by Jennifer Carcaci-Trumble

Horse fever has hit you and or a loved one, but you have no idea where to get started. Let me help you save money on your start into the world of equestrians.

No matter which equestrian sport you want to try you will need a pair of boots with a heel so your feet do not slip through the stirrups. The ideal size of a heel is 1 to 1 1/2 inches with small tread. You sometimes can find paddock looking boots in department stores or name brand ones on eBay for a good price.

Very inexpensive ways to purchase look-alike riding pants are to go to the department store or second hand stores and buy leggings. You can find them from a few cents up to a few dollars. If you want official riding pants, you can save money by going to garage sales, barn sales, tack sales. You even can find them on eBay and Facebook groups. If you wait until the end of the year you can also buy closeout riding pants. I myself save over half of what the breeches cost originally.

You have decided on the equestrian sport that you want to try and now you need to find a place to take lessons. If you can take group lessons it could save you half of what a private lesson would cost. You can learn a lot from the ground by joining an adult equine group or a 4-H or Pony Club. The leaders of these groups can guide you in the right direction to get the lessons you want to take.

You are thinking that you are ready to purchase a horse. Don’t do that yet. There are many people who would love to split the cost of the maintenance of their horse and allow you to take lessons and ride their horse. This is called a half lease. Each half lease contract will be different.   Your trainer can help you find the perfect fit for you so you are not out horsed nor under horsed.

I cannot express strongly enough that under no circumstances should you ever purchase a used helmet. You do not know the history of that helmet. You won’t be able to see if the foam is broken inside from an impact. You can buy a less expensive helmet from your local feed store that will cost in the range of $25 to $40. The professional rider can spend upwards of $500 on a helmet. You have one head. Do not skimp on a used helmet.