How do you price used tack?

I’m helping to organize a big used tack sale at the barn – we’re selling table spots for anyone who wants to come to help benefit the equestrian team at the local university that rides out of our barn. At the end of the day, we’ll collect any tack that people don’t want to take home and donate it to some local horse rescues.

I’m looking forward to it. Organizing this sort of event is right in my wheelhouse, both by professional training and personal inclination, and I have spent some quality time cleaning out my own old tack to see what I can unload. I’ve also been making some horsey craft items that I hope will go over well.

I now have an entire tupperware filled with various things I am fine with selling, from breeches to tack to sheets and more. It ranges from fair (good quality & well-loved in decent condition) to brand new & never used. (I finally gave up on the open front leather boots I bought many years ago and have never even taken out of the packaging, much less put on Tristan’s legs. sigh.)

Now I’m in a bit of a conundrum.

How do I price this? I have some gut sense of what I’d pay for it in a consignment shop, and a very vague sense of what I’ve seen similar items priced for online. But I’m pretty far from a savvy consumer of tack, and personally kind of a cheapskate. I’m still trying to pay down vet bills from Tristan and the dog’s fun July, so I need to come away from this with some money. I want to assess a fair price on things but I also need to sell it.

Have you ever done anything like this? How do you decide how to price items – pure whim? actual research on comparatives? some combination of both?

Any advice appreciated!


Tell me more: spurs?

I wear spurs for every ride.*

*well, except when I forget and then end up hating myself.

Tristan is the epitome of the kick ride. Getting forward is our #1 problem, and nearly always has been, except for the early phase in which “stay all four feet on the ground” was our biggest problem.

So: spurs. Every time, every ride. Spurs, whip, helmet: without these things, riding does not happen.

Mind you, I am not digging into him with every stride. They’re a pointed reminder that I need to have in my toolkit to remind him that this shit is for real, they help give an edge to our transitions, and basically my life is much better when I have them on my feet.

So I’m not rethinking the actual wearing of spurs.

But I am rethinking the spurs that I have.

They’re 1/2″ Prince of Wales nubs. Bog-standard, except they do have fake crystal thingies on the side which, um, is the only way I can tell which way to put them on. Also, half the crystals are missing now, BUT I DIGRESS.
Do you ride with spurs? What type of spurs? Should I try a longer spur for a more effective aid? What about swan’s neck spurs? (Keeping in mind I am 5’9″ and he is 15 hands, and keeping my leg on  properly is definitely a consistent challenge.)
Please, talk me through this. It feels like this is an area I could make a small change that might pay off in dividends.

blog hop · tack

Hand Gallop Blog Hop: Every Day Tack Setup

I am a creature of habit, and prefer to have minimal changes to my routine. It’s a big deal when I even swap bits. I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought a new saddle pad – 3 years? 4?
Nor do I really know/remember what type of bridle and saddle I ride in? I know the brand, but not the exact model. #sorrynotsorry.
Everyday dressage outfit.
Albion dressage saddle. I don’t know which one. I bought it used at Pelham Saddlery about 5 years ago. I adore it. It fits me, it fits him, it is comfy and puts me in the right place. It has a small tear on the seat that was well-repaired. I paid $1,200 for it. Bargain. On the saddle itself: basic leathers, basic fillis irons.
Roma fleece half-pad. My most recent purchase, actually, to help cushion his ever-changing back.
Basic dressage saddle pad. I own 3; the one on him in this photo is the only one I bought new. The other was a $5 used tack store find, the other was a hand-me-down that I got the same year I got Tristan. Go ahead, cringe away.

Smartpak dressage girth. This one, the basic one. It’s been a workhorse for as long as I’ve owned the saddle.

Stubben dressage bridle; padded, straightforward noseband. It has a flash attachment, but I don’t really use the flash. (I have in the past, but not right now.) I like it. I bought it on sale at Equine Affaire years ago, for around $150, which was something like 75% off. It is not buttery soft but it is solid and quality. It has tooth marks on the noseband from an asshole barn dog four barns ago. Sigh. In the bit: loose ring French link with lozenge.

Not a great picture, sorry, but jumping attire.
Things that are the same: saddle pads, leathers, irons.
Passier PS Baum all purpose saddle. My baby. My first and only saddle for years. Bought for $300 from a barnmate, 30 years old when I bought it. Total workhorse. Hard as a rock. No knee or thigh roll to speak off. Slippery. Totally out of style. I adore it.
Basic girth. Dunno what type, but it’s nylon-y and elastic on one side. Basic fleece girth cover, because I am picky about fleece on girths and it classes up the cheapo girth a little.

Dover Circuit Figure 8 Bridle. On clearance, $60. Yep. I really like it, actually, except it’s a little small for Tristan’s face so the figure 8 straps are always on their top holes.

Dover galloping boots. He only wears these for XC, because if he rubs a rail I want it to sting. I am a bad mom.

Dover bell boots. Ditto the above.

polls · tack

Half chaps or tall boots?

I mentioned in a recent post that I have been riding in half chaps occasionally.

The half chaps were a gift from the same person who gave me the breastplate for free, and they are a very snug fit. They’re older Ariats. I mostly took them because she was trying to get rid of her stuff and I thought “why not?” My previous experience with half chaps hasn’t been great; for the past 6-8 years I have been a 100% tall boots rider.

I’m really, really liking these, though. I pair them with my Ariat Terrains, which I have long loved for trail rides, and they’re light and yet still a bit grippy. They’re ideal for the hill walking we’re doing right now.

After a few people commented that they love half chaps, I decided to investigate my options for polling and it turns out that Blogger has a gadget for that now!

SO! Visit the blog page, look on the right-hand side, and cast your vote. Do you prefer half chaps, tall boots, a little bit of both, or neither? Comment on this post if you have some specific additional feedback to give.


The Kindness of Strangers

Vermont has this awesome website called Front Porch Forum. It’s basically an online bulletin board, and it is a source of constant awe to me. I love reading through it, even when I don’t need anything, because it’s absolutely fascinating to see what’s going on.

My favorite day until now was the one in which 5 subsequent postings tracked a loose/lost dog by street, the sixth said “Caught him, he’s in my garage!” and the seventh said “Thanks so much everyone, he’s home now!”

I have a new favorite day: last week, I saw a posting for someone who was giving away a whole bunch of horse stuff. Not just crap, either – good stuff. Side reins, half chaps, saddle pads, selling a nice saddle for a great price.

Top of the list, though, the thing that caught my attention? A Nunn Finer Hunting Breastplate, cob sized, in black with nickel fittings. FREE.

I have wanted a breastplate for Tristan for years. I bought him one about five years ago, in a horse size, and it just swam on him – way too big.

I replied as soon as I saw the posting, waited with baited breath, and then got an email: “Sure, I’d be happy to get it to you – I think it will fit Tristan beautifully!”

Turns out the person giving it away rides at my barn, and recognized Tristan from my email profile picture! Small, small town.

I picked it up a week ago and it is in gorgeous shape, fits perfectly, and is exactly what I have wanted. The black will not match our XC/jumping saddle but I could not possibly care less.

Love a horse who ground ties. 🙂