Tack shop grumble

Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
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Ireland
My local tack shop has been sold by my friend and I am now trying to remain loyal to the name and keep using them...but owner is absent and the girl behind the counter, didn't know what bot flies are, what a bot fly knife looks like, what a baucher bit is, she showed me a pelham when I described it. I asked her if she had any heavy duty overreach boots and she showed me some tendon boots (patent leather too!!!!!! :eek:)

Just had a text to say my wash and REPAIR winter rugs are ready for collection - I took in four rugs, not one repair needed but insisted that they are ALL re proofed please and could she write it on the labels as one year they weren't reproofed when requested. They aren't going to be reproofed are they, and they will have stitched even the tiniest little moth hole in the binding or some such won't they?

Jaysus I hope I don't have to go to Dublin to find a decent tack shop from now on. Feeling grumpy! :(
 

Trewsers

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
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That's a shame. We are lucky as our local tack shop has a couple of really knowledgeable ladies. I do think it is helpful to have someone who has plenty of product info.
 

Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
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I know everyone has to learn Trewsers, but I would be happy for that, if the owner, or someone with at least basic knowledge was alongside the poor girl to help train her up. It isn't her fault at all - how can she possibly learn more about the products and encourage customers if nobody gives an arse enough to help her?

I was tempted to stay and give her a hand the other day when a load of gentlemen of the road came in looking at the trotting harness, I dont know too much about harness, but a bit more than she does and certainly wouldn't be intimidated by themselves. Fancy leaving her to deal with that lot, and they are a big part of the custom base of this particular tack shop - they were very good customers of my friend when she owned the shop, but she knew how to handle them and keep them polite and remembering their manners. I suspect this poor girl probably won't be so able for sometime yet......still, not my problem I guess.:(
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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Oh that is a shame. Dealing with lots of different customers is something you need experience with - and that comes from watching and learning others. I worked in a shop for a long time and at first I used to feel very flustered unless I knew I could call for help (from the back if you know what I mean).
Hey maybe you should offer your services for a fee?! They might jump at the chance of extra experience:)
 

newforest

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
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I do try and support my local one, but sadly a large percentage is now clothes. The cob doesn't do fashion.
I had three items on my needed list, got two of them. I bought the last of one item so lucky I got that.
I do use the net as I didn't want to have to order the other item, then go and get it. Though its pouring with rain out there I may not need my fly thingy.:eek:
Now fair enough before the internet I would have had to go back but the fact is these days I don't. Actually in this area there was another tack shop, but that closed when they redid the one way system and made his road a dead end!
 

Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
10,143
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Ireland
Not a chance Trewsers, my friend offered me a very nice salary to run it for her for 5 years or so, so she could concentrate on her young children and not sell up. I don't have the temperament to serve customers all day long, I would struggle with ' the customer is always right ' ethos, and would surely tell them quite bluntly when they are wrong and kill the business! :eek::D
 

flump1967

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2005
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There are three horsey shops/tack shops within 15 mins of me and another a bit further away so at least I have a choice.

Number 1 is very old established feed merchant and big proper tack shop, sells almost everything. Customer service can be a bit off at times though and it is expensive. Surprisingly the younger girls who work there are actually more friendly and helpful than the older experienced staff. Perhaps they have gone off the boil?! V good chocolate shop in same village though.

Number 2 is a longstanding smaller feed merchant and horsey stuff but not saddles shop. The most fantastic customer service ever, mostly down to one wonderful sales girl who is worth her weight in gold as everyone here knows her and says if in doubt ask ***, she will know. It also has much cheaper prices but can be a limited range of goods. There is a nice garden center nearby that does a wonderful hot chocolate with whipped cream, just right for a cold morning!

Number 3 is part of a big chain of horse stuff and feeds but no tack. Customer service - bland and average, prices average. Best selling point is a great sandwich shop a few doors down!

If I drive 30 mins there is Number 4, a huge horsey spectacular shop, everything bar saddles, huge place but customer service truly awful and will never ever give you your money back even if the thing you buy was to break before you got it to your car. On the upside a fab farm shop tearooms next door which does the BEST cream teas...hmm a theme going on here with what draws me to certain shops!
 

juliecwuk

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2006
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Well I normally get everything online, the other day we just needed a new flash/noseband for majors saddle and we drove to 4 local tack shops and couldn't get one! I was even tempted to buy a completely new bridle for him but couldn't even find one!!!

So back to online shopping for me!
 

Ruskii

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Jun 21, 2000
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I'm in the same neck of the woods as Flump and your Number 4 is my number 1 :D Customer service is terrible there but I do get my money back - I get loud and I get vocal :mad: especially at peak times :angel:

I have 2/3 within 10 mins and I can source mist things at these stores. Failing that there are 2 super duper stores near where I work and I go there occasionally.
 

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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I don't have a local tack shop, theyre not very popular in London. There is one about a 20mile drive away but its so expensive and not very nice people. I only go there to get a new hat as that's the one thing I won't buy online!
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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I don't buy hats online either Ale. Apart from needing to try unless replacing like for like I don't trust the couriers. I've seen the way they chuck stuff about!!!
 

newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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My only other option is 45 minutes away and it a large company with various outlets across the county.
They sell tack although its not much, again its geared towards clothes farming, countryside and horses.
The name has farmer in it, so that's your clue really!

The saddlers no one trusts to fit anything but they sell pretty much everything else. Handmade tack or made to order. I had my side saddle stirrup leather made there pre eBay days.

There is a chap who makes bespoke bridles and has a little shop. I can't afford to touch anything in there.
 

sjp1

Well-Known Member
Sep 14, 2009
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I always try the four local stores first. Generally if they have it, it isn't the size or colour i want, so sadly i tend to buy most stuff online.

Lack of knowledge though is not good - i do expect people to know what they are talking about!
 

PePo

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Jun 4, 2014
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Oh, how annoying for you! Especially as you want to stay loyal.

We've got quite a few here, to be honest they are all much of a much - in terms of stock & customer service.

Most of my tack is Parelli/NH based, so I can't get locally anyway, so I don't feel bad about ordering that online.

I use eBay or events like Hickstead/Badminton/Your Horse Live for a lot of things such as supplements, breeches, haynets, numnahs, headcollars etc, as they are generally much cheaper. I just can't justify spending £12 on a haynet when I can buy 4 for that price on eBay especially as I have to triple net them anyway.

I use my local stores to buy feed and more everyday/seasonal items like fly spray or wound cream or whatever. I do also like to try on boots - but again, I saved £45 by buying my Dublin pinnacle boots at Hickstead. I do get my riding hat & body protector fitted at my local store that specialises in that tough.
 

Gimp

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Jan 19, 2005
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I used to use local feed merchants for all my feed was only 10mins away. They had a tack shop attached to it and I would only use in emergencies! It was so so expensive ! I generally would get most stuff of ebay/internet, or I would have a trip out to Robinsons, which was just a few junctions up the motorway. I dont know what it is with that shop, but I always got excited going there lol ! I liked their rug selection and choc cake in the cafe!
 

notpoodle

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Jul 16, 2003
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I have three. One I just buy feed in as it's near and stocks all feeds you could possibly wish for (even Simple Systems etc) and the guy knows all about it. The other has a good selection and I go there to buy stuff I want to see and try before buying, like hats. The third I only visit if I have to. The owner is lovely, but the staff are rude and patronising, I usually leave feeling like crap :( so I don't go there any more!
 

Rubic

Equine Karaoke Queen
Apr 15, 2012
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Glasgow
There are a few near here but none to really shout home about.

The first is near my work and does have all the basic things you could want however it is very expensive. It does feed, supplements,lotions and potions, tack, clothing etc. I have to say though you are very limited in choice. So if you go for a new bridle there will only be one bridle and one price. It is small and I suppose that is what you get. Good for emergencies though!

Decathlon has opened up nearby and it seems fairly good but again you are limited to the one brand really. They also do feed which is cheaper than first shop.

There is a feed store near the yard with very minimal tack etc but the opening hours are so up and down (there aren't really any opening hours, just whenever owner feels like opening it really) that I don't consider going there now.

Another feed store near-ish to the yard (but in opposite direction to the one with erratic opening hours), never actually been there as it is a bit more out of my way but it sounds better than the last but, like the others, very limited choices!

I tend to buy online now because I like to get the best value for my money and shop around and I like to buy exactly what I am looking for rather than an expensive compromise!

ETA I should say that the first one is family run and the staff are very helpful and chatty. It is a really nice place to go but it is a shame they can't carry about more stock.
 

Trewsers

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
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I used to use local feed merchants for all my feed was only 10mins away. They had a tack shop attached to it and I would only use in emergencies! It was so so expensive ! I generally would get most stuff of ebay/internet, or I would have a trip out to Robinsons, which was just a few junctions up the motorway. I dont know what it is with that shop, but I always got excited going there lol ! I liked their rug selection and choc cake in the cafe!


I love Robinsons! Haven't been for yonks, but Mr T and I used to love going for my birthday or his and having a slap up chips and gravy lunch in the nosebag cafe!!! Lol. Trouble is I spend too much in there, having said that, they have good offers on and their staff are super.
 
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lauren123

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Feb 3, 2007
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We have two near to me. One is only about 5 nibs drive away. Service is good though things are pricey. Plus the guy who owns it is a vet, has a big vets that caters from everything from horses to dogs to reptiles. Along with having 5 other vet hospital. Along with that his OH breeds tbs so there very well off. The other is about 20 min drive away. Cheaper then the other shop but service is crap! Or I do a day trip and go to R andR
 
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