Changing Disciplines -Finding Affordable Horse Tack

Let’s Try Dressage!

In my horse’s former life, at one time he was a dressage horse. And not your every day backyard show pony dressage horse, he was a 4th level show horse. Meaning he was showing at 4th level dressage. He has a resume in the dressage world longer than any horse I could have ever hoped to sit on.

But then his next home took him into the hunter ring. And I think he did pretty well, but I don’t have any articles that were written about him in his hunter days.

And I have always really enjoyed learning about dressage, but my heart has always been in the jumper ring. The excitement, the skill and the thrill. I thought that was where I really wanted to be. To be like those riders, you know, the ones that are fearless. They push themselves over the really big jumps at lightening fast speed.

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But as I get older, for me, it isn’t about racing around the arena. No, I prefer a slower, and more controlled pace. This is why dressage seems like it might be a good choice for me.

And with all of the no stirrup riding I’ve been doing for November, I decided why not see what dressage is really about. I mean I have an incredible horse that can help me in the process, right? So why not?

First Things First

For better or worse, if I am changing disciplines, or rather adding a new discipline to my riding, I want the stuff. So that means a dressage saddle, bridle to match, saddle pad, and well everything else that goes along with it. But I’m not made of money, so I have to economize in my quest to finding affordable items. And I decided to be practical. I wanted to find a saddle that I don’t have to worry about, and I can leave out in the barn. And to go along with the saddle, I would need a girth to fit it, stirrups and stirrup leathers.

Changing Disciplines -Finding Affordable Horse Tack

I wanted the same for my bridle. Low maintenance, but still looks nice. I already have plenty of bits that Plezant enjoys, so at least I have one thing, right?

And if I could get stellar deals on the tack, then maybe, just maybe I could splurge a little on the saddle pad.

So I have my plan of what I will need to outfit Plezant for our change in discipline.

Affordable Dressage Saddle

The first place I started searching of course was eBay. This is where I go to find the bargains. But sadly, there were no bargains to be had. And because I pretty much knew they type of saddle I wanted, I decided to go to Facebook Marketplace. I have never bought anything on marketplace, but my friend Vickie has gotten some great deals by using Facebook. So I decided to give it a try.

Changing Disciplines -Finding Affordable Horse Tack

And my hunch paid off. I found the exact saddle I wanted and it was less than $300.00 Not bad for a dressage saddle right?

And like I said, there was a specific saddle I was searching for. It’s the Dover Saddlery Pro Ride Dressage saddle. They don’t make it anymore, and this one was made in 2006. So it’s fairly old. But the reason I wanted this one is because it’s a synthetic saddle. It’s lightweight, and it’s low maintenance, so double win.

Changing Disciplines -Finding Affordable Horse Tack

Even though the saddle is over 14 years old, it still looks great. And it also came with stirrup leathers, and stirrups. A complete saddle for 280.00 plus shipping. It did come with a girth too. But the girth is way to small for Plezant, so I had the foresight to find a Professionals Choice V tech girth on eBay for $30.00. For reference, Plezant is 17.2, and I bought a 30″ dressage girth to fit him.

Changing Disciplines -Finding Affordable Horse Tack

The only negative to my experience shopping on Marketplace was the length of time it took for the saddle to get to me. I bought it on a Tuesday, and the seller said ‘yeah, I’ll probably get it shipped on Saturday.’ And unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to leave feedback for a seller so that others know. But I eventually did get my saddle, and I am grateful. It is exactly what I was searching for.

Changing Disciplines -Finding Affordable Horse Tack

This saddle is comfortable, and very well made. Since they are no longer made, it’s getting more and more difficult to find them. But if you can find one and need an affordable saddle (they were made in both close contact as well as dressage) that is easy to care for, I would highly recommend one. And the price? Well, you can’t beat getting a saddle for less than $300.00 right?!?!?

Snaffle Bridle

And because my new saddle is black, you know that I want to have a matching bridle. But again, I was looking for something synthetic, and minimal care, and a good price. I was super excited when I found this Collegiate Syntovia bridle. I got it at Riding Warehouse for around $65.00. But at the time of writing this post, the bridle is on sale for $51.96. Their stock was pretty limited, but I also found the same bridle is available on Amazon. They also have this bridle in brown. And there is even one with a flash attachment too.

Changing Disciplines -Finding Affordable Horse Tack

This bridle is gorgeous. It even has a padded crown which I have grown to really expect all of my bridles to have.

It looks like leather, truly. But it’s not! All I have to do is wipe it clean with a rag. And if it gets really dirty, soapy water, and then just let it dry. How easy is that?

Changing Disciplines -Finding Affordable Horse Tack

And I have looked for ‘cheap’ bridles before, and never found a bridle that looked like this one for less than $100.00. This is well worth the $65.00 price tag. And what’s even better is there is no break in time. I grabbed my bit, and easily worked the keepers. The material is much easier to work with than traditional leather.

Changing Disciplines -Finding Affordable Horse Tack

You be the judge. Look at the picture of Plezant wearing his new ‘synthetic’ bridle. It looks pretty good right? From this photo, does this look like a synthetic bridle? I don’t think so either.

Changing Disciplines -Finding Affordable Horse Tack

Ok, so all in I have spent $375.00 for a complete dressage tack set for my horse. I already had the saddle pad and the bit. But I think Plezant looks ready to go into (or back too) dressage.

Changing Disciplines -Finding Affordable Horse Tack

And I did the math, if I would have bought all new items, at the least expensive synthetic saddle(Wintec flocked dressage saddle $675.00) , bridle, ( Collegiate bridle $54.99) stirrups ( Dover Saddlery Fillis Style Stirrup Irons 45.95), leathers ( English Equestrian Tack Adult Padded Saddle Stirrup Leathers $29.99), and girth ( Professionals Choice Equine Smx Dressage Girth 72.00) I would have spent  $877.97. That doesn’t include the saddle pad, ear bonnet, or bit. And if I am being completely honest with myself, I would have still bought the saddle pads, as well as ear bonnets. So I would have spent over $1000.00. Ouch.

This is why I am a thrifty shopper. I have no problem buying something used. Especially when it comes to horse stuff. I have found that 9 times out of 10, most of the used stuff is still in really good shape.

Saddle Pads

But I really wanted to have some dressage pads to go along with my new discipline. But again, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. I started looking at Stockholm and PS of Sweden pads. And they are really nice, but also expensive. At $96.00 a pad, I started searching to see if I could find a saddle pad (or two) along with matching ear bonnet for less.

Then I found a website, The Connected Rider. They have a ton of really nice saddle pads that are about half the price of the really nice ones from Stockholm, or PS of Sweden.

They haven’t come yet at the time of writing this post. But once they get here, I will be sure to let you know if they are as nice as they look in the pictures.

Changing Disciplines -Finding Affordable Horse Tack

They were pretty affordable at around $50.00 per pad. And the ear bonnets were more affordable than even the Lemiuex bonnets. And I was able to find matching ear bonnets to coordinate with each of the pads I bought. So like the saddle pads, I will have to try them out, and then give my thoughts on them. But honestly, anytime I can get a matchy matchy set for less than $100.00, I call that a win.

Changing Disciplines -Finding Affordable Horse Tack

Alright, that pretty much covers my new riding discipline tack. I am really excited to go down this path with Plezant. With his experience, I think he will continue to build my confidence, as he has been helping me with over the past year that I have had him. I can’t believe it’s almost been a whole year that I have had him. That’s pretty cool.

I just keep doing what I’ve been doing, and increasing my time of riding and working with him, and my fear and anxiety has totally melted away. And I find myself looking forward to what the future holds. Maybe we’ll start off with a few online dressage shows after the first of the year. And who knows, after that, maybe even a real live horse show. That is if the stupid COVID virus is no longer front and center of everything with our lives. But until then, I am going to practice, and be the best dressage rider that I can be!


I am horse crazy and love DIY projects, and finding great deals on everything horse related. When I have a new idea, or find a great deal I love sharing this information with you........AND just to have FULL Disclosure:Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the blog posts on my site will allow you to purchase different products and services online provided by other merchants, and not myself. Some of the links that I post on my site are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission.* I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn a commission by linking to and affiliated sites. *Disclosed in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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