“Buy Once, Cry Once”

Despite some of the preconceptions some of y’all might have about me, I have a confession to make: I’m actually very frugal. Anyone who has read this blog for very long is probably doubled over laughing right now, or rolling their eyes so hard they’ve fallen out and are tumbling around on the floor. Let me explain.

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I love my money. I don’t really get paid that much of it, and the majority goes to Henry. Horse people know how that goes… it’s borderline obscene. There isn’t a whole lot left over at the end for equipment or clothes or any of that other lower-priority stuff that we all need, and it’s really not easy to get me to give that money away. When I need something new or feel myself wanting a retail therapy pick-me-up, as fun as it is to shop for something, I actually loathe the idea of spending my money. The conflict, of course, is that I hate crap. I have to really really like something to spend my money on it. My hatred of poorly-made, ill-fitting, uncomfortable, unattractive, unflattering, short-lived things that don’t work very well outweighs my love of gripping tightly to every dime. My life would be simpler if I was less picky.

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My favorite word is “affordable”. To me there’s a big difference between cheap and affordable (love how it was explained here)… affordable means I can make the desired object fit within my budget, either by waiting for a sale or saving up money over time. Cheap means settling for a lesser option. I’d prefer to either try to ferret out the deal of the century (which I seem to luck into a lot somehow), or just save up my money for a while and to buy the thing I really want. Pretty much every time I’ve tried to settle for the lower-quality item, I’ve been unhappy to some degree. Hasn’t stopped me from trying, but most of the time I end up not really liking it and selling it, then I go back and buy what I originally wanted in the first place. Ultimately when that happens I end up spending more money than I would have if I hadn’t tried to be such a tightwad.

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Of course, sometimes the item I like the most IS quite budget-friendly, which is a win-win. Having a higher price tag certainly is not the be-all, end-all indicator of quality, by any means, and some things are just plain over-priced. But I don’t like “fast fashion”, “disposable” items, manufactured god knows where by god knows who in god knows what kind of conditions. Ethical and environmental concerns aside, I also want my stuff to last. It ends up costing me less money in the long run if I only have to buy it once.

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Every time I buy something, I factor in longevity. It can be the prettiest thing in the world, and initially do the job just as well as the more expensive item (the good ol’ “a shirt is a shirt” or “a saddle pad is a saddle pad” argument), but if it only lasts for a short time before needing to be replaced, then it’s actually the less financially sound option. Right now I’m saving up for new tall boots, because despite being majorly tempted by a few cheaper options, I just can’t bite the bullet on something I don’t love. I want the ones that I really want, even if it means waiting.

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Once you get beyond all the practical reasons of the “buy once, cry once” mentality, you get to the more shallow one: well made, pretty things that work really well just bring me more joy. Quality and craftsmanship matter to me – a lot. And once you get beyond the aesthetics, it can even be a safety issue, especially with tack and equipment. I grew up riding with a very fastidious trainer who felt that small details like this were crucial to the overall picture of horsemanship, and he really left that ingrained in me. But that’s probably a psychological discussion for another day…

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That’s not to say that I don’t own my fair share of crap… of course I do. Sometimes I buy things just “because”, or as an experiment, or because I’m having a particularly bad day and just have to. That stuff is usually pretty short term and/or frivolous, and sometimes you see me griping about said item on here later because I never seem to 100% learn my lesson. Bigger purchases are different, though, and the older I get, the more I’d rather just buy the higher quality item and be done with it.

At the end of the day, I figure I don’t spend the majority of my life toiling away at a laptop for nothing. I’m gonna treat myself and my horse (how’s the spa, Henry?) as much as I realistically can. That said – I know plenty of others who think I’m crazy and ridiculous, and I can respect that. I know not everyone sees it the way I do, and I don’t expect them to. You do you, girl.

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How do you feel about it? Would you rather save up for what you really want, or are you ok settling for less if it means saving money up front? Do you pay attention to where your items are manufactured, and does it bother you to see something produced in a country that is known for terrible or non-existent labor laws? And, would you rather have a small selection of high quality items or a closet full of cheap options?

45 thoughts on ““Buy Once, Cry Once”

  1. I definitely do this. My bridle collection can never leave me bc there’s no way I can replace them at anywhere near the prices I lucked into. Or stalked into I suppose… ahem.

    Anyway I loath cheap bridles. Why would you want to ride with reins that feel like they’re going to saw through your gloves? And the keepers never work and the whole thing feels like painted cardboard. Sure you only spent fifty bucks, but… ew. And also I could easily find an Edgewood for less than $100 so who’s really winning here?

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  2. Where items are made is a huge deal to me. I worked at a company that manufactures footwear (boots) domestically and seeing how it affects the livelihood of Americans to have these jobs as well as the flexibility to change something when the manufacturer is a car drive or a short plane ride away had a huge impact on my perspective. Then add in the diminished environmental impact when goods aren’t made in a country with little to no environmental regulations and then shipped halfway across the globe. We as consumers have a huge impact on what is available in the market. The more domestic products we buy, the more plentiful and less expensive they will be. There are cost savings in making more of something. Companies don’t make things abroad because they are made better, they do it because they are made cheaper and often at the same level of quality.
    I would absolutely prefer have a few things of great quality than a bunch of crappy things. Another advantage to buying higher quality items is that if for some reason you no longer need/want it, it has a much higher resale value than cheap items. The Facebook and other online sales groups have been fantastic for me. Some rider has a weight fluctuation and offers a bunch of Tailored Sportsman breeches for sale at half the retail cost is like a dream come true. Or you have an expensive saddle that doesn’t fit your new horse, you have myriad avenues to sell it for a good price and use those funds to buy a new saddle. Plus you have so many more options to find nice used saddles.
    I’m with you. Buy once, cry once!


  3. I don’t take care of my stuff. I mean, I intend so, I promise myself I will, blah blah blah
    I don’t
    So bring on the tack sales. Let’s me buy the used good stuff. Otherwise. I will settle for junk, let’s face it. I am either going to lose it. Or leave it out on the rain for months. Sigh


  4. I’m kind of middle of the road on this right now, but I can see both sides 😀 I really like the article differentiating between affordable and cheap.


  5. I’m absolutely with you (though that doesn’t stop me from the occasional crap purchase). I also find that if I sink some serious money into something I tend to actually take care of it (see: how I treat the new Prestige saddle I bought last year compared with the saddle I owned before it). I definitely think there are some businesses that just jack up the cost because it’s fancy-pants equestrian, and I have a hard time with that. It’s like, where do I draw the line between purchasing quality and purchasing marked-up mediocre?


    1. I think at the end of the day, quality shines through despite the price point. If the quality isn’t superior enough to justify the price, I can’t do it. Your point about taking care of things is a good one… I definitely baby my saddles, in particular! I want them to last.


  6. I am totally on board with this philosophy! I think my “affordable” price point is generally lower than yours, but I buy things that are as high-quality as possible. I recently picked up a pair of Mountain Horse field boots for a song, figuring I would use them for schooling, but I’m having a hard time accepting them for who they are because they don’t even come close to my DeNiros in comfort, quality, fit, and style, even if I did get the satisfaction of paying almost nothing for them. I try to take the cheap way out sometimes, and it usually doesn’t work out well. Just buy the good stuff. You’ll be better off in the long run.


    1. I tried on the MH and felt the same way lol. While they’re really affordable, they’re just not as good as what I have and what I’m used to, so I’d rather spend more money to get something I love. Even if it means waiting 6 months.


  7. I’m with Leah. I see the value in excellent, quality high end products, but f I were to save up…I would literally never get it. Thats just reality.For example; I would love a french saddle, lets be honest. BUT, I’ve done the math and at my current pay rate vs expenditures, it would take me almost 3 years to get it. Obviously a long time and i can’t ride bareback that long. So I find/found middle ground, and locate a product that is well made, but not incredibly high end, and then find said item on sale. Waiting 3 months for a properly fitting, rather well made saddle is better than waiting 3 years for an incredibly well made saddle. Then, I CAN save for said item and not worry about having a saddle for 3 years. It works for now. But I agree, high end items are worth it, but not always feasible, so I tend to go for the non-crap button end end things I can find on a bargain.


  8. I definitely agree with you on tack here. And what’s that quote about “it’s amazing how much of luck is hard work”? Because it is. I stumble across deals because I’m out looking for them, not just sitting around paying full price. Now, I do occasionally buy cheap stuff but it’s usually for a reason, like experimenting with a new look to decide if I like it. Still only buy smashing deals so that I can resell without a loss.

    I’m on the fence about this with riding clothes. I like my Roeckl gloves. We will see.

    PS Alli I think my Mountain Horse boots are the nicest boots I’ve ever owned.


    1. I get what Alli is saying, because I tried on the MH hoping they could be my replacements for my Monaco’s, but no. They’d be a downgrade, fit and quality wise, and I just couldn’t do it. So I guess that’s another good point – perspective is part of it. Upgrading stuff is a slippery (uphill?) slope, since it’s possible for your standards to get higher and higher. Something that you once thought was amazing can become the lower-quality, lower-budget option?


      1. The MH boots are NOT a low-quality boot, by any means! I’ll absolutely keep on breaking them in and wear them daily for schooling and hacking since I can beat the snot out of them and not have to worry about being able to afford to replace them. But I didn’t think I’d see quite the massive gap in quality between the $300 MH boots and the $700 DeNiros, which is interesting to me! Having a pair of very, very nice boots definitely raised my standard of quality in tall boots. Before I picked up the MH’s I was schooling daily in very, very old and broken Tredstep paddocks and half chaps and liked those just fine. And TBH, they’re more comfortable than the MH boots right now! But I do agree with Amanda that once you treat yourself to something truly very nice, it’s hard to go back to a lower-quality option.


  9. I try and find a balance between cost and quality. I don’t want crap. But, like you, I also have a hard time spending my money…sometimes even when I need to. (See: the breeches I stubbornly continued wearing all summer even though the knee patches were coming off and they had a tiny hole in them. It was only when I found the hole the size of a quarter on my inner thigh that I finally tossed them. I’m the same way with regular clothing.)

    I’ve found great luck with a lot of Ovation products. They are generally good quality with an affordable price tag. For higher-ticket items, particular show boots, I like to look for high-quality used items. I got a helluva deal on my Ariat tall-tall boots because they were used, and – bonus! – I didn’t have to do the painful break-in myself. Same for saddles. I doubt I will ever buy a brand new saddle. (HA now I’ve probably jinxed myself and someday I’ll end up with a horse that requires a brand new custom saddle or something.)


  10. I tend to spend more than I need to simply because I hate shopping. HATE IT. So for example, I need a new saddle. Instead of perhaps trying to bargain shop, I called up my saddler, told her what I needed, and she came out with options. If one of them works, I will probably buy it because I need the damn thing sooner rather than later and it’s not worth the time/effort/heartache I could end up spending trying to bargain shop for the same item. I did that once with a saddle, bought literally the exact same model/size/tree/year/everything and IT DIDN’T FIT. So yeah. Not going that route again.

    Having said that, I don’t get a thrill out of trying new things. Retail therapy does nothing for me. I have a coat that I like and boots that I like and I hope they last me forever because I never want to have to do that again. I’m such a minimalist… one bridle per horse, not a lot of saddle pads, no boots/wraps, minimal bling… I just don’t enjoy dealing with that stuff because if I have it then I have to clean it and care for it. If I could I’d have 3 pairs of the exact same breeches (and maybe 2 pairs of winter breeches because it’s obviously cold AF in Texas) because I love them, I would. I’d rather have fewer of something that REALLY works for me than lots of things that don’t, but for me it’s more about fit and comfort and ease of use than anything else.


  11. For me at least, it depends on the item. For tall boots, saddles, and other important equipment that I use ALL the time, I’m less willing to compromise on low quality for a budget friendly option. Like any sane person, I’ll still try to find the best price, but I’m more willing to splurge on something that I know I’ll keep for a long time and get a lot of use out of. On the other hand, I will usually go cheap for things like schooling bridles or shirts, because I know they’re going to get gross and stepped on (actually happened and I was so happy I’d only spent $40 on that bridle) and I’d rather replace more frequently and not cry over it. I definitely have a number of sun shirts that are much nicer than your average t-shirt, but I didn’t pay even close to full price for most of them, which makes me more ok with beating them up. So it really just depends on the item and how important quality is for that particular item to me.


  12. There’s not much worse than continuing to try and make something work because it was a good price when you really don’t like it at all.


  13. I am the same! I would much rather have a small selection of higher quality. Costs more up front maybe sometimes, but it lasts a lot longer, you hopefully will not have to purchase again, and is always safer. I am turbo frugal with my money. However I spend most of it on horse things and only on good quality. I hate to spend and really really hate to spend on low quality…to me it is money down the drain.


  14. I finally got to the point where I’m doing this too and I agree completely with the buy once, cry once mentality. At one point my budget wouldn’t have even allowed saving up or bargain shopping for the “good” stuff but now that it does I’d rather buy the nice more expensive thing and have it last than the cheap thing that I’ll hate or throw away in a year


  15. Well, I appreciate quality things. But NOTHING pisses me off more than things that are overpriced under the guise of quality. Basically everything in equestrian circles falls under this description because people go nutty for the expensive thing on social media and then other companies start making expensive stuff that’s lesser quality with fancy marketing.

    It used to be possible to get quality tack and clothing because you knew who made/sold quality tack and clothing. Now with social media, sponsorships, blogs, pro riders, brand ambassadors, etc there’s a whole lot of crap being sold with a really shiny veneer on it. And the stuff that actually IS good, is so expensive it’s unreal. And most people don’t take good care of things and fewer and fewer people buy the nice stuff because of the price, so it’s harder and harder to find used.

    I try to choose ethically but there are basically no brands in equestrian product or clothing that produce domestically. Some products are at least european made on the tack and equipment side but the vast majority of clothing, no matter how expensive it is, is made in Thailand, Malaysia, Mauritius, etc. That’s if you can even get someone to tell you where it’s made.

    I shop ethically with my non-equestrian purchases but it is basically impossible to do with equestrian brands. The only real way to do it is to buy used – if you can find good quality used equipment that isn’t 10% off the new price, and/or beat to hell, and/or sold by someone ethical.


    1. I disagree with the statement that there are basically no brands in equestrian product or clothing produced domestically. Kerrits and Irideon produce a number of apparel items made in the USA. EIS sun shirts are made in the USA. Tailored Sportsman breeches are made in the USA. Grand Prix paddock boots are made in Canada (close enough for me to be domestic). Some FITS apparel are made in the USA. Edgewood bridles are made in the USA. My favorite schooling bridles are super duper affordable and are made in the USA (Bartville Harness, the kicker is they don’t have a website and they don’t accept credit cards so it can take a wee bit longer to get stuff, but they are AMAZING to work with). Tad Coffin saddles are made in the USA. Many Nunn Finer products are made in the USA by the Amish. Toklat has many domestically made saddle pads. There are others and these are absolutely not the cheapest options, but you can find myriad items from these brands on the Facebook sales groups. Bit of Britain, while a predominantly eventer’s choice of retail store, has a link on their website to all the items they carry made in the USA. I’m also a devotee of Baker Blankets as many of theirs are made in the USA. And yes, I’m a made in the USA junkie!

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    2. I see what you’re saying, but I don’t know if I totally agree. There are a lot of fad items that end up being flashes in the pan and quickly fade, for sure. But I think the increased social media awareness has actually created more competition, and it’s really forced brands to either bring the quality at a decent price, or go out of business. Pretty pictures and brand ambassadors will only take you so far. I remember the days when there were like 5 brands of bridles to choose from and the only thing you had to pick from was a Miller’s catalog LOL. We have so many more options now, and at all price points, from so many different sources, and so much more information at our fingertips to help us compare and choose. People won’t keep buying it if it’s overpriced crap… well… most people won’t, anyway. But we do seem to live in the age where everyone wants to feel like they got a steal of a deal and no one wants to pay retail for anything, which makes it a lot tougher for businesses.

      As far as things in general being overpriced, some of it is. But it’s not cheap to make a really good item, especially not if you’re doing it ethically these days. Most of the higher end clothing (at least the items I have) are European made… Italy, France, Belgium, etc. I have a few Canadian and US made items, but not many. I always check the tags. 😉 I also don’t mind paying a fair market price for something that is extremely well done. In those cases I think it’s reasonable that a company be rewarded for their efforts, otherwise they’ll start being forced to cut corners.

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      1. Branding is a much bigger deal now than it ever was. Stubben is a classic example of what I’m describing. They made nice stuff that was priced fairly. Then somebody said “we need to compete with the French because we have a reputation for being old fashioned with hard seats” and they come out with a $3200 monoflap.

        Within 2 years they have a bunch of reps where they never had them, that saddle is now a thousand dollars even MORE expensive, and they’ve gotten a bunch of pros to say they’re the best thing since sliced bread.

        It’s a nice saddle. There was no reason they couldn’t continue to sell it at the original price. But to get people to take them seriously they had to do it that way and charge more to cover the costs of supporting reps and sponsorships. That’s stupid, but it’s just an example of how this works. Now people are paying $5k for a Stubben. It’s insanity.

        As for made in the USA: Kerrits and irideon don’t make clothing with the styling I appreciate. Toklat owns Irideon and they engage in the same practice I don’t approve of with other manufacturers, which is making one or two expensive items in the States and making everything else cheaply elsewhere so they can say they support USA manufacturing.

        Nunn Finer buys stuff from Bartville Harness and triples the price, so I guess you could call that ethical? I don’t buy from them after three bad experiences.

        I used to work for a high end athletic apparel brand in strategic sourcing. I know what top of the line athletic apparel costs to produce. In another market, $150 for a pair of workout tights that have a lot of design work in fit and materials would be considered too expensive and the brand would be trying to find ways to bring that down and still keep the fit and quality. That doesn’t seem to factor in to equestrian apparel design at all, which is funny because in other markets like Europe, it totally does. There are brands available in the U.K. (Where I am from) that you can’t even buy here where $100 buys you amazing fit and fabrics and also good design. These brands can’t get traction here because everyone is busy laying out $189 for Tailored sportsman.

        I would absolutely agree with the case that a well made, well fitting show coat is worth the cost. The tailoring on those is much more difficult than a pair of breeches. But $200 for a show shirt? After working for a clothing brand that ethically produces with top of the line materials and still costs half as much per pair as breeches – I can’t get behind the insane pricing for equestrian apparel.

        Paying for quality, and overpaying for quality because that’s what someone has told you it is worth, are two different things. An example of this is the RJ Classics Gulf breech, which is materially identical to Cavalleria Toscana for half the price.

        Combine the high costs of new with the fact that people insist that their well-used stuff is worth close to the cost of new and there is now very little on the used market for those who would like a deal for quality. I now mostly buy things on trips to Europe because the quality is better and the prices much lower than here.


  16. I think it comes down to a few things. How much does it cost? What’s the estimated lifespan? And will I cry if (when) I have to replace it? Obviously it comes down to the item.

    Blankets for example. Everyone loves Rambos, but I refuse to spend $300-400 on blankets. I just won’t do that. And, if I come home to find it torn to shreds, I’m cry hysterically. That said, my boys are really easy on their clothes. I have a 600d rider blanket that I’m FINALLY retiring to an emergency spare going on winter #10 as the inside lining is starting to wear out. I rarely have things completely destroyed, just usual wear and tear. But, in that case, why spend $3-400 when I can only afford 1 if I can buy 3-4 cheaper ones to rotate? In the end, I have a variety of brands that I like with different cuts, most of which I’ve bought on sale or discontinued colors, etc. (I just bought my first Rambo this fall for $120, that’s my price range!).

    I don’t mind cheap halters, especially spares to keep in the trailer. Again, I buy on sale and don’t care too much about the leather quality. When my nice halter broke (thank you stressful evening of colic and trailer loading and my healthy horse NOT helping things), I did cry about the halter once everyone was healthy. So, for everyday stuff, I’m back to cheaper leather halters. They break easily which is sort of what I want?

    As for boots, I buy what fits in my price range. I’ve only recently started riding in tall boots on a regular basis. My paddock books kicked the bucket after 3 years (well, they died sooner, but I made them work), and my 13 year old Ariat tall boot zippers broke too (they didn’t owe me anything). I replaced them with the same low end Heritage zip boots because they just fit perfectly. While I probably won’t get another 13 years out of them, I’m OK with that. One of these days I’ll replace my paddock boots.

    Helmets though. I won’t spare money there. Cheapest helmet that fits well and comfortably without pressure points and no dial. I start low in price and work my way up. Once I find something that fits, I stop trying on helmets.

    I buy a lot of used bridle pieces. Most of my bridles are put together for less than $20 from the consignment store. But super soft leather..


    1. (I hope I’m replying to the right comment, the site is wonking out on me. ANYWAY) This this this on blankets! Nothing is more frustrating than putting a lot of money down on a blanket and to see it get ripped by a pasture pal. Nowadays, I don’t buy blankets unless I’m down in the Horseware Ireland outlet, and paying $100 for Rambo/Rhino/etc. And I don’t give a hoot about color.

      The only thing I disagree with is the halter: I will not buy halters unless they have solid nickel alloy or solid brass hardware: I can’t STAND hardware rusting!! No plated hardware halters for me!


  17. As you know I prefer to buy quality over quantity any time I can. I have kicked myself time and time again when I think that it won’t matter for things that I expect to last for a long time.

    Saddle pads for instance… I never used super cheap pads but I certainly never paid what I do for my Ogilvy baby pads either. The previous pads lasted sure but they never lasted the way that my Ogilvy do. I straight abuse my Ogilvy pads and they always look fantastic. I have had a lot of mine for 4 ish years and I am amazed by how well I like them still.

    Boots and clothing are another that falls into this category for me. Most of my TS breeches are 3-5 years old. The newer ones might not last as long as they older ones (darn TS) but they still last much longer and look nicer than say kerrits. (hard to stomach that comparison because its really a totally different playing field)

    Bell boots are a scam and with my pro destructor I actually buy the cheapest I can find with the thickest bottom. Annie wears 2 pairs and I actually find that the expensive bevel bell boots actually die a lot faster than my cheapies. That is an odd experience though and unfortunately doesn’t happen more often in my horse life!

    Blankets are one that I debate regularly but the times that I have caved and purchased the lower quality blankets I always end up kicking myself. My Rambo turnouts normally last much longer than the horse stays with me and I feel like they fit quite nicely. That said I never pay full price and will buy a discontinued color or in the off season to get a good deal. Obviously it is all what you are comfortable with individually but there are plenty of lower ticket items that if you just spend the extra money up front will last so much longer – brushes are a prime example.


  18. I’m with you 100%. Especially for horse stuff and large items like vehicles. On the other hand, I’m a total shopper. I love clothes and accessories and all that. BUT, if it’s trendy and likely only cute for a little while, I’ll go with a cheaper knock off version. Like say, brown tall boots that I don’t even show in. Ditto for schooling breeches except for that pair of green TS with the brown patches. Those were worth waiting for.


  19. I’m on the fence- some items, like saddle pads, I buy cheap, because… well, I’ve yet to destroy a saddle pad. I got bit in the a** by the $60 turnout, but it’s lasted 4 years with a lot a patches and stitching. I’m at a point in my life where I don’t do fast fashion (never fit me anyway), I know my style, and to be quite frank, I cannot afford to buy anything new so I might as buy high quality second hand.

    I grump a lot because when it comes to breeches/boots/jackets because it seems the more money an item is, the longer the sleeves/inseams, and I am a poor lanky person. I’ve been focusing on transitioning my lower quality items out and replacing them as I can, while trying to extend the life of other cheap/low quality items.


  20. Sorry…but I was definitely one of the ones who laughed at your first sentence. But I do get what you’re saying. There are some things I won’t spend a lot on- breeches, for one. I think my absolute most expensive pair of breeches was $80. I actually fit well in the SP Pipers so that is what the majority of my collection is. I’ve attempted to buy nicer brands like TS, but never follow through on the purchase because OUCH. But then I’ll go spend $500 on XC and open front boots for Pilgrim in one day. Maybe because it’s protection vs fashion? Or I’m just weird. Either way. It’s sort of how my husband had to practically drag me to the chiropractor after I hurt my back last month, but P regularly gets chiro and/or PEMF. Priorities, I suppose.


  21. This post makes me feel much better about myself. Like you, I tend to gravitate towards the higher end things, mostly because I’ve learned the hard way to “buy nice, or buy twice”.

    I’ve tried so many times to just go with the lesser option, read cheap, and like you I’ve had to either return or sell the item because I hate it and regret the purchase. My Fleeceworks and Ogilvy baby pads are about the only pads I even use now, and I frequently use my Aramas bridle, which was supposed to be my show bridle, on the regular. And although they aren’t your favorite, my TS breeches fit me so well and hold up better then anything I’ve ever had before. I really want to try the RJ’s though.

    Thankfully I do run across some great deals though, like my Tuccis. I will save though for something I believe is worth it.


  22. For me, it really depends on what the item is. For instance, if I’m buying a clothing item that I feel is a fad, I am only going to spend as much as I have too to get a fit that looks good on me. Then, it two years when it’s no longer in fashion, I don’t feel bad. (please see: Sea Foam Green Hunt coat – although I found it used and it is actually pretty nice in quality. I would NEVER spend $400+ on a coat this color despite the fact that I adore it).

    When it comes to strap goods, I buy the nicest I can afford: there is nothing like buttery soft strap goods. That said, since I have middle of the road bridles that are 25+ years old, I know that inexpensive does not always break any faster than expensive. The Aramas bridles are the perfect compromise for me. Affordable, pretty and I get a little weak knee-d when I clean them and feel how soft they are. 😀 Then again, I bought the grossest bridle one time on a “I need a second bridle so I don’t have to keep changing out the bits” and I HATE it. I can’t stand touching it, it never darkened. Blah. I should have spent a little more.

    I love to buy square saddle pads, so I really don’t care that much about quality. I buy it if I think it’s cute…or is in my colors. :D. When it’s too ratty for me, I give it away. Half pads, however, are a completely different matter. I’m willing to spend bucks on the right half pad. I do like to try them out first, though. I was toying with the idea of an Olgilvy half pad and when I tried one, I realized it wasn’t right for me or my horses. Right now, I want a Thinline correction half pad, but have been hesitating because I don’t know anyone who has one. I’d like it to replace my Mattes as I really do feel the difference with the Thinline products but what to try it first….


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