I got a complete show outfit for $45! (including the tall boots) All because I have the bestest friends EVER! xP Haha. And Nothing helps save money more than your imagination. When looking at any thrift store, i bring mine along! For example: 5 tiered cd rack- Hang it on the wall and BAM!!! instant polo rack!(got for half price too ;D)
Also nothing like being handy either. Nail gun, clearence wood ($20 for good size 4x4 about 12), paint(I use spray- color, then clear) and a good 2-3 hours. You can get a pretty nice wall mount for saddles!
Used the same directions for a tack box, but with thick ply-wood!
I'm also constantly on the look out for tack meets. being 16 and working a crud job. Im always low on cash. Most people know a good find, even if the piece needs TLC. My double bridle $20 at a tack meet and it just needed oil! My australian saddle bought it for $35 (retail about 10x more) because the lady didn't know what she had. I almost felt bad buying it for soooo cheap. and it is NICE!
I also make some of my saddle pads. though they aren't the nicest still. but its trial and error for me. I get fabric at goodwill (sheets) then i have to use the foam webbing, because the sheet will bunch with the other cotton webbing. still not good enough to give real advice to those who want to make them. I also make my fly veils by knitting (trial and error). And I find all my yarn at garage sales.
This post has got me all excited!