From Endurance to Dressage
I both love and hate Black Friday. I love it when I actually need something. I hate it when I don't. November and December tend to be pretty lean months because I am usually trying to recover financially from the show season. Added to that is Christmas. We don't over-do it at our house, but we enjoy giving gifts which means that for me, Black Friday doesn't get to be much of a thing.
This year though, there was one thing that I really did need and another that I am going to need sooner than later. Both come from the Riding Warehouse whose Black Friday sale ran from the 26th - 29th. The discount was a hefty 25%, but disappointingly, it only applied to some products, none of which were the ones I needed. I can almost always get a 15% discount at RW, but that extra 10% can really help on a more expensive product, and it makes a cheap product feel free. Too bad it didn't work for me.
The first thing that I truly did need was a new bucket of vitamins for Izzy. I hate to spend money on vitamins since they're not something you can actually see working, but I feel an obligation to "support" his physical health with at least something. Izzy gets a top quality grass hay (free choice), several pounds of beet pulp, several more pounds of rice bran, a cup of milled flaxseed, and GastroElm, a supplement that helps his ulcer-prone gut. Does he need a vitamin/mineral supplement? He certainly won't die without it, but it can't hurt.
Over the years, I've tried a variety of vitamin/mineral supplements, including Platinum Performance, but none of them did anything obvious, so I've settled on a product that's less expensive while still covering the major vitamin/minerals, Horse Guard Vitamin/Mineral Supplement Pellets. It seems to be a pretty well rounded formula, and Izzy eats it happily. It's also in a very easy to feed pellet which means none of it gets blown away in the breeze. The 24 pound bucket runs $79.95 for a 192 supply. That works out to $0.42 a day. Sadly, Riding Warehouse's Black Friday deal didn't apply - whomp, whomp, so I had to use my regular 15% discount which brought the price of the bucket down to $67.96 ($0.35 a day). Since that is what I always pay, it didn't feel like I saved anything.
Next up on my list was a new pair of schooling boots. I am either really hard on boots or I must not be as offended at replacing them as most people. I need new tall boots about every other year. My Ariat Maestros, now eleven years old, are reserved for shows which means I need a second pair for daily riding. Quite a few years ago I landed on the Tuffrider line of boots and haven't looked back. I've owned at least four pair of them.
The first pair I bought ran around $180. They've gone up in price since then, but they're still just affordable enough that I don't mind beating them up. Riding Warehouse has the Tuffrider Belmont Dress Boots listed on sale for $201.13. Their regular price seems to be a steep $278.20. I checked around and found that I can also get them at Chewy's for right around $200, so the "sale" price doesn't seem like a real sale price.
Unfortunately, the 25% Black Friday deal didn't apply to the boots either nor did my regular 15% discount. My current pair is still going strong although I did have to replace the zippers this past spring. While I really wanted to buy them, there wasn't any reason to spend $200 before I needed to, so I put them back.
This is totally not a need, but with the hope of 25% off it's hard not to throw in one of these and two of those. I have frequently written about my love affair with socks. I LOVE socks. I have drawers FULL of socks. I have socks with individual toes, booties, wool, knee high, fluffy, rag, sports, thin, thick ... you name it, I have them. Besides just daily socks, I also have a drawerful of riding socks. In the past, I had gotten a little over zealous about rounding out an order by throwing in a pair or two of socks. I eventually noticed that I had piles of brand new socks. Socks that were still hooked on their little mini hangers. Socks that were still attached with plastic. I quit buying socks for a while.
Eventually, my socks started to wear out. Every time a hole appeared in the heel, I tossed them in the trash and brought a new pair into the rotation. Eventually, my sock nest egg was gone. All the socks in my drawer are currently part of the rotation. I feel justified in beginning a new sock stockpile. My current favorites are the Noble Equestrian Over the Calf Peddies and the C4s. Riding Warehouse doesn't seem to carry the OTCP anymore (WHAT?!?!?), but they do have a selection of the C4s. I've had quite a few pairs of these and love them, so two new pair are headed my way. The socks ended up costing $7.96 a pair, 20% cheaper than the original $9.95.
The Black Friday event was something I was looking forward to. I even got up early on Friday morning and raced to my computer as though it were Christmas morning. After throwing my picks in the cart and seeing that they weren't going to be any cheaper, it felt like getting coal in my stocking. I did poke around the website hoping to find something on sale, but it wasn't meant to be.
I wish I could splurge on some new breeches - oh man, do I need to freshen up my current pile. I would also like a new dressage pad, a new bridle for Izzy, and maybe a few new riding shirts. Alas, wanting and needing are just not the same thing no matter how good the Black Friday deals may seem (or in this case, don't seem). I hope you found some awesome deals this weekend because I sure didn't. I'll have to be content with a slightly discounted bucket of vitamins and a new pair of socks.
And hey, really, new socks aren't something to complain about.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: