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Anyone else a Shoestring Diva?

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    Anyone else a Shoestring Diva?

    I can't be the only shoestring budget dressage diva around here. I have expensive taste but live with the knowledge that the closest I'll get to a pair of rhinestone alligator trim $1500 tall boots is on my pinterest board . If that money appeared in my bank it'd end up disappearing into something more practical, but I still covet them.

    Does anyone have any great finds no matter how little or small that helped them fulfill their dressage diva itch without breaking the bank?

    My most recent shoestring diva find was a FSS bridle on ebay. Mine is patent leather, rhinestoned, and padded to the max for under $130 shipped. It passes for a Passier Apollo or Schockemoehle Sport at a distance and the leather is surprisingly nice.

    I didn't manage to snag them but Horze had a line called Crescendo. The breeches were bold rich colors (burgundy, navy, etc.), extra wide belt loops, full seat, and rhinestones on the belt loops for $115 and apparently were way cheaper on blowout sale. It was more than I wanted to stomach at the time but after seeing them in person they look so much nicer.

    So, anyone else have any diva finds that didn't break the bank. Breeches, gloves, dressage whip, saddle pads, horse boots, people boots, whatever? Bonus points for gorgeous fall colors (eggplant, burnt orange, etc.) that only seem to appear when you add an extra 0 to the price.

    This is me. Being a college student facing a lifetime of crippling debt (sort of joking, sort of not), I almost exclusively shop on eBay when I need something. I've found great deals. Brand new Cavallo breeches for $25, brand new Ariat breeches for $5.....If I reeeaaally need something new that I can't find on eBay, I shop on European tack shop sites because items are often half the price over there (even with shipping).


      My like-new Kieffer double bridle cost less than $200 on eBay.

      And my new obsession is Romfh breeches. Great feel, terrific fabric and under $150.
      Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.


        My latest and greatest find is Noble Horse gloves. My wedding rings are hard on gloves (not huge stones, just a pokey-outie engagement ring setting & a not totally smooth eternity ring), and that area tends to wear/tear first. I love Roeckl gloves, but even though they're pretty durable, it's just getting too expensive for schooling gloves. Other gloves fit poorly or aren't very durable (or are too thick or some other thing.) My Noble Horse gloves were $20, seem sturdier than the Roeckls, aren't any thicker or clunkier, and they fit well. I'd honestly like them at any price!

        I also love the Noble Horse grooming tote I got recently on the recommendation of a friend. All the dirt and hair falls through the bottom - self cleaning!


          I got a black rolled bridle half off a few years ago for $75. Used it on a fine headed mare a little bit. Sold the mare last year. Sold the bridle on Ebay for $109.


            Me! I'm such a bargain hunter!

            European websites likes Amira and Calevo have really good deals on tall boots and Pikeur jackets and the European brands breeches and wraps and such.

            I'm currently coveting a pair of hunter green full seats.


              Originally posted by Sancudo View Post
              Me! I'm such a bargain hunter!

              European websites likes Amira and Calevo have really good deals on tall boots and Pikeur jackets and the European brands breeches and wraps and such.

              I'm currently coveting a pair of hunter green full seats.
              I love the bargains from Europe too - but remember, you will pay customs on top of those sales prices - and for clothing items, that is about 28% Sometimes you get the bill a month afterwards! Surprise!


                Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
                I love the bargains from Europe too - but remember, you will pay customs on top of those sales prices - and for clothing items, that is about 28% Sometimes you get the bill a month afterwards! Surprise!
                I've been bringing items into the U.S. From various countries for six years now (and in large volumes, sometimes) and I have paid duty exactly four times. Three of those were saddles.

                I don't know about Canada but here, if it comes in through the USPS and is under about $400, you generally will not pay duty on it:
                Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the long as its in a conservative color.


                  My very favorite breeches are black full seat Pikeurs - found at a thrift store for $1!

                  Picked up a lovely dressage coat (reg retail in the $200-300 range), with red piping on the collar and pockets, for free - it was a BOGO - buy one for $25, get another free. The other coat I bought I sold to a friend.

                  Found some Stretch and Flex training wraps for $25/pair.

                  I'm always on the lookout for a good bargain!

                  "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy


                    Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post
                    I've been bringing items into the U.S. From various countries for six years now (and in large volumes, sometimes) and I have paid duty exactly four times. Three of those were saddles.

                    I don't know about Canada but here, if it comes in through the USPS and is under about $400, you generally will not pay duty on it:
                    USPS is much (MUCH) better to deal with then FedEx, that is for sure. I just had that argument with FedEx over a shipment, and they said it is the law. So apparently our Federal Government (USPS) ignores that law. If you can get the vendor to use Postal Service, do it. Some of them will not.

                    Legally, any shipment in is subject to customs. I'm all for avoiding it if you can, but my experience hasn't been quite so positive You've been lucky! And saddles have a much lower customs fee then clothing!


                      I love a good deal! Tack of the Day has some great deals, although you have to be lucky to be the right size, etc. to get the best deals there because of limited inventory.

                      Our local tack store has an annual tent sale - it is a great time to stock up on supplements, fly spray, ointments and replace lead ropes, buckets, etc.

                      I got a pair of FITS deerskin breeches for $5 at a charity tack sale last year - I will definitely go back again this year!
                      "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham


                        I got a perfectly fitting, tags still on, show short coat for $10!! off ebay. I found a Troxel helmet, still in box, never used and in my size in a thrift store for $3! I just received and love a used Rembrandt saddle for under $500 on ebay. I love a bargain! For that matter, my horse is a rescue and cost me $500. He's in a show barn full of very fancy wb's (he's an OTTB) and he not only fits in, he stands out as quite fancy in that company! Diamonds in the rough for everyone! <3


                          Weird, I have never paid duty on my European orders.

                          I'm also a Calevo, Divosa, Ooteman addict. OMG I got the COOLEST rhinestone brushing boots for my young horse for like $25. Just started seeing them here and they were around $85. I got my rolled dressage bridle from Divosa for about $75.

                          I'm also an eBay addict. I picked up a navy Grand Prix shad for $160, barely used. It's a $1000 coat. I also got some almost new Konig's for $150.

                          And my latest purchase - my navy rhinestone helmet by BR. Ordered it from a tack shop in Canada so it was around $125 USD... Every bit as stunning as the super spendy Samshield, IMO.


                            Originally posted by RedmondDressage View Post
                            Weird, I have never paid duty on my European orders.
                            Me neither and I've ordered from Calevo quite a bit.


                              I'm feeling RIPPED OFF! FedEx has promised me a duty bill on a Divoza purchase - seriously, dealing with it this week


                                I wouldn't say I'm a "diva" per se (I spent too long in foxhunter land to ever own anything with rhinestones on it ) but I'm definitely a fan of the shoestring bargain hunting lifestyle.

                                In addition to the EU sites others have mentioned (because I do looooove me some Pikeur full seats) I also do some DIY. Last year I decided to teach myself to sew (thanks internet!), and I've just ordered softshell fabric to do a new show coat. When I consider the fact that I can have a made to measure 100% custom coat in whatever fabric, color, and trim I want for under $75 (or under $125 if I want to use the exact same Schoeller technical stretch fabric that Pikeur use in theirs) it's awfully hard to justify buying one off the rack.


                                  I wear 10yo shirts and my horse wears 20yo blankets that have been mended many times and cut down and re-fitted for her so that she can have a giant bit collection (I will be eating my words about "every horse should be able to go in a plain, lr, double jointed bit" for the rest of my life) and All The Ulcer Medications.

                                  Her beautiful rhinestone browband was given to her by a kind acquaintance. She wears it proudly on her bridle which is worth, oh, less than half of the browband's worth. lol

                                  My big cost savings hint? Buy flyspray in big jugs. That's it. That's all I've got. lol Also, I find it helps to keep her happy if I tell her that her plain keg shoes are actually Jimmy Choos.
                                  Ahhhh, spring is here. The birds are singing, the trees are budding and the paddocks are making their annual transformation from cake mix to cookie dough.


                                    My entire lifestyle revolves around "junking". I am the de facto queen of 2nd hand treasures. :-)
                                    My best find is a gorgeous Borso d'Este show jacket, with the tags still on. $50.
                                    A nearly new pair of tall show boots from the local Value Village: $35.
                                    Once scored a pile of stuff from a rather well-off young rider who'd gone off to college, and parents were sick of the stuff in their rec room. $75 got me (mostly new with tags) a pair of white show breeches, Ariat half chaps, ariat paddock boots, two saddle pads and a brush caddy filled with grooming supplies that had never been used.


                                      Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
                                      I'm feeling RIPPED OFF! FedEx has promised me a duty bill on a Divoza purchase - seriously, dealing with it this week
                                      That sucks Was it a big purchase? The only thing I can think is that there is a threshold over which you owe duty? None of my orders have been for more than a few hundred dollars so maybe I was under?


                                        I have to admit I love the challenge of finding a deal. Only suckers pay full retail has always been my philosophy. European tack shops are my favorite place for good deals on quality merchandise. I got a gorgeous Animo show coat from a retailer in Poland for half of what it would have cost me to buy in the States. Ebay is also great.