Shopping

Here are the places that I buy my tack and horse supplies from.  None of them have paid to be listed - I just love these stores:)

Action Rider Tack - Action Rider Tack has a wide range of tack geared toward endurance, English, and western disciplines.  I first came across the store when I was shopping for pads for Nimo's Easyboot Epics.  I wanted to buy all the different types and do a comparison (someday a blog post on those results, I promise!).  However, I had trouble finding one store that carried all six kinds of pads (there are three firmness ratings and two thicknesses) in Nimo's size (large of course!).  I happened across this store and joy of joys, they had everything in stock (because of course I wanted those hoof pads ASAP!).  I could have ordered the pads directly from Easycare, but I'll be honest, Easycare's pricing and shipping have left a little to be desired.  I can almost always find cheaper prices, cheaper shipping, and get faster service from a tack store than I can from Easycare.  I'm not trying to criticize because it makes sense to me that a manufacturer would focus on the product and not necessarily retail sales, but it means that I look for alternatives to make sure I'm getting the best deal before I order.  Anyway, I noticed that Action Rider Tack seems to offer a really great selection of Easyboot replacement items (like powerstraps, screws, cables, gaiters, etc.); however, if you use a boot other than one made by Easycare, you'll need to find a different store.  They also have a wide variety of treeless saddles.  I haven't really jumped on the treeless saddle bandwagon yet, but I have been drooling over the Barefoot Madrid Treeless Saddle and if I decide to order it or another treeless saddle, I'll likely go to this store first.

Dover Saddlery - This is my number one favorite store.  It helps that I can shop online and go to the store in Chantilly, Virginia.  I admit that I sometimes go just because I want to smell the leather and touch it.  I buy blankets, shampoo, brushes, saddle pads, boots, helmets, halters, stirrups, whips, breeches, buckets, and almost anything else I can find there.  They carry good quality products and have a return policy that I have never seen anywhere else - if you ever (and I mean, ever) want to return a product because you aren't happy with it, you can.  They also do custom embroidery on anything (even stuff they don't sell), blanket washing and repair, and clipper blade sharpening.  The only fault I can find with this store is that it doesn't really have much specifically for trail or endurance riders.  So, no saddle bags, sponge leashes, or other specialty products.

Dressage Extensions - This store really has some nice tack and riding apparel.  However, because I generally get most of my stuff from Dover, I don't really buy that much from Dressage Extensions.  But, they do have some nice lunging equipment that I've purchased, and their saddle pads are gorgeous!  I am a saddle pad junkie, with at least 3 times as many pads as I need, and I adore the pads from this store.

Equine Design's Baroque Horse Store - This website has drool-worthy medieval costumes and tack as well as tack for baroque breeds.  As I mentioned, I am a saddle pad junkie, and one of my pads is the medieval-looking pad that this site carries.  The pad is expensive, but it is really well-made.  I've had mine for years, and it still looks great, despite the fact that I just throw it in the machine and wash with hot water and regular detergent.

Riding Warehouse -  This website offers tack and supplies for endurance, English, and western disciplines.  I'm not sure how I initially learned about the store, although it was probably just through a basic web search for endurance tack.  When I saw the store offers free shipping on orders over $50 and $5 two-day shipping on orders over $50 and under 10 lbs, my heart melted a little bit.  I am a sucker for free shipping (even though I realize the shipping is just included in the price of the item) and I am an even bigger sucker for such reasonably-priced two-day shipping, having been spoiled by my Amazon Prime membership.  I have ordered a saddle pad, a bareback pad, hoof boot supplies, and other miscellaneous stuff from this store, and I've been really happy with the service.  And because of the shipping deal, it is always the first place I look when I need something endurance-related.

Smartpak -  I have used Smartpak for supplements on-and-off for well over a decade.  I didn't realize until recently, though, how many other products the store carried.  I got most of my dressage show clothes there in 2014, and I used their saddle demo program in 2014 as well when I was shopping for an endurance saddle.  Their selection of tack and other horse supplies is often similar to Dover, but there are enough differences that I usually shop both stores online and look at reviews and prices before ordering a particular item.  Unfortunately, much like Dover, Smartpak doesn't really cater to the endurance crowd (with the exception of one saddle that I was interested in), so it isn't a one-stop shop.  That said, I've always had great customer service from Smartpak as well as fast shipping, and it is often my go-to store for anything that I feel comfortable ordering online.

Tack of the Day - This website hosts two sale items that change every day at noon.  The items range from bell boots to riding boots to blankets to saddles to riding apparel and everything in between.  I've gotten a number of good quality products at really reasonable prices from this website, but be warned - it can be very addictive!

Taylored Tack -  I first saw a bridle made by Taylored Tack at an Endurance 101 clinic.  I had never seen biothane tack before and one of the presenters had a couple of bridles from Taylored Tack on display.  I loved the vibrant colors and the browband with a beaded dangle hanging from the center.  Coming from the dressage world where all leather is black or maybe dark brown, I drooled over the colors and bling.  I checked out the website soon after the clinic and literally got sensory overload with all the great bridle and breast collar designs that were posted.  I window shopped for months before finally coming up with an idea for a custom design for Nimo.  While I loved the fancy browbands, Nimo's fluffy forelock meant that it wouldn't be seen and I really wanted to show off some bling!  So I contacted Amanda Taylor, the owner of Taylored Tack, talked with her over the phone, and explained what I wanted.  She had me provide a few measurements because Nimo's giant head was a little outside the normal sizing for the often-used Arabs in the endurance world and she shipped my custom-made bridle within 2 weeks of me placing my order, despite the fact that it was May and a busy time of year for her.  The bridle fit perfectly, but it was still adjustable enough so that when I swtiched from using a bit to a hackamore, it still worked, plus I know I can send it back to Taylored Tack in the future if I need any modifications or repairs.  The quality of the work is first-rate and I love that the store offers the Horse Shoe Brand hardware, which is a stainless steel hardware that is great quality, and is engraved to offer a little extra bling.  I also love the Native American-esque overlays that are offered.  The tack is not inexpensive, but it will last a long time and it is gorgeous!  You can see a picture of Nimo's bridle on the home page of Taylored Tack or you can check out this post.

3 comments:

  1. Would you mind sharing where you got your endurance equipment from? Particularly your bridle!!!! Thank you!! :)

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  2. Would you mind sharing where you got your endurance equipment from? Particularly your bridle!!!! Thank you!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the reminder that I really need to update this page, Dibari's! I got Nimo's bridle from Taylored Tack. You can get that blue color from most tack stores that carry biothane tack (I think it's usually called royal blue and it is one of the beta colors), but the use of the Horse Shoe Brand hardware and the Native American-looking embellishment is exclusive to Taylored Tack, I think. I got my Specialized saddle directly from the manufacturer. And for a lot of other miscellaneous things like hoof boots, hoof pads, saddle pads, etc., I generally go to either Riding Warehouse or Action Rider Tack.

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