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Can I Buy Used Horse Tack and Is It Safe To Do So?

Can I Buy Used Horse Tack and Is It Safe To Do So?

Horse tack is not only crucial for every rider's safety and control, but it also plays a significant role in enhancing the horse's comfort and performance. However, the cost associated with acquiring a brand new set can sometimes be prohibitively expensive, posing a challenge for riders seeking quality equipment without breaking the bank. For this reason, many consider purchasing used tack as it can be a more cost-effective option for those on a budget. Many options are available in online marketplaces, and horse owners often find top-of-the-line equipment at a fraction of the cost.

If you're looking to save money on your equestrian gear, buying used horse tack can seem tempting, but is it safe to do so?

Below, we explore the pros and cons of buying used horse tack and provide tips on ensuring that the products you plan on purchasing are worth the investment.

Keep on reading to know more.

What Is Horse Tack?

Horse tack is a collective term to describe all the equipment used to ride and handle a horse. Its primary purpose is to provide comfort and safety to the animal and rider.

Horse tack typically includes the following components:

  • Saddle
  • Bridle
  • Girth
  • Stirrups
  • Reins
  • Saddle Blankets
  • Boots

All the different pieces mentioned above function as one to provide a safe riding experience. However, buying multiple items can quickly add up to the overall cost of the tack.

Pros and Cons of Buying Used Horse Tack

Like any second-hand purchase, there are pros and cons to buying used horse tack which we explain in detail below.


  • Considerable Savings: Buying used horse tack is a great way to save money without sacrificing quality. Second-hand equipment is often significantly cheaper but can still be in excellent condition. This is particularly true for items such as saddles, which are quite expensive when purchased new.
  • Broken In: New tack can sometimes be stiff and uncomfortable until used. However, pre-owned gear has already been broken in, which means it has already been shaped to fit a horse’s body, therefore resulting in more comfortable rides. 
  • Wide Selection of Brands Available: As equestrians, we all know that horse tack can be costly, and sometimes, we may not be able to afford top-of-the-line brands. However, you often find quality items at significantly lower prices when shopping for used gear.
  • Sustainable Option: Instead of contributing to producing new products, you are giving new life to items that may have otherwise been discarded. This is a good way to make a positive impact on the environment while still being able to enjoy all of the benefits of owning quality horse tack.


  • History: The more people have used the tack, the more worn and potentially damaged it may be, which can pose a risk to both the horse and rider during use. 
  • Open to Risks: Unfortunately, some individuals may try to pass off damaged or unsafe equipment as being in good condition. Therefore, it is essential to research the seller and ask for detailed photos and information about the item before buying. 

Helpful Tips on Buying Used Horse Tack

Are you currently searching for used horse tack for sale? Keep the following in mind before you proceed with your purchase:

Know the Source

You want to ensure that the tack comes from a reputable seller who has cared for the equipment. If possible, try to buy from someone you know or who has been recommended by a trusted friend or trainer.

If you're buying from an online seller or through a classified ad, it's crucial to research before transacting from the site. Look for reviews or feedback from previous customers. Take time to vet your sources to guarantee you get high-quality, safe equipment for your horse.

Inspect for Quality

If you are buying the tack in person, take the time to examine the item closely. Look for any signs of wear and tear, such as frayed stitching or cracked leather. In addition, check all the buckles, snaps and other hardware to ensure they are in good condition. 

It is also crucial to spot any signs of mold or mildew, which is a common problem with used tack that has been stored improperly. It may be best to pass on the item if you notice musty smells, discoloration or fuzzy growth just to be safe.

Verify Return Policy

While most sellers will allow returns if the item is not as described or arrived damaged, it is vital to know the specific terms of their policy. This is especially important if you purchase online and cannot physically inspect the item before buying.

A clear return policy can also indicate the seller's level of confidence in the item's condition. If a business hesitates to offer a return policy or the one they have has unclear rules, it may indicate that the product is not in the best condition. Being aware of the return policy provides a sense of security and safeguards you against any possible complications that may arise post-purchase.

Inspect the Delivery Timeframe

Make sure to ask the seller about their shipping policies, including the estimated delivery time and any additional shipping fees. It is also recommended to request a tracking number to monitor the progress of your package while it's in transit.

If you're purchasing online, read the seller's reviews before buying. Specifically, look for reviews that mention the seller's shipping speed and reliability. Additionally, consider purchasing from a seller offering expedited shipping options if you need your tack urgently. 

Ask for Multiple Photos

Purchasing second-hand tack can make you more vulnerable to scams, especially if the transaction is done online. Don't hesitate to ask questions and request multiple photos of the product taken at different angles to ensure that the item you receive matches the description. If the seller is unwilling to provide pictures or information, looking elsewhere for a more transparent and trustworthy seller may be best. Ultimately, it is better to take the time to find the right product from a reputable business than to rush into a purchase that may not be suitable for your horse.

Things To Avoid When Shopping for Used Horse Tack

As an equestrian, you already know that proper equipment is crucial for your safety and your horse's comfort. What should you avoid when looking for used horse tack for sale? Take note of the following:

Poor Quality Leather

Poor-quality leather is not only unattractive, but can also be dangerous for the rider and animal. It's more likely to break or snap under pressure, causing the horse to become spooked. This potentially leads to accidents that can inflict severe injuries on the rider.

The best way to determine the leather's quality is to feel it. A good quality item will feel supple and smooth, while those with sub-standard quality are stiff or rough. Cracking and dryness on the leather's surface are also red flags. If the equipment appears dry, it's a sign that it has not been appropriately cared for and may not last long. 

Weak Stitching

When shopping for used horse tack, it is crucial to scrutinize the stitching. Weak stitching is dangerous and causes the gear to fail during use. Look for any frayed threads and any areas where the stitching appears to be pulling apart. Ideally, the stitches should also be tight and even, with no gaps and open areas. By performing the necessary inspections, you can purchase a safe, reliable piece of tack that will keep you and your horse comfortable and secure.

Worn Straps

Any cracks, fraying or discoloration are signs of wear and can indicate that the strap may break under pressure. The hardware on the straps is also a vital sign of the item's condition. If the metallic components are rusty, this can weaken the belt, making it more likely to snap.

Safety Comes First

While buying used tack is a good way to save money, it's important to thoroughly inspect the item before purchasing. Safety should always be a top priority, and you should not sacrifice your and your animal's welfare to cut back a few bucks.

Ultimately, purchasing second-hand horse equipment is a safe and cost-effective option if you take the time to evaluate the item thoroughly.

Shop for High-Quality Items at AJ Tack

AJ Tack is the go-to online destination for horse enthusiasts looking for high-quality gear and accessories. We offer an extensive range of products catering to both the rider and the horse, ensuring you have everything you need for a comfortable and safe riding experience.

Our collection of horse tack items is unparalleled, and all products are made of premium quality materials, guaranteeing their durability and longevity. Currently, we are holding a sale with significant discounts for selected items. Every rider deserves access to top-quality gear, and our sale makes it easier than ever to get the equipment you need to ride your best. 

Whether you're a seasoned rider or just starting, we have everything you need to stay secure and comfortable in the saddle. If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact us. Our dedicated team is always happy to answer any questions about our products.

Please take advantage of our fantastic sale and shop today.

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