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Quandary over gear stash and lack of horse

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    Quandary over gear stash and lack of horse

    I lost my horse over two years ago now. A very lovely person kindly offered me space in her barn to stow several totes of gear. And so it has sat, leaving me thinking I need to find a better solution for it. With a small child and attendant family expenses, it's looking less and less like I will be getting another horse any time in the near future.

    Realistically, I know all the blankets (78" mostly), pads, boots, wraps, basically all the non-leather goods I have there would fetch me maybe 30-40% of what it would cost to replace down the road. I feel bad that it's just been taking up room, while out of the way.

    I have a few things I would not part with (I put together the perfect selection of grooming supplies), but is it worth continuing to store all this stuff? I can store one tote worth of stuff in our house besides the bits and leather goods I have in my closet, but space is a definite premium. I would probably need to rent a space were I to pick it up. I don't foresee getting or even leasing a horse of my own for at least five years. How long is it reasonable to stash all this stuff before parting with it?
    Leap, and the net will appear

    Can you just keep the stuff that would work with most horses but sell the rest? I.e. probably saddles and blankets but not grooming stuff, pads...?


      Agree with HPFarmette - I would consider selling stuff that is sized (like the blankets). When you do get a new horse, there is no guarantee that they fit those blankets. Also, blankets are pretty bulky, and sounds like storage is at a premium.


        I would keep your favorite items and anything you might want/need if you pick up a few rides, and sell the rest. I don't own a horse but had accumulated a lot of tack and gear over the years from free leasing or trading work for rides, etc on many different horses. A few years ago I went through and sold a lot of it. I kept my favorite saddle, bridle, and breastplate, a variety of different sized girths, saddle pads, my grooming kit, a few halters and lead ropes, and riding clothes/gear (breeches, shirts, helmet, gloves, boot socks, paddock and tall boots, spurs, and crops). I use these things in lessons or if I get a chance to borrow a horse or ride with friends. Everything else went.


          If you rent space to store it for five years how much will you spend on storage? Enough to buy the things you'll need?

          I would keep the one tote that you can store and sell the rest.

          You could even sock that money in a separate savings account as a nest egg for when you do get back into horses.


            Does the friend with the barn even mind that the totes are there? Does any of it represent the promise of the next horse or hold the memories of the horse you lost?

            I tend to be a bit of a tack hoarder anyway, but there are things I'll always think of as "Candy's Dressage Bridle" or "Candy's Cross Country Boots," even though other horses have used them for the last 16 years and I mostly just drive my pony now.

            I'd keep anything you love/ think would be a pain in the arse or expensive to replace and let go of the random odds and ends, like the pad that will never be white again or the blanket with a torn buckle that never got mended but might get done one day.

            ...or, if you're me, the Halflinger-sized work harness. I do not now, and never have had, a Halflinger, nor do I expect to skid logs or plow a field with a small draft horse in the near needs to go. It never should have come... but I never was able to pass up an offer from a friend getting out of horses, and so it sits-- on the skeleton of a horse in the lobby at work.


              I lost my main horse in June (retired pasture ornament still going strong, of course!). I have a LOT of stuff. Like a lot. And was determined not to just dive right back in by impulse-purchasing something, so my gear has been sitting.

              My approach:

              I took stock of all of my stuff and used the opportunity to do a purge of the stuff that was truly crap. Into the trash heap. Also assessed things that had been kicking around for ages that for whatever reason I didn't care to use and offered them to barnmates etc. Managed to make a good dent in the amount of stuff with just this first step.


              I sold my saddle. I loved it dearly, it fit me well and likely could have been adjusted to fit a new horse, but it also was never going to be worth more than it was right at the moment, and no guarantee it could work on a new horse, so I sold it. Don't regret it! In fact, have a new guy on a lease right now and no way it would fit him, so no regrets!

              I took stock of the one million blankets I have and thinned the stock. Kept my favourites and made sure I have a good stock of weights/cuts. They all fit my retiree. Should a new one need another size, there are a few that will likely fetch a reasonable price used to put toward a new wardrobe.

              As for the rest? Strapgoods, bits, saddle pads, and all the various miscellaneous items... I'll be getting something else eventually, and that stuff is always more expensive to replace than the $$ you'd get selling. So I've kept it.


                Are you confident (like 100% sure) that the storage arrangement you currently have is good enough to prevent mold, mildew, moth damage, mouse damage, etc? Or theft/unauthorized “borrowing”? If so, and the barn owner doesn’t care, and you aren’t ready to make a decision, then let it sit another year or five.

                If not, then I agree to sell sized items like blankets and/or donate them along with stuff you’re really not attached to and has seen better days.

                I didn’t sell my saddle when I took a long break, but it’s a model and size that fits a good number of horses with appropriate padding. If it weren’t so useful (and old) I’d have sold it. I was able to keep it and my other useful tack in climate-controlled spaces during my break as well so I wasn’t worried about mold or critters.


                  I just rehomed my last horse (a rescue that dropped in my lap). I'm selling or giving away everything but my main bridle, saddle, riding gear, and some things that can be used for any horse (i.e. lungeline, dressage whip, etc). But all the other odds and ends and stuff I haven't used in forever? It's going or gone! I expect to be horseless for at least a year or two and space is at a premium at our house too. I sold my trailer (which is where I stored all this stuff!), so it was either come into an already cramped house with 7 children and 2 adults and a bunch of dogs, or sell it for what I could get and set the money aside.


                    Do you or did you have a trailer? Can you store in that?

                    Sorry to hear about the loss of your horse.
                    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


                      kashmere and WildLitteWren are echoing my thoughts. However, I'm a bit more drastic. Two things my husband said I take to heart: 1) They will still make it (sell it, have it for sale) when you want another one. 2) What are your plans? Do you want it in the casket with you? So I am the opposite of a hoarder --If I haven't used something for the horses for a year, I sell it or donate it. My two favorites are the Pony Club auction and the Hunt Club auction. Give away is the handicapped riding program down the road, but they are getting picky since someone gave them a million for donation. Geeesh. Some people.

                      One time I was carrying what must have been 14 bits up to the house when a horse pal stopped by. She asked about what I was going to do --"sell them" I said. She said: but what if you need one? Ok, Bits will still be for sale at the tack store. Nothing special about the bits I have. Sold them. Still haven't bought another one (have four horses who have six bridles between them). Same with saddles --unused a year? Gone. Saddle pads, same. Blankets, same. I put the money I make (I do sell little horse stuff on Ebay and at the 4-H tack sale) --into a little fund (called PayPal) and if I need something for the horses, I buy it.

                      Horse stuff doesn't do well in storage. It molds, gets dusty, dry, faded and well, old. Don't get me wrong --I keep stuff I use. I still have the 1968 cubbing outfit my mom bought me at age 15 --madras plaid jacket and rust colored breeches --but I wear it (I really do) at every cubbing meet and I have for 50+years --still fits.

                      Anyway --that works for me ---but I'm not very sentimental about THINGS. When my draft horse died (he was the farm pet for 22+ years) it made me happy that his show halter went to someone who would use it; his blanket went to a Draft Horse rescue; his huge saddle (that I could no longer lift) went to a man in SC who has a riding draft horse -so it won't sit in my barn, collect dust, and be older next year. Some times I think about the little girl in Yellowknife CA who wears a showmanship outfit my kids wore --glad it's with her and not in a closet.


                        Since you have limited storage space at home, and chances are the barn might like your storage space back, and I wouldn't spend money on a storage unit, I'd get rid of most if not all of it. If you have a really nice saddle and a really nice bridle keep those. IME people hang on to waaaay too much horse stuff thinking they'll use it again. We don't. We want new things for our new horse. Period. Or our old things don't fit the new horse. For the last 12 years I've had a trunk and a tack locker. I would say I use 1/3 of the stuff in my locker. I cannot tell you the last time I went up into the hayloft to get anything in my tack trunk. I don't know that at this point I'd even want to open that thing.

                        The general rule of thumb for cleaning out our closets is something like if you haven't worn or used it in 2 years - toss it out. Why then do we not do the same thing with our horse supplies? Also some barns charge a supplies fee which at first I kind of didn't like, then appreciated that there was always saddle soap/conditioner, fly spray, show sheen and shampoo, hoof picks, brushes. And no gripes about dang it someone used all my fly spray !@#&.

                        If you have any trophy coolers, brushes halters, $200 bits, and a nice saddle - keep those and get rid of everything else. Trust me, when the time comes when you get a new horse, you'll be at the tack shop or online shopping - oogling all sorts of new tack and supplies.


                          Originally posted by Redlei44 View Post
                          Are you confident (like 100% sure) that the storage arrangement you currently have is good enough to prevent mold, mildew, moth damage, mouse damage, etc? Or theft/unauthorized “borrowing”? If so, and the barn owner doesn’t care, and you aren’t ready to make a decision, then let it sit another year or five.

                          Before you fret too much either way, definitely take a trip to that barn and look at your stuff. Who knows if water damage/mold or rodents have made the choice of trashing your stuff for you.

                          If it is still in good repair so ahead and sell it. Keep some of the expensive/sentimental stuff, but like most posters have said, sell or donate the sized items. These items will only depreciate in value the longer they sit, so clean house and put that $$ in a future horse expense savings account. IME, breeches, bridles and bits all sell pretty quickly on ebay or the like. Bigger items like blankets or certain pads might do better in a local marketplace.


                            Find a place in your house or garage and get some nice plastic tubs and store your things at home. You can get those packets that absorb moisture and put in the containers with your items when stored.

                            Keep all your leather items, those things will be more expensive down the road. Keep or get rid of things like saddle pads, horse blankets etc. I would keep grooming items if they are in excellent condition.
                            Last edited by js; Jan. 18, 2020, 08:42 AM.


                              Keep your must haves and sell the rest. Take that money from the sales and start a money market account that makes good interest. Make that money work for you and keep adding to that account any spare money. In five years, you'll have enough for buy or lease a horse.
                              "Common sense is so rare nowadays, it should be classified as a super power."-Craig Bear Laubscher


                                If you’ve nowhere to store it you really don’t have much choice but to sell or donate. We have a freebies bin at the barn where people often chuck stuff they no longer want. But as you know you’ll get pennies on the dollar for everything sold, and if you sell piecemeal on eBay etc there are hours of world in making the ad, speaking to buyers, packing and shipping - it’s not worth it for small items.

                                I had to put down a horse several years ago and decided that his petite TB sized stuff would never fit my young gigantic Dutch warmblood. Which was correct. However I’ve just had to put said Dutch warmblood down, and all his stuff was oversized/87 inch blankets etc. This time I’m keeping it all.

                                Luckily for me I now have lots of garage space to fit all this stuff in, because when I sold the TB-sized stuff I got a pittance for it and I kinda regret that.


                                  As the person whose barn is the site of WNT's storage, I can assure everyone that it is safe, not been bothered and can stay as long as she cares to keep it there. It is not in the way. But she is welcome to have it any time as well. The issue with the stuff is emotional attachment. I get it. I think her young daughter will be ready to ride one of my Fjords in another year. WNT will be back in horses sooner than she knows it.
                                  Where Norwegian Fjords Rule


                                    I took a break from riding horses for 10 years (college, grad school, starting my career). When I got back into horses, I was very glad that I had stored all my horse stuff with my parents. 30 years later I am still using some of that stuff.

                                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.


                                      I have keeper tendencies, so if it's in good shape & as it sounds like the person storing it doesn't mind, I say keep anything that is good. I am poor so I bargain hunt HARD so I have a lot of stuff that yes, technically could be replaced but for way more than I paid for it. Maybe that's not a big deal if you have disposable income.
                                      I'm also finding a lot of new stuff is not as well made as even the cheap stuff I bought 10-15 yrs ago. Not to mention I already paid taxes & shipping on it. My theory is that I wait until I KNOW it won't fit next horse then I consider selling (except for a few gifts I could never afford to replace so will never sell).

                                      My current young horse - the only new thing I had to buy him was a $20 bit (he has opposite preferences of my other horses) & a $30 gullet plate (bc I never thought I'd own a medium - narrow, but now I do). Everything else is a hand me down & it saved me a ton of $ & effort.

                                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                      We Are Flying Solo


                                        Frankly, I would take everything to a local rescue or give it to a friend who frequently has a table at tack sales, and I just get rid of it. It is true that some of it may be nice stuff, but I'd rather it get used than have it sit waiting. The emotional value of having it out of storage and hopefully being used is more than the financial value, at this point. Especially if you don't foresee being back in horses for five years (and if your child is small now, in five years she will be bigger and need more rides to gymnastics, dance, soccer, debate team, scouts, science club, her friend's house, the mall, the ice cream store, CVS, etc. and you will have even less time, especially if you are working), I would recommend just cutting it loose and appreciating it for the time you had.

                                        However, I feel it is beholden upon COTH to point out that if you put in writing that you do not expect to be back in horses for 5 years and have sold/given away all your horse stuff, you have just increased the likelihood that you are going to fall in love with the perfect horse within the next few weeks.
                                        Last edited by SharonA; Jan. 19, 2020, 05:40 PM.