Trade Show Shopping Tips and Tricks

With the All American Quarter Horse Congress, the APHA and AQHA World Shows coming to a close and the NRHA Reining Futurity and NFR just around the corner I realized that there might be some wisdom to be found from my time spent working these events. I never realized how much of a gold mine trade show shopping could truly be! I’ve put together a list of things to look for at tradeshows and how to get a better deal on them!


  • Boutique Clothing: More geared towards women but trade shows are notorious for their boutique clothing. I have found some of my favorite articles of clothing through working trade shows. Woolies Quality Clothier out of Steamboat Springs, ventures out to many tradeshows, and I have found some of my favorite outfits through this incredible vendor. My favorite part is you get to see so many people and styles that you can take pieces from their style and create your own!

 Alisha Kurtz, Owner of Woolies Quality Clothier showing off some of the incredible items that can be found in her booths at trade shows! 


  • Boots: There will generally be show specials on boots, and there will be multiple vendors there to help you find the correct fit for your foot.

 I found my favorite pair of Anderson Bean tall tops at the 2016 AQHA World Show! 


  • Show Shirts: Whether this is a blinged out vest or jacket or something as simple as a plain well-made button down, trade shows have a plethora of options for you to try out.

“Bobbie of Shorty’s Caboy Hattery ensuring that every hat they clean and shape is perfect before sitting atop your head again.”


  • Quality Hat Shaping: We’ve all gone to pull our hats out of the can before the first show season of the year to find that it didn’t store as well as we had hoped over the winter. There are generally at least one if not multiple vendors who can clean and shape your hat. Not that I am biased at all, but no one can shape a hat like Shorty’s Caboy Hattery. These vendors can even maybe help you find a new one to match that new show shirt!


Speaking of saddles, make sure you check out Scottsdale Western World at the NRHA Futurity for all of your saddle needs!


  • Home Décor: Whether it’s the perfect signage to hang over the doorway or a new handmade bed frame made from 200-year-old barn wood, look for the vendors with the handmade home décor!
  • Saddles and Tack: Looking for an upgrade in the saddle department? Trade shows will always have new and used saddles that you’re sure to find one that you love! Spurs, bits, saddle pads, bridles, you name it…you’ll find it at the trade show. You might even find things you didn’t know you needed.
  • Stable Supplies: Often times most vendors offer a show special, and free shipping home if you flew to the show or don’t have enough room in the truck.


Trade shows aren’t necessarily all about shopping but also about learning about the new and innovative technology on the market that can often make your life a lot simpler and easier. Be aware that just because there is a “show special” sign, does not mean that the items are actually marked down significantly from regular price. Regardless, trade shows will always be some of my favorite shopping!

Happy Hunting!

-Emily Bomgardner

Pictures Courtesy Of:

Woolies Quality Clothier Facebook (
Shortys Caboy Hattery Facebook (
cottsdale Western World Facebook (


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