Hilary Moore Hebert: The Thrifty DQ

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If anyone has ideas on what to call cheap dressage riders, let me know. Calling yourself cheap or thrifty when you own items that are used for decoration in a Ralph Lauren store seems ... well, just wrong. Raised in a New England family that bought groceries simply because "there was a coupon" I have been raised with the sense that if you can find it second-hand or on sale, it is probably better. So whatever you would call me (the thrifty DQ?) and the many others like me, we love a bargain. Raise your hand if you visit www.tackoftheday.com, read your GMO newsletter for the classifieds or jump at the chance to visit the consignment section of your local tack shop! OK, now that I have the attention of the DQ thrifty, I can share a story...

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A few weeks ago, possessed like the Long Island Medium, I decided to do a search on Ebay for riding boots. Like any thrifty person, I know exactly what size I am in the brands I love. I don't know how this happened, but I came upon a pair of Petrie's in my exact size (shoe, calf and height - see size chart at the bottom of this post) for sale. Brand new Petrie boots (retail value $1100) still in the box for $350. Free shipping. I had 2 hours left until the end of the auction and no one had bid (because how many people are looking for Petrie boots in my exact size?). After bidding the $350, I closed my phone. Imagine my surprise when I went to check 30 minutes later, only to discover that the seller was selling THREE pairs. One pair was "slightly used" (ie, broken in) and $200. The others were "like new" and $300. Who is this woman? I thought. Perhaps my doppelg?nger? Whether she had given up riding, lost weight, gained weight or was from an episode of Hoarders, I did not care. Her loss was my gain.

For less than the price of one new pair, my three pairs of Petrie boots (zippers included!) arrived today in a box the size of a saddle. And that, dear readers, is how to make a thrifty DQ very, very happy.

Circle ONE set of numbers to see how rare it is to find your size in Petrie boots from Ebay (thank you www.tds-saddlers.com for letting me borrow the image!)...

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