Save money and clear clutter – 7 tips to host a successful ‘Tack Swap’



Save money and clear clutter – 7 tips to host a successful ‘Tack Swap’

Last week, I shared tips on how to “Unclutter your riding life” by donating, selling and throwing away horsey items that you are no longer using. Another option you have is hosting a ‘tack swap’.

This is an event where you and fellow riders get together and trade horsey items with one another. A tack swap is a perfect opportunity to quickly get rid of the things you do not need while acquiring the things you desperately need at zero cost. Perhaps you’ve become a saddle pad hoarder but your bit collection is severely lacking; the good news is there are riders out there in the reverse situation. A tack swap is a fun and easy way to balance out everyone’s tack rooms. So organize yours today!

1) Include riders of all different levels and even disciplines: By inviting a large variety of riders there will be a more vast selection of tack ready to swap. As riders progress up the levels, our tack needs and wants change. Just because a rider participates in a different discipline, does not mean that their schooling breeches, saddle pads, girths, etc. will not work for another. Make your tack swap as inclusive as possible!

2) Pick a time, date and location that suits people’s schedules: Look at the event omnibus and try to pick a date that does not clash with horse shows. Try to get a feel for when everyone will be available so attendance will be high. As for location, your barn might be the best place to host because riders usually have to go there daily anyways.



3) Only items that are in good condition should be welcome: No one wants a girth that is falling apart or breeches that are threadbare. Make sure everyone is aware that they should only bring items that are in respectable condition. Encourage everyone to clean his or her tack and clothing nicely before bringing it.

4) Include non-horsey apparel too: Just because it is a tack swap it doesn’t necessarily mean it should be limited to horsey apparel only. Someone might be looking for a nice new dress for a jog up and happy to trade a pair of breeches for one. Riders are humans too, so there is no reason to limit the type of apparel being exchanged. Maybe put a few limits in place such as only horsey items and clothing in order to limit it from becoming too much like a garage sale though.

5) Request that everyone brings a snack or drinks to share: You don’t want people to be in a rush at the tack swap because they are hungry/thirsty. Make the tack swap a fun social gathering by making it a potluck. You are horse poor after all so it is not fair if you have to supply all of the food and beverages. Everyone will likely be more than happy to bring a case of pop or a cheese tray to help make the event better.

6) Let everyone decide what they want to swap for: You cannot dictate what people’s things are worth to them. If someone wants to swap a $200 pair of show jumping boots for a $50 pair of breeches, then that is their choice. The point of the swap is not to exchange things of equal monetary value; the purpose is for people to be able to unload the things that they do not need for things that they do. You may be surprised by the crazy variety of swaps that happen.

7) Whatever you bring that nobody wants, you must take home: Make it clear that your barn is not the final home for items that don’t get traded. If people bring items that do not find a home, the items return home with the bringer!!!

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