Wednesday, May 2, 2018

SaddleBox Equestrian Subscription Box Review

Over the past couple of weeks, I've gotten very interested in the idea of subscription boxes. Most especially pet-focused subscription boxes. Now, there are many options it seems for dogs, but as far as I know, there is only one equestrian subscription box and that is SaddleBox. I reached out to the company and got a box to review! (Note: Even though I did recieve the box for free, all opinions are my own.)

The review box wasn't the pretty blue, but it still had their logo!

SaddleBox is awesome for several reasons, the primary one being that it is built for equestrians. Their boxes include a variety of things, such as horse treats, grooming tools, tack stuff, and gifts for the rider, such as apparel and training books. Their boxes are filled with general equestrian stuff, rather than being geared towards a specific equestrian discipline. This is a good thing for the company because they are able to have a much broader audience. I do think that a potential expansion idea for the company could be boxes geared towards specific disciplines, or even just a discipline-specific add-on to their general box. I personally love all horse stuff but get especially excited about hunter/jumper stuff.

I love getting hand-written cards from companies :)

Another great quality of SaddleBox is that it is actually decently priced. A regular monthly subscription to SaddleBox costs $34.95, and shipping is always free. When you buy a new subscription, they send the first box right away (I got mine in three days, so they're obviously paying for faster shipping). After that, every box will be sent on the 15th of the month. To me, the price is fair & reasonable. Especially when I think about the fact that every time I got to my local farm store I walk out spending at least $50, this is a justifiable price to me. They even will sweeten the deal by giving you 20% off on your first box (just enter your e-mail on their website). I will evaluate the actual value of the box further in the review, but spoiler alert, this box definitely has great value.

All subscription boxes share the common appeal of excitement and fun. Getting a package in the mail is always fun, but especially when you don't know what is inside, it takes on a present-like quality. I was super excited to see what goodies I would get. And since you have no idea what is inside, you'll always be happy with what you receive! It's impossible to be disappointed because you don't have set expectations about what you will get.

Not only is purchasing a subscription exciting for the box receiver, but SaddleBox also partners with horse adoption organizers like The Right Horse Initiative. This is awesome, because some of their proceeds are going to such a good cause. It's a company that you can feel good about buying from.

Happy horses indeed

To me, the biggest appeal of SaddleBox is the ability to get cool products that I wouldn't be exposed to otherwise. I live in an area that is not very "horsey" at all. We don't have a tack store or any sort of equestrian-specific shopping option. We have a few farm stores that have some horse stuff and that's about as good as it gets unless I'm willing to drive the two hours to get to a bigger city. Because of where I live, my selection of horse products is very limited and boring. Almost every single product that I received in my SaddleBox was something that I've never seen before, which is awesome!

SaddleBox motherlode

Now that you know all of the general information, let's get into the specifics of what I received. My box included:

  • Buckeye Treats (Peppermint Bits) - $4 on Chewy
    • Mini Review: Casey HATES peppermint everything. I've never successfully gotten her to eat peppermint treats before... Until these. For some reason, my peppermint-hating horse LOVES these treats. Not only does my picky mare love them, but every horse I gave them to, liked them (5/5 horses approve). Best of all they are low in sugar and so I don't have to feel bad about giving her a ton. I really like the small size of these treats (quarter-sized), because they are perfect for trick training.
Casey approves of Buckeye Peppermint Bits
And so does Val
And so does Casino!
  • Epona "Lucky" Groomer - $9 on Dover
    • Mini Review: This may be one of the best shedding tools that I've seen. It has four rows of hard plastic "blades" and so is great at catching the hair. I'm sure that if Casey had dried mud on her, it would be equally good for that. That being said... although I love it and think it's perfect for the job, my thin-skinned Thoroughbred HATED this with a burning passion. Like, she would dramatically drop her back when I even made slight contact with it.
Epona Lucky Groomer. The amount of hair might not seem like a lot, but I tested this out AFTER my normal grooming routine.
  • Epona Smooth Finish Boot Socks - $12 on SmartPak
    • Mini Review: These are simple boot socks. Just plain grey with the company logo. Quiet and unassuming. They are the perfect thickness in that they disappeared underneath my boot and I couldn't feel them at all, but they are thick enough that I'm not likely to rip the fabric when I do stupid stuff like accidentally zip up part of my sock.
  • Wyoming Cowgirl Soap Company Goat Milk & Lavender Soap - $8 on company website
    • Mini Review: A perfect little soap, with an adorable icon of a girl & a horse on it. It smells nicely of lavender, but is not overpowering.
Wyoming Cowgirl Soap
Goat Milk & Lavender Soap
  • Decker FB21 Face Brush - $6 on Chewy
    • Mini Review: I don't actually own a face brush. Up to this point, I've made do with my regular body soft brushes, so it was really nice to get this! It's very soft & so Casey approves.
Decker Face Brush
  • Co-Flex Bandage Wrap (blue) - $2 on Dover
    • Mini Review: It's vet wrap. What's more to say? A handy thing to have in a tack trunk in case of emergency.
  • Fiebing's Mink Oil Liquid - $5 at State Line Tack
    • Mini Review: I feel conflicted about this product, because of what I've heard about Mink Oil. From what I've heard, Mink Oil is more of an old-school leather conditioning product. It's supposed to make leather very soft & waterproof, and also has leather-darkening qualities. I'm hesitant to use it though, because I've heard that over time the oil will actually break down the leather & the stitching on the leather and so it can weaken tack over time. I think that I'll keep this product specifically for its leather darkening qualities, however, will not be using it as a tack cleaning staple.
Fiebling's Mink Oil Liquid
  • A tack sponge - $4 for 12-pack on Dover
    • Mini Review: It's a tack sponge. Meant to clean tack. I appreciate that SaddleBox included it along with the Mink Oil though so that you could use the product right away.
  • A red bandana - $1 at Dollar Tree
    • Mini Review: This is more of a Western thing, so personally it's not my jam. But Casey looked cute in it!
Casey wore the red bandana. Now it'll probably go to one of the dogs.
  • A peppermint candy stick - $1 at Dollar Tree
    • Mini Review: Casey hated this. Because it's peppermint. I loved it though and so ate it myself.
And so the total value of the SaddleBox I received was about $50*. If you consider that most of these products would have to be ordered online (at least where I live), and thus you would have to pay for shipping, the value would be even greater. So all in all, you are getting a good deal when you buy a SaddleBox.

*Note: Some of these items I could find for cheaper online as a sale price, however, I feel looking at the item's original price is more accurate to determine the value of the SaddleBox.

Overall I was really happy with the box I received. Some of the things were not as useful or exciting to me as others, but there wasn't anything that I was disappointed in getting. I'll be able to use everything & was super excited about some of the items in particular. Obviously, all boxes will be different, so if you are curious about other things that have been included in boxes to get an idea if this is the right subscription box for you, check out the prior boxes here. I think that SaddleBox is a great subscription box. For me, it's really awesome to get to see all of these products that I wouldn't get exposed to otherwise. Not only that, but it really is a decent price for horse-related goods. I'd say that if you were curious about SaddleBox, go for it!