you enter the showing world in a more affordable way.
THRIFT SHOPPING, POP SOME TAGS: Preparing for the upcoming show season and looking for a nice button up shirt? Try your local Op shops for a bargain. Treasures can be found in the long sleeve, collared variety. With patience and a keen eye you can pick up some bargains for under $5 a piece. Paired with trousers or jeans you can find a full show outfit for next to nothing.
SECOND HAND AND PRE LOVED: Social media is a valued asset to the bargain hunter and budget competitor. Familiarise yourself with the buy and sell pages across Australia specific to western showing and scan for great quality show saddles, bridles, spurs, clothing and accessories. Like any online purchasing there are risks involved so use caution. At many shows, competitors will bring along items for sale and word of mouth.
HATS… STRAW VS FELT: A good quality straw hat will start from $100 compared to $200 plus for a good quality felt. Straw hats look fine and originally, straw was preferred through the warmer months and felt through cooler months, trends have shifted to felt being preferred all year round. You will not be marked down for wearing a good quality, well shaped straw hat. Keep your hat clean and protected in a can or box. For the bargain hunter keep your eyes out for second hand to get even more savings.
COLOURS, KEEP IT NEUTRAL: Black, white, browns and creams. One good quality black woollen pad could go with everything . Keep it clean and it will last you season after season.
BRANDS AND TRENDS: They come and go, don’t get caught up if it isn’t necessary. The judge will look favourably on neat clean and polished presentation.
CHECK THE RULEBOOK BEFORE YOU OPEN THE CHEQUEBOOK: Did you know that chaps are optional up to a certain level in showing. So for lower level showing you may want to hold off on that purchase until you are ready. If you can afford it, or find that bargain, they finish off the western look perfectly.
BLING IT UP, DIY: So you found that treasure in the thrift shop and you want to make it pop. Get crafty with some gems and hot glue gun. Remember to keep it tasteful and don’t go overboard.
IT PAYS TO SPEND SOMETIMES: Spend where its important, a good quality, well fitting saddle (second hand or new) is a must. Going cheap in this area can have nasty and expensive consequences. Do some research and spend that little bit more in this area. Your horse with thank you for that.
Happy Showing and Goodluck
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