Tack Shack of Ocala, as well as Tack Shack Too, are owned by Dave and Marti Haught and have been in business in Florida since 1987. In preparation for their Dealer of the Month article, we spoke with Julie, the General Manager, who has been with Tack Shack of Ocala for over eleven years. Trish, who manages Tack Shack Too, also gave her input and Ola gave us a lot of information from her perspective as the “on-staff” hoof care practitioner for Tack Shack of Ocala.
When asked about changes that they have seen in the hoof boot industry, they all agreed that the hoof boot industry has changed in that more horses are being transitioned out of shoes. “People are realizing that shoes are not the only option for horses with sensitive or poor quality feet. The “rehab” process is not easy for horses. In addition, there are a lot more options in terms of boot styles that will accommodate all horses in hoof boots. We definitely see the barefoot industry expanding. More and more people are realizing that feet can heal and toughen up if given the adequate amount of time. Horse owners are showing more patience because they see how much better their horses are in the long run. The owners are setting their horses up for a life of soundness.”
Julie, Ola and Trish all say that they attribute their success to many different factors. “We really listen to our customer’s feedback about their horses. We guide them to measure their horse’s feet properly and make suggestions on which boots will work best for their horse. Of course, all of this ties in with our great customer service, product knowledge and inventory. It’s exciting with EasyCare because there is always something new coming in.”
As to market strategies, Julie says that one of their best events is their famous “Horsey Yard Sale.” The Famous Horsey Yard Sale occurs four times a year in conjunction with a massive store wide sale at Tack Shack of Ocala and Tack Shack Too, which is their Western store. Their large back parking lot becomes an equine flea market with folks selling used tack, gently used stable equipment and all kinds of other things you never knew you needed! She said they have been doing these yard sales for over fifteen years and always have over a thousand people attending. Ola also added that they tend to feature the boots in high traffic areas, letting the community know that we carry EasyCare products. They do a lot of radio advertising and also post the information on their Reader Board.
Tack Shack of Ocala is relatively new to EasyCare products; however, Julie, Trish and Ola all have their personal preferences when it comes to favorite boots.
When we asked Ola, she said her favorite was the Back Country and the Rx boot, which would make sense because she is a hoofcare practitioner. Julie’s favorite boot is the Easyboot Trail, while Trish said definitely the Back Country. Even though all three have their favorites, you can find the Back Country, Trail, Soakers, Rx boots at the store. And if they don’t have the boot style you are looking for, just ask and they can order it for you.
Ola said one of the most rewarding experiences that she has had is with a horse named, Sassy, who really touched her heart. Sassy was severely foundered and in shoes when Ola started working with her. The owner contacted Ola saying that she wanted to try one more thing before saying goodbye to her baby. Ola took her shoes off and put her in EasyCare Rx boots with comfort pads. Sassy was trimmed every two weeks with small adjustments. After four months, Sassy trotted for the first time with no pain medications. During the whole rehab process, Ola and the owner never gave up because Sassy was always trying and in good spirits.
Combined, these ladies own six horses and have been riding for many years. They know the horse industry, they know the hoofcare industry and they have the expertise to know the horse’s and the owner’s needs. Come see them at Tack Shack of Ocala and Tack Shack Too or visit tackshackocala.com and let them help you.