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HI Spy: Share Your Favorite Horsey Item for Under $20

If rising prices are getting you down, see how others are keeping costs low and share your favorite tips.


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What is your favorite horse item under $20?

If the current price of hay is giving you sticker shock, you can resuscitate your barn budget by saving pennies elsewhere. Some great items can be found for under $20. At least that’s what we discovered when we asked some horse owners to share their favorite penny-pinching purchases.

Gaye McCullough of New York enjoys grooming her horses and finds that Baby Wipes, Wet Ones or just about any pre-packaged, moistened towelettes come in handy for wiping off a horse’s face, cleaning up a superficial wound and sprucing up dusty tack.
Denise Roberts of Georgia can’t do without her sheepskin mitt. “You can get them in the auto parts section of any discount store like Target or Wal-Mart,” she says. She uses them primarily for applying fly spray around her horses’ eyes and ears.
Another one of her must-have items for under $20? “My 100-foot measuring tape,” she says. Roberts uses it regularly to measure off distances between jumps. “It lives in my arena,” she says.
When it comes to inexpensive items designed just for the horse person, Wendy Ward of Idaho offered that, “Gloves are my favorite must-have item.” Since she deals with frigid winter weather, Ward shops for affordable brands so she can stuff a pair in the pocket of every barn jacket.
Louise Donovan of California says her state’s warm, sunny weather influences her choice: colorful ball caps. “As much as I enjoy wearing a cap emblazoned with a snazzy brand name above the brim, I can buy a plain cap for a few dollars at the drug store, take it to the local embroidery shop, and have any horsey design put on it for another couple of dollars. Then I can afford to have one in every color.”
Socks—and plenty of them—keep Taylor Compton of Tennessee at the bargain bin. “Can we ever have enough boot socks? If I can buy them in multi-packs to save a few bucks, I’m thrilled!”
Buying in bulk is always on the mind of California-resident Marie Jones. “I don’t think I’ve bought a pair of bell boots that costs more than $10 or $12. Why bother? My horse rips them off or eats them every couple of days. At the lower price I can buy several pair at a time.”
Can you add to this list of bargains to use around the barn? Have you discovered something indispensable for under $20? Click on “submit a comment” below. Select answers will appear in a future issue of Horse Illustrated magazine!

For more ways to save money, check out Cut Horse Costs >>

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Reader Comments

Ariana    Columbus, OH

8/6/2013 5:09:08 PM

ZOCKS!!!! I love the ZOCKS riding socks it is so fun to collect all the different colors and patterns. They are really comfortable and keep you cool in the summer.

Jen    Lebanon, OR

7/10/2012 6:04:37 PM

my lunging strap. They are usually less than 10$ and it makes all the difference when lunging your horse with a bridle on. The bit doesn't pull through their mouths and the pressure is exerted evenly over both sides of their head.

Bailey    Charlotte, NC

8/7/2010 9:55:23 PM

It's between colorful polos or colorful saddle pads.

Erin    Hazel, KY

7/31/2010 6:39:20 AM

Mane n' Tail detangler spray! The little bottles only cost about $2, it lasts me a while, and it makes my horse's tail so much easier to comb through.

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