HI Spy: Your Equestrian Splurge


    Western show saddleAs a horse person, you’re probably used to shopping on a budget. Just covering the equine basics gets pretty expensive, and once you add in extras like riding clothes, new tack and the occasional horse show, there isn’t much left over for impulse purchases.

    If you were granted one horse-related item for free, what would it be? The possibilities are endless. You could go for the fancy saddle you’ve been eyeing at your local tack shop, a new show outfit or a state-of-the-art horse trailer. Maybe you’d really make it count by putting an indoor arena in your backyard or adding another horse to your herd.

    Share the one item you would use your free splurge on by clicking “Submit a Comment” below. Some of the answers may be selected for a future issue of Horse Illustrated.

    One selected response may be selected by the editors to win a monthly prize! If you would like to be eligible for the prize, please include your email address in the comment form (email addresses are not publicly displayed.)

    See all HI Spy Questions >>


    1. I would absolutely love automatic waterers. Carrying heavy buckets around the barn is probably my least favorite barn chore and automatic waterers would be a great way to make my job easier!

    2. If I could have anything horse related for free it would have to be an actual horse barn with stalls instead of a dairy barn with concrete flooring that the horses can fall on.

    3. I would be absolutely thrilled if I got a free pair of Ariat westChester zip dress boots. Finally I would look professional!

    4. I would love for someone to give me a horse trailer. It doesn’t have to state of the art just one my horse would willingly walk in. He prefers stock trailers with swinging doors. It wouldn’t even have to be brand new just useable with good floor and lights bumper hitch. It would be so nice not to have to depend on others to haul us around.

    5. If I could get any horsie purchase for free it would be a horse in general. Growing up I never had the money for one because I have a big family. Just getting a horse would make my world complete!

    6. If I could have a horsey purchase givin to me, I would love to have an arena. Nothing fancy,just some no climb horse fence with t post.Have been trying to save up for it, but always use the money for something else I NEED. Would love to get back in the saddle.

    7. If I could have one horsey purchase given to me, it would be a horse trailer. There is match to the feeling that you have your own horsey rig and are free and independent.

    8. If I could have one horsey purchase, I would like to have a better grooming kit. Sure the one I have works, but it could be better.If there is one thing I like, it is to have my horse clean and feeling good. I don’t really care about having fancy clothes or tack. As long as Casper is clean and healthy I am very proud.

    9. I’ve had my eye on this cute little colt for the past two years now. He’s a handsome little chestnut Quarter Horse. I have all the equipment and space I need, but I don’t have enough money to buy him. If I got him for free, I’d be so excited I might die…..Then come back to life so I could care for and love him.

    10. I would want a trailer! I just got a horse and just purchased a new saddle. I have everything i need to show and trail ride away from home… BUT a trailer! It would be fabulous to be given a one for free

    11. If I could have a free horsey splurge, I would actually get a horse!! I have never own one before, so I think that would be top on my list!

    12. If given the opportunity to ask for a horse related gift, I would ask for a truck & horse trailer package and the means to travel with my horse to children in situations where they could not travel and wanted to have a positive horse related experience, because I believe I should use my blessing to bless others.

    13. If I was to be given something horsey for free, it would have to be (of course) another horse. I’ve been scouting online websites for another horse for ages, but all the ones I want are WAY out of my price range!

    14. Splurging on horsey things is fun! And although I love buying new show shirts, and saddle pads, my most desired splurge would be a total need. A horse!

    15. If I could have one horsey purchase given to me, I would like to be given a jumping saddle. I want to bring the jumps down where the cowboys roam!!

    16. If I could splurge on a horsey item, it would be the
      Classic Equine ESP Felt Top Square Saddle Pad. Lily is a high-withered TB. She deserves the best in my eyes!
      Breana & Lily

    17. If I could have anything I’d love to have a newer truck to pull my horse trailer. Our truck is old and has almost 300k miles on it! Still pulls our trailer but it’s a strain on it. I’d love a new horse trailer too as my trailer is a 71′ Rice but I think a new truck tops the trailer right now!

    18. If I could I’d purchase a 2 horse trailer.Living the dream of trail riding thru state parks,out west in the mountains or even local trail rides and sharing it with my sister video taping every day, every mile,from sunrise to sunset would be the ultimate life journey.

    19. If I could have one horsy item for free I think I would get a dressage coat. Granted I’m still at schooling show level (and most of the other riders just compete in polo shirts) but I have always wanted just a basic one. And if some day I ever have the opportunity to move up in levels I’ll be all set.

    20. I would love to purchase the horse of my dreams… Any horse that is a good riding horse that has a beautiful personality and great heart!!!

    21. I would love to have a beautiful barn, with a center isle with six stall on each side, a tack room, feed room and an office, allong with a sturdy set of stocks for wash or repro.

    22. If I could have anything in the world for my horse I would want a new barn, one that would have a long aisle filled with adopted horses that had been abused and neglected, so they could have a new safe home.

    23. I would love to get a blinged out breastcollar. i have been looking at many, but I just can’t afford them! That is what I would splurge on!!

    24. I have been dying to buy 2 more miniature horses that I have been taking care of for more than 3 years now. Unfortunately, the owner knows how badly I want them, and she is raising the price too high for my parents and I to buy them both right now. We currently own two houses and cannot afford any more horses right now, so the only thing I want is Dreamer and Patience, “my” beloved minis.

    25. If i could have something for free it would be a huge tack room that could house all of my unnecisary tack. It would have a place for everything under a plate with my horse’s names on them.

    26. I would ask for some new spurs. I have an old pair, but they’re getting a bit small for me. I don’t use them on my horse to get him motivated, I just use them to get his attention, something I desperately need when I’m at a rodeo. Besides, they look and sound really cool!

    27. If I could have one thing free I would want a trailer equipted with two horses! Then we would be all set to go! I would trail ride and go to shows with my new trailer and two horses!

    28. I would ask for a really nice pair of clippers, because at the moment my pair stinks! It takes about 2 hours to clip my Norwegian Fjord’s mane (because it is roached erect with the white shorter than the black), not to mention doing her muzzle and ears too. Perhaps even a pair that is quiet.

    29. I would ask for a huge barn so I could take in all the abused, unwanted, slaughter horses and give them a happy natural life on a farm. Where I could take care them and give them all the Horsey love they need.

    30. If I could have one thing for free, it would be a vet visit to make sure that all is well with my 15 year old gelding. You know, the basics, as well as an arthritis check-up ( think he’s having joint troubles). Other than that, I am a happy horse owner!

    31. I would absolutely LOVE to move to a different state or part of my own state. A brand new hundred acres or so, right up in the mountains where I could trail ride all I want, and a huge barn full of horses!

    32. Dress boots for dressage shows. I have always had hand-me-down tall and dress boots that barely fit me so I’ve had to add an extra sock or two just so my feet wouldn’t slide around.

    33. I would definitely get a horse to ride all the time that has been my dream ever sisince I was 4. I always take lessons at a barn but it would totally be nice to own a horse!

    34. I would get 3″ of sand for my arena to help it better hold up to wet weather. That way my students and I wouldn’t miss quite as many riding days in the winter, and my horses’ legs would have better footing to help reduce the impact on their legs.

    35. 5 years ago, when I was a starry-eyed hunter-jumper-wanna-be, I would have answered this question in a flash with two words: “A HORSE!” Thanks to many people’s generosity, I now have lots of horses…that I don’t have to pay a penny for! I ride the horses at my barn whose owners are too busy to come down and ride themselves. I have my pick of horses to show, ride, and hunt, all cost-free. As a starry-eyed hunter-jumper (not a wanna-be anymore), that is heaven on earth!
      These days, my one thing that I would want for free would have to be a large, indoor arena. It would be wonderful to have one because I wouldn’t have to cancel hundreds of rides and lessons because of cold, wind, or rain.

    36. it would be to get my horse back… you see we had to give him away because it was too expensive. i was heart broken… especially when i saw him throw a tantrum into the trailer… i had to turn around so know one would see me cry… apparently he got loose because i suddenly felt him nudge my back as i was leaning against the fence. he kept screaming as we put him in the trailer and even when the trailer went away. it was the hardest thing for me to do… anyways my birthday is tomorrow and i have always wanted to see him again.

    37. This is difficult. I’d love a new saddle that is comfortable and fits my mare’s back well, but I’d also like a better saddle blanket. Then there’s always that trailer I’ve always wanted… But if I had to choose it would be the saddle. Riding is always more enjoyable if your behind doesn’t get sore from sitting in a stuffingless-seat all day. 😛

    38. If I was granted one horsey purchase for FREE, I’m definately going for the big one, I want an arena. However if that sounds too greedy, I’d settle for a nice run in shed for my guys.

    39. If there’s one thing I would need…it would probably be money. If I had enough money, I would actually be able to afford things I need — like a farm with space, a barn, an arena, tack, equipment, and (most importantly) a horse! I do know a place where I can lease a horse for a really cheap price, but I don’t have anything needed to care for and keep a horse. I could probably borrow tack from it’s owner, so the biggest thing I would need is probably space — to have room for a barn, for my horse to run, and for me to ride it — because I don’t have ay space right now, so if I was given atleast 30 acres for free, that would be fine by me!

    40. Ever since I could remember I would always ask my mom when I could go ride my Aunt’s two elderly horses again…When she said “How about today?” today, I would jump up and down on my 4 year old legs and scream “YEAH!!!” and go and get my straw hat, put on my jeans and my old cowboy boots, and get a carrot… Now that i’m older (13 years) that feeling has multiplied my the millions. I’ve never had a horse, but I do ride fairly often with the same Aunt, but her now younger horses. I really want a horse and riding someone eles’s is really fun, but still, it’s NOT not the same thing as going out to the barn every day and thinking, “I think I’ll ride MY horse today!”. My best friend, Tessa, still had her first horse who was 25, till a few weeks ago, but then it couldn’t get up one morning and had to be put down. It was really tough for her… I couldn’t imagine having to put down your first horse! But now she’s better and really wants a new horse too… We are best friends known for our love of horses, and it is also known (especially among our parents!) that we really want horses so we can ride together…She has space on her farm for 2 horses but neither of us have gotten one yet… But as much as I would die for a horse of my own (as I hopefully throughly explained above), if I could get one for free, I would give it to my Tess. She would be SO extatic and so happy, and seeing her that happy, would make my year!

    41. If I was to get anything for free…. I would probably want a free vet!!!!! I want to start a horse rescue and I already have one rescue horse and her vet bills are tough to pay. I would love to save more,but don’t have enough money for the vet. I could only afford one more rescue at the moment. My rescue baby right now is sooooo sweet and would have been sent to the sloughter house if my dad had not picked her up. now she is one of the most beautiful horses I have ever seen and athletic too…not to brag!!!!! I would love to give all the other rescue horses another chance at life. They make some of the most trusting, loving companions you will ever find. they need a vet…bad.. I just wish I could afford vet care for all the rescue horses on the planet!!!!!

    42. i have always wanted to be a vet. i would want another horse. i just had to put my horse lyric a black arabian mare down and i really want another horse that would be the one thing i want.

    43. I have two very nice quarter horses, one of which has a very playful personality. I think that if I could have a choice for a horsey gift, I would want a ranch for my family so that I could 1, get more horses (I want to start training horses), and 2, get some cows for me and my horse to chase. I think that that would make my next three years. 😀

    44. If there could be one thing that I would get for my horse, it would probably be a new western bridle. Our current one is a old purple nylon bridle and it is fraying! Plus purple doesn’t look good on a gelding.

    45. My horse item would be a ranch with a couple trained horses for my daughter,she wants to start a theraputic ranch and be able to help horses and people alike, building bonds between horses and people, giving them both a freedom they need and cant have without the other. pjholdeman@hotmail.com

    46. For my horsey splurge, I would go to a riding camp or clinic to learn new skills and enhance old ones, because I believe you can never learn too much about horses and their care. Not to mention have fun!!

    47. If I could have any horse item I would choose 2 or 3 mini horses to keep me company. me and my family have just moved to Billings, Montana, Where there are horses every were I looked. But my family cannot afford to get a real horse, not even a mini. There are three horse crazy kids in the family. I’m the most horse crazy then my little sister then my big sister. I have big dreams!

    48. My horsey splurge would be a new barrel saddle. Not anything fancy, just something that fits my horse and I. My saddle right now it too big for my horse and a little too small for me.

    49. If I could have anything–any one horsey thing in the world– I would have to say I need a horse trailer. A small one. Right now, my horse and I are stuck riding on just our own 3-4 acres. I would like to be able to go to the local horse trails with my friend (who doesn’t own a trailer, either).

    50. My saddle! I just got the Elite Ansur Treeless saddle. It works great because treed saddles never fit my horse, but it was really expensive!I would like to try the western one!

    51. Definitely an Arabian horse! I have been taking lessons and saving pennies for more than 10 years. Now that I’ve decided to begin showing, I’d really like to have a horse that I can always depend on, no worries that he’s gonna be leased!

    52. The long winter takes its toll on my Quarter Horse/Tennessee Walker. Therefore, if I was given the choice of a free equine related gift, I would definitely choose a cozy blanket for my horse.

    53. for me a good work horse i have to use one of my dads that he gets with his work if i had my own i could ride when ever i want and do rodeo i cant with out my own horse and thats my dream

    54. If I could have one horsey item for free, it would be an awesome truck for hauling! I would love to have a big truck capable of pulling a six horse trailer so that I could take all of my horses somewhere at one time!

    55. If I could have one free horse related object given to me, I would want an wintec english saddle. I’d love this because I don’t have a saddle that really fits me, and I am taking english lessons, but would like to practice at home too.

    56. If I could have one free horse related object given to me, I would wish to get a new horse. My instructors think I could go father in the horse world if I had my own horse to compete on.

    57. My guilty splurge would be on a matching set complete with asaddle with backcinch and a headstall and reins. Right now mine are all different shades, and I’m so used to it, but having it be matching would be so nice!

    58. A matching set of splint boots, please! I think it is pretty bad when I put a small boot and a medium boot on my horse! And when it comes to colors I NEVER have two of the same. Although my horse looks good in a variety of colors, I desperatly need a pair of splint boots.

    59. A horsey item does include a horse right? Because I would love to splurge on a flashy thoroughbred gelding to take to shows and on trail rides during these summer months.

    60. I would really like to have an indoor riding arena! It would be such a blessing in the summer heat! I live in Arizona, and the heat makes it pretty much impossible to ride unless you ride sometime between 10pm and 6am. During the summer, my poor horse never wants to go faster than a trot, and she sweats about three times as much as during any other season!

    61. i would get an arena. My horse has to ride in the pasture she lives in. i think she would enjoy an arena. A big one to ride enjoyably in.

    62. I would get a horse trailer. I don’t have one yet, and I just started training one of my horses under saddle a while ago, and I would like to start doing shows as soon as she is ready.

    63. If I was granted one horsey item of my choice for free, I would probably get a paid off ranch with a nice barn and riding facilities on it! 😉

    64. I would definitely get a horse ranch with plenty of room for different facilities and features. I am going to own and run a non-profit equine and canine rescue and rehabilitation center someday so it would be great if the land and facilities for it were already paid off.

    65. I would love to get a new trailer. My old one came with my first horse, and has now broken down. I want to trailer my horse to my friends place this summer, to go trail riding, but I don’t have a trailer to take her.

    66. I would definitely get a paid off horse barn with all the amenities. Wash room, tack room, stalls with windows, and anything else my horses would need to be comftorable. It would also have pastures with tons of space to roam so they could be happy and healthy. I currently have to board my horse away from home because I do not have enough money to build a barn/stable with pastures.

    67. I’d go for a multi-million dollar riding school with all the fixings. Including an indoor arena and maybe a loft apartment to live in. 🙂

    68. Most definitely a riding arena!This has been on my list for a long time. And as long as it’s free, half would have a roof on it, while the other half was an outdoor arena!

    69. I would absolutely love to have a barn exactly like the one my horse is boarded at now, but in Lexington, Kentucky. I want to move to Lexington for college and hope to have a barn there. The barn my horse is at has over 20 stalls, a huge indoor arena, acres of trails next to the Yellowstone River, 2 tack rooms, cross ties and much more! It’s anybodies dream barn! I would love to have my future barn modeled after it. I guess I’m lucky enough now to have my horse boarded there!

    70. A barrel saddle. All I have is English. And it gets old. My horse is trained in both, but I think he likes western better.

    71. My one splurge would be to have a small ranch where i can take in and care for unwanted horses. I would love to have a rescue.

    72. My one horsey splurge would have been cremation for my gelding that passed away a few weeks ago. I had him for almost 10 years and he was my best friend.

    73. I have been lucky to have land to keep my horses at home but the fence was put up originally for goats and is not as strong as a horse fence should be and my mare has torn down the high tensile wire several times. If I could get anything for free it would be a nice pasture fence for my best friends to live in and not worry about when it will fall down again.

    74. My one horse splurge would have to be a trailer to hull my horses around in. I have property but I would love to take them out on un-known trail rides so we could explore together.

    75. If I was able to get one horsey purchase for free, I would want my barn to get finished. I have a large indoor arena with an additional cemented area on the side with room for 6 stalls in it. I would like there to actually be completed stalls for my 4 horses and lots of shredded rubber for inside the arena.

    76. If I could have one horse splurge it would be a two horse trailer with living quarters. I would love the opportunity to take my horse out for a weekend without having to depend on others every time I want to go out and ride.

    77. If I was granted one horse related item for free, it has to be a weeklong cattledrive. It’s something I have always wanted to do after watching City Slickers and before getting into horses. It is on my bucket list and ready to be marked off.

    78. I just want a horse. I don’t care what kind. I don’t care how old. I just think I would do a good job taking care of them because I don’t mind mucking stalls and pastures (even during February in Maine), I have been riding for eight years now, leasing for two years, and I would devote my life to a horse. 🙂

    79. I would love a beautiful wooden horse barn. It wouldn’t even have to be huge…just roomy enough for 2 horses and a tack/feed room. If I could get a barn like that, it would be a dream come true!

    80. I would want a pair of Easyboot Bares for my donkeys sore hooves she gets from having an attack of founder in 2011. Even though I’m saving for them, i still would like to get them free. That would be the best free gift to me.

    81. A two or three horse trailer with all of the extras! Then, my horse and I wouldn’s have to rely on others to get to 4-H. And, my parents wouldn’t have to pay for an exspensive trailer! 🙂

    82. i would want a horse! i love them so much!! i am 12 and i still dont have one! as i get older it gets worse. my mom owned horses when she was little but not any more. i am trying to find one to lease. so if u have one up 4 ;ease let me know.

    83. I would want a new stable/barn. We have the acreage and the horses and we have shelters for them now, but they are more like lean to’s. A stable with 2-3 stalls,a tack room, a wash bay,and a feed storage area would be amazing. I could know without a doubt that they would stay dry and warm.

    84. The one thing I would get is the special edition Rider’s Diary saddle blanket. The saddle blanket just seems so unique. I am a big fan of Rider’s Diary’s. So my horse won’t be left out on Rider’s Diary products.

    85. A heavyweight Pessoa turnout blanket…purple plaid. The most amazing mare, who I leased at the time, had one and I absolutely loved it. Ella (the mare) has since passed away and I have a horse of my own. Financially I won’t allow myself to buy one for my girl, but nostalgia says that would be the horse item of my dreams.

    86. I would want a new barrel saddle for my horse and I. I love to barrel race and right now am using a friends saddle. That is what I would want.


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