10 Things I Didn’t Buy at Equine Affaire


I attended Equine Affaire for the first time last week. This despite the fact that I have lived within reasonable driving distance of one of the fair’s iterations for my entire adult life. I don’t know why I’d never been before. Clinics, demos, horses to pet, things to buy. What’s not to like?

In any case, I can now say I’ve been to Equine Affaire, and I did what I think most horsepeople do when they visit an enormous, horse-themed trade fair. I spent way too much money. But I didn’t come home with muck buckets full of goodies for the barn. I spent too much money on one single pair of country boots. It wasn’t really an impulse decision. I’ve had my eye on them for literally years. But it was a pricey, unnecessary purchase and one of which I am not proud. I could have paid the entry fees for a couple of unrated horse shows or added a few much-needed private lessons to my schedule of weekly group lessons. These things would have pushed me closer to my equestrian goals. The boots, while luxurious and beautiful, do not.

To stave off potential buyer’s remorse, I’d like to share with you just a few of the things that I did NOT exchange my hard-earned cash for during my two days at Equine Affaire. I figure this will somehow make my one extravagant purchase seem OK.

Equine Affaire

1. These sparkly shirts. Granted, I don’t show in western classes where these shirts might be appropriate, so maybe it seems like I didn’t really have to show any restraint for this one. But I really like sparkles, as you’ll soon see.

Equine Affaire

2. These saddles. Or any saddles. Again, not a western competitor, but this sea of saddles only represents a small fraction of the saddles I walked past, only briefly glancing at price tags before moving on. New and used; dressage, jumping, and even cutback; synthetic and leather. I bought none.

Equine Affaire

3. These boots. These boots were cheaper than the ones I did buy. Maybe I should have bought them. That’s a pretty good deal.

Equine Affaire

4. This friendly Friesian. To be fair, he was probably not for sale.

Equine Affaire

5. These emoji boot socks. Or any boot socks. I’d kind of like a few pairs of boot socks to go with my new boots, but I kept my wallet closed.

Equine Affaire

6. These grooming tools, and more importantly, the sparkly grooming totes behind them. Sparkly grooming totes, you guys!

Equine Affaire

7. Sparkly saddle blankets! How stellar would these look against Snoopy’s black coat under my old saddle (because, again, I didn’t buy a new saddle)? But I left them on the shelf.

Equine Affaire

8. Hey, look, it’s the childhood bedroom of my childhood dreams. I was really tempted by these cute plush horses, though. I have a tiny niece and it’s my job to indoctrinate her into the horse world, but I held back.

Equine Affaire

9. Speaking of Tiny Niece, someday she’ll need a pair of tiny cowboy boots and I intend to be there for her. But she’s not quite walking yet, and so I’ll wait until her feet are bigger and she can express a color preference. I hope that color preference is sparkly purple.

Equine Affaire

10. These sparkly spurs. Okay, again, I don’t really ride western, but they’d look cool in my office. And maybe someday I will get a reiner and wouldn’t it be good to be prepared for my show pen debut?

Really, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the things I didn’t buy. Does that make up for my frivolous boot purchase? Probably not. But Rolex is coming up soon and I’ll have a chance to walk past a lot more awesome equestrian deals at the trade fair there. And I’ll be doing it with dry, comfortable feet.

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Leslie Potter is Managing Editor of HorseChannel.com. Follow her on Twitter: @LeslieInLex.



  1. I am H/J and if I go to my favorite horse area in Virginia…I can break the bank hands down. But all you bought was a beautiful pair of boots. Good for you..you showed some discipline!!! And you bought a pair that will last for a good long time. You’ll get years of enjoyment out of that purchase. ENJOY them and wear them in Good Health!!


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