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.
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 >>