Buying Second Hand Riding Equipment
Buying second hand riding equipment can save you plenty of money but there are also a lot of pitfalls to be aware of when looking for things through second hand channels. Horseriding is not a cheap pastime, especially if you have your own horse and of course, especially in the current climate. So, by all means, buy equipment that other people have finished using - but make sure you think about the following tips before you part with any cash.
Think About Where You Are Buying FromThere are plenty of places you can find second hand riding equipment but some places are better than others. The very best place to scour for riding equipment is at your local riding school. People will often post up notices selling equipment that they, their children or horses have outgrown, or that they no longer have any need for. The big advantage of buying from them is that the people will be well known to others at the school and therefore, you can be sure that you are buying from a trusted source. In the same vein, the people who are selling things through the school will be riding fraternity members and so are less likely to sell you damaged and faulty equipment.
If this is not possible, then look in the for sale section of riding and equestrian magazines and websites. Although the sellers will not be personally known to you or other people that you know, the principle is the same, of having that security of knowing that the riding fraternity would not want to hurt anyone by selling them faulty equipment.
Ebay obviously offers the buyer plenty of protection in terms of items not turning up or being faulty but there is no way of knowing how good quality the product is that you are buying. However, if the item you need is something to do with safety, perhaps it is better to steer clear of unknown sellers.
Finally, local newspaper adverts can be used, but really only for very basic items which would not endanger anyone's life were they too be faulty - such as brushes and rugs.
SafetyMany riding products are to do with safety and so extra care should be taken when buying second hand versions of them. In particular, riding hats should never, ever be bought second hand, unless you know the person selling it and know the history of the hat. This is because, any hat which has been worn during a fall could be compromised in some way, leaving the rider vulnerable. So it is always best to buy a hard hat from new - knowing that it has never been damaged at all.
Other items which can have an impact of the rider's safety should always be purchased with care from a second hand seller. It is always best to make sure you can inspect the items first, which is why eBay is not always a good choice for items like this, as the product may be located far away. And avoid any seller who will not let you view the item before you purchase it - this is always a bad sign
It is not that second hand equipment is a complete no go area but it is a place that you should proceed to with caution. The savings to be made are not so great that it is worth taking your safety lightly. If you are not sure about an item, simply do not buy it - and always make sure you are completely happy with anything you buy before handing over any cash.