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Product Review: Saddlebox

Kristen Kovatch tries out a monthly subscription box.

Red trying to decide if he should be scared of a box or not. Photo by Kristen Kovatch.

Living in an area where the only “tack” store is the local rural supply shop, I can’t say that I have too much opportunity to spoil my horse with the makings of a spa day or gourmet treats or the newest design in massage curries. Yes, I have become a master of online shopping, but a budgeting equestrian is a smart equestrian, so a monthly shopping spree to splurge on a bunch of nice-to-haves for Red and the rest of my little herd isn’t really in the plan for me.

But a budget-friendly box packaged up and shipped to my door with a selection of horsey niceties? Now that, I can get behind.

Saddlebox follows the formula of a monthly subscription box: the customer is billed monthly and receives a box packed with goodies monthly. Admittedly, there are several such equine-themed boxes available on the market, but there were a few details that in my opinion sets Saddlebox apart from the competition.

Packaging

I’ll freely state that nine times out of ten I really don’t pay that much attention to the box that something comes in that I order online; as long as the product arrives in the state in which I was expecting it I’m generally pretty happy. However, as soon as the Saddlebox showed up by my front door, I was impressed by the sleek packaging with its cute sticker.

The contents of my full Saddlebox. Photo by Kristen Kovatch.

Inside the box, there was no wasted space — when you order a Saddlebox, you’re definitely getting a full box. Despite the quantity of products packed in the box, they were still nicely wrapped with tissue paper, which made it feel like I was opening a present rather than just generically ripping into my latest order. The lid of the box has a little message from the company’s founders including a photo of the family with their own horse.

I didn’t realize how much this little detail made a difference until I experienced it firsthand. Good packaging really DOES matter.

Tested products

While I didn’t immediately recognize top-tier name brands among the products included in the Saddlebox, I do like that each product is tested by the family owners of the company on their own horses, so even if it’s not already a favorite brand it’s going to be a good-quality product.

The theme of the box I received seemed to be “spa day,” and my box included a shampoo/conditioner/detangler kit, moisturizing lotion for either horse or rider, liniment, a scrubby sponge with some peppermint sticks included as a bonus treat, horse-shaped hand soap for the rider, an “itchy” massage brush, the book The Horse Lover’s Guide to Massage and of course the ubiquitous gourmet horse treats.

I thought in particular that the book was a nice addition — not only did I get a box full of items to pamper Red with a spa day, but I can also learn some new techniques to keep him happy when the shampoo and the liniment are long gone!

Red looking super thrilled about his bath with the new shampoo. I promise he actually enjoyed it. Photo by Kristen Kovatch.

Giving back

A portion of profits from each box are donated by Saddlebox to verified horse rescues doing good work for animals in need. How great is it to know that by doing something nice for my own horse I’m also doing something good for others?

The items in each Saddlebox are stated to be worth about $60 total, and a subscription is $34.95 per month. Learn more about Saddlebox at the company’s website.

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