Despite my best efforts when it comes to spending money and acquiring stuff, I’ve had a hard time getting into the subscription box trend. Mostly because, although it’s true that I do love stuff, I’m also really picky and perpetually on a budget, so I tend to be pretty particular about how I spend my money and what exactly I buy. The surprise factor of the subscription boxes has always made me a bit leery. When SaddleBox contacted me about a review I had to think on it for a bit, and responded warning them that I was only willing to do it if they didn’t mind me being brutally honest. They seemed confident, so they sent me a box.
Before I get into the nitty gritty, there were a few things that appealed to me about SaddleBox upon initial inspection of their website. I really like that the company supports horse rescues – that always helps soften the blow when you’re spending money. It also always includes treats, which… Henry literally has 6 different kinds of treats right now because he is the most rotten horse on the planet. We are always down for trying new treats or just accumulating more (fun fact, they have a page full of treat recipes on their website if you’re into making your own!).
The box was relatively packed with stuff, that’s for sure. It’s always satisfying to get a heavy box with lots of stuff to dig through. In that way I can kinda see the appeal of monthly box subscriptions. It’s like Christmas. As for the actual contents of the box, some I like, some is not for me, but there are TEN items in here. The more the merrier.
Besides treats, SaddleBox always includes some kind of grooming supplies, whether its shampoo or brushes or general barn stuff. This I really do like, because it feels like you’re getting essentials, which are always useful and makes the whole idea of a subscription box feel less frivolous. This box included:
- Buckeye peppermint treats ($10)
- CoFlex wrap ($2)
- Fiebing’s saddle soap ($5)
- tack sponge ($1)
- Epona hoof pick ($9)
- a face brush (I dunno, lets just say $3)
- Tough-1 Great Grips shedding blade ($10)
- Epona grooming mitt ($9)
- a book “Handy Hints for the Horse Person” ($6)
- a big, amusing sticker ($3)
For me personally the contents of the box were kind of middle of the road. I always like treats, although these particular ones are not Henry’s favorite… he’ll still eat them eventually, if a bit unenthusiastically. Would I have bought them? Those particular ones, probably not. Buckeye is a good brand though. The CoFlex wrap is great because there’s no such thing as too much of that stuff, let’s be real. Would I have bought that? Yes, at some point. Same goes for the tack sponge – a simple staple that I always need. The saddle soap would go in the win column for me too, because I did actually need more. The grooming mitt probably isn’t something I would have bought, but I love those types of mitts for baths, so we’ll count that as a win too. Hoof picks are another essential, although I am obsessively married to the Ultimate Hoof Pick, this Epona one is suitable enough to keep (I put it in my trailer as an emergency spare). The book was fine, I leafed through it quickly and saw a couple of semi-useful tidbits but it’s also not something I would have bought. The sticker I did find kind of amusing, so it now resides in my office at work.
The only things I definitely didn’t like were the little face brush (I legit have like 10 of them and never use a single one. I’d also just gotten an almost identical one the day before in my FEH packet so it was kind of amusing. They multiply at an alarming rate.) and the shedding blade (I hate these types of shedding blades. Haaate.). Both of those will go in the donate bin.
As far as bang for your buck, the overall value of the box is at least $55, and the cost from SaddleBox is $35 per month (or $30 for the first month’s box with the LOVEHORSES coupon code). You can cancel anytime, which is nice, so you don’t feel like you’re signing up for some kind of major financial obligation. They also have gift plans if you want to do a box or a subscription as a gift, although they’re a bit more expensive.
Overall – is there value there? Yes, for sure. Is it something I would buy for myself? Probably not. It didn’t really excite me enough to make me want to part with my money on a monthly basis. I could definitely see myself giving it as a gift though. I think the target audience for something like this is a more casual horse person or a hobby rider. A new rider would probably love it too, or a lesson kid. It’s a company I would feel good about giving my money to, so I’ll be keeping it in mind next time I need a fun, unique gift for a horse person. If you want to keep up with Saddlebox, follow them on Insta here or facebook here.
13 thoughts on “SaddleBox: a review”
I used to love subscription boxes and signed the hubby up for a number of them for gifts. In my experiences (not with this company) the first box was always legit a great deal and packed full of items that exceeded the price of the box. Then the next month had a little less, a little cheaper goods in it. Then less and less until by the time I gave up on them they were well under what I was paying and pretty crappy. It would be interesting to see if this company went the same way or not
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They have pictures showing different monthly boxes, so you can see what was included.
I have tried Giddy up Goodies (for a single month, it was too expensive for my budget) and I did a Horse Box for several months. Ironic enough, they’re now both owned by Giddy up Goodies. I didn’t feel the month I got of Giddy up Goodies was worth the money. I liked a Horse Box and used many of the products, but after a while I started getting repeat products and ended up cancelling my subscription. A Horse Box/GuG offers a box just for treats and some other specific things. I think I’d be more likely to do that than just a general box unless I someday own another horse and need a lot of random things, then I feel like the regular subscription box would be more useful.
Hi it’s not worth the money. Treats sit on shelves for more than a year and most of their products come from Oriental express. I know so much more but don’t know how to get it out. Thanks for letting me vent.
I am probably not the target market for these types of things. I just don’t like stuff. Ask the people at my barn… I have 5 saddle pads that I keep in rotation, and they are all white. The embroidered one that I love so much? Yeah, it was a gift. The embroidered ones that I show in? Also a gift. Seriously, I am THAT boring. So… the treats, saddle, soap, and sponge would be fine. But to me, it’s not worth the extra STUFF to get those few things. I would rather pay my local tack shop for them and get exactly what I need. I think I am the minority here on that though.
I don’t think you are in the minority. I love STUFF, but I love certain stuff, and I’m particular about it. I don’t love stuff just for the sake of stuff.
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Subscription boxes have always just encouraged lukewarm buying and hoarding, to me. I don’t want generic grooming supplies when I obsessively research everything that touches my horse and spend money on quality things that will last and I know I will actually use. Seems like most of this will get lost or get tossed, which is how I’ve always felt about anything I received via mystery box
I like being able to sample things I haven’t tried yet, that’s a cool way to experience different brands. But I think I would like the boxes more if you got some kind of choice in what was included… which I think probably defeats the purpose of most subscription boxes lol.
My MIL actually got me one the gift Saddle Boxes for my birthday, and it was…alright. I think its a great gift for someone new to horses, or a kid, but I’m pretty particular about the things that I like. It was a really sweet gift to get from someone non-horsey though!
I used to get a birchbox which I really loved, but after about a year I really liked the stuff I had and didn’t want to try new ‘things’. The difference is, those are only $10 a month, not $30, so it felt more like a fun little prezzie for myself that I didn’t mind indulging
I definitely always think the idea of subscription boxes is cool, but I’ve never gotten one. Especially not for horse stuff. I’m in the same boat as you – I love STUFF, but I don’t love collecting unnecessary stuff. I’d rather just buy what I want/need to try rather than take a gamble on a bunch of random stuff I may not use
I love me a good sub box! I actually subscribed to this one for awhile. These promotional ones seem to have more stuff in them than the normal ones I think, but they were always a decent box. The reason I canceled though, was that I am pretty particular with my grooming tools, and really didn’t need new ones every month of items that weren’t my preference. (Same with soap… I have one I really like and don’t want to try anything else.)
I did like the treats though! Some months they sent what I think were homemade ones and the horses LOVED them. Anyway, it’s a fun box if you aren’t annoyingly weird about grooming items like I am.
I get a Barkbox every month for my dogs, I have three heelers and two LGD puppies, and need the replacement toys! They have some really cute themes and the dogs always love the toys, and they are well made. I don’t feed the dogs a lot of treats though, so I donate those to either the San Marcos or PAWS shelter, or my friend who has a grooming business. I don’t see that success being duplicated for my horses, though.