Do you live for horse show season, but dread the impact that it will have on your wallet? Showing horses is tons of fun, but it can also cost more than you want to think about. Luckily for you, we’ve got six ways that you can save money this show season.
Do you know that you will be attending a particular show well in advance? Then it may be in your best interest to pre-register. Many shows offer pre-registration discounts, saving you money over registering on the day of the show. Just be sure that you’ll be attending that show, though – if you register early but don’t attend, you’ll generally lose out on your registration fees.
Avoid Overnight Shows
Overnight shows can become incredibly costly, quickly. Not only do they require hotel lodging for you, but they also require overnight housing for your horse. If you can, try to avoid attending overnight shows to keep your overall budget in check.
Buy Clothes and Tack Used
If you find yourself in need of new show clothes or tack, then try to find the items used, first. You can often find clothes and tack in great condition, having hardly been used because they didn’t fit their previous owner. Another option is to buy show clothes and tack in the fall, when stores are offering the items on clearance, in preparation for next spring’s show season.
Travel with Friends
When you’re traveling to shows, try to go with a group of friends. You can take fewer vehicles and your horses can share trailers, saving you quite a bit of money on gas. Traveling with friends also means that you’ll have company to keep you entertained during your downtime.
Bring Your Own Food
Before you head off to a horse show, pack your own food. Concession stand food is expensive and often unhealthy, not really what you want to be eating before riding into the ring. Pack your own lunches and snacks, and be sure to include multiple bottles of water to save you money.
Swap Grooming With Friends
Hiring a braider and groom can be one of the more expensive parts of showing your horse. Instead, learn to braid yourself, and swap grooming with friends. If you have friends competing at different shows or in different classes than you, then volunteer to groom for them if they’ll do the same for you in return.
What methods do you like to use to save money at horse shows?
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Featured image: Robert McGoldrick via Flickr