Shopping Etiquette

When I first started eqgirl I didn’t want it to be just another equestrian blog that told you about the same old plain Jane stuff you see everywhere, or how to properly fit your saddle, or what product to use for the weird fungus that won’t seem to go away on your horse’s face…I wanted it to be light and fun, with a little bit about me and my crazy life, a lot about fabulous equestrian fashion, as well as give you a sneak peek into the life of a small business owner.  I like to think I have accomplished most of what I set out to do! I know I have had my ranting moments here and there. I still have flashbacks about the plaid shirt.  I am also stunned I haven’t had an angry trainer at my door cursing me out for pushing non navy coats like I am some kind of color junkie out to corrupt young riders. But the response from readers has been very positive, people are logging onto for great deals on equestrian apparel, and I have gotten to know some awesome people all over the US!

Today I would like to talk about something very near and dear to my heart.  Shopping.  Shopping is one of the main reasons I got into the equestrian business. I love to shop for our store, I love helping outfit our fabulous customers, and I love to write about all of the new trends continually evolving and challenging the equestrian clothing industry.   Shopping can be fun on vacation, on a lazy Sunday afternoon with your spouse, with a bunch of your best gals, or even on your one day off. It has definitely been there for me when I am feeling a bit blue, and when done correctly it can be better than therapy, food, or even sex!  Remember you are treating yourself because you deserve it, every time you where it you will feel fabulous, and you are also doing your part to support our economy.  

So whenever you do go out to shop and indulge yourself just remember to adhere to what I consider good shopping etiquette.  Here are my top 5 shopping rules to live by…

Rule #5: Never go shopping after a big meal.  Even if you are in great shape, shopping on a full stomach can sometimes make you feel a little rounder in the middle.  Nobody wants to put on pair of tight-fitting riding pants just to feel like they have a food baby trying to escape over their waistband!  

Rule #4:  Never bring a negative nelly with you.  You all have a friend like this…someone who’s always nit-picking the color, the fabric, the price. Everyone has different tastes, and while you may love some bling on your show coat, someone else may think its hideous. Well then they don’t have to wear it! Don’t let someone else’s opinion bully you of out of something you really love. They can buy their hideously bland Navy Herringbone coat and everyone will be happy!

Rule #3:  Stop second guessing yourself.  Take the time in the store to try on all of your options.  You don’t want to get home and feel like you made a bad purchase.  If you come to LA Saddlery I wouldn’t sell you anything that I didn’t think was perfect for you, so start trusting your sales associate when they say this is the best option on you.  Believe me they don’t want you to return the item either, so they will want to make sure you look great when you walk out of the store! 

Rule #2: Go for quality over quantity.  People often opt for less expensive items because they can’t justify spending money on riding clothes that are just going to get ruined at the barn. But remember some of the less expensive items may get ruined in the washing machine! I am not saying this is true for all economically priced items, but sometimes spending a little extra money will get you a lot more miles out of your purchase.  Again trust your sales associate. Most of them have tried the products in the store and can verify their resiliency.  

Rule #1A: Do not go into a your local tack shop to be fully fitted and outfitted by a sales associate just to leave after an hour to buy those items online.  I understand you want to save some money, but this is truly not the way to go about it. First tell the sales associate you are on a budget.  The store may have better options for you that are more affordable.  If your heart is still set on something that you know you can get online for $10 less, than inquire about an upcoming sale, discount program, or other specials the shop may be having.  Also realize that the price may be $10 more in the shop, not because it’s an inflated price (its most likely still at MSRP or even just below) but because a small business has way more overhead and needs to make the regular margin on an item.  That $10 is paying for that sweet helpful sales girl who just properly fit your helmet and tall boots.  

Rule #1B: On a similar note, if you are going to buy online, at least buy from a US company!   Yes those Pikeur breeches may initially appear less expensive on that UK website, because they are selling to you direct and not through a US distributor who has to mark up the price before your local tack shop buys it from them.   But when you take into consideration the exchangee rate, shipping, VAT cost, and wait time, not to mention the fact that our own US economy is faltering, is it really worth saving a few dollars?  We love to point the finger at the government, big business, the 1%, etc etc…but the reality is we can do something to change all of that by shopping at our locally owned small businesses.  These are the folks who are struggling and need your support!  

Plus we love getting to know you! We also love getting to know your dogs, your horses, and most of your children ; ).  So next time you go into your tack shop start building a relationship with the sales girls, because wouldn’t it be great to walk in and have someone know exactly what you like, what size you are, and what your trainer will actually allow you to wear?!  Plus once you make that bond we will be more than happy to get you great deals, give you free samples when available, donate items to the silent auction for your children’s school, and much more…you can’t get that from an online company and you definitely can’t get that when buying outside of the US! 

Ok well thanks again for reading…I will have more great fall fashions to write about in the coming week! Happy shopping!



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Laurel Hathaway
    Sep 02, 2012 @ 01:39:28


    Love love love your latest blog. It’s about time someone was brave enough to bring up the subject of those who shop at their local retailers then go online. You did a great job in saying it nicely. I don’t know how you managed! Your advise to get to know the sales girl is super and I really enjoyed the part about not bring the negative nelly friend along. Excellent.

    Laurel Hathaway


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