June 5, 2008

I was visiting one of my favourite tack shops – Baker’s Harness and Saddlery in Gormley, Ontario -- when good fortune struck in the form of owner Carmen Griscti.

I had dropped into Baker’s mostly to get an opinion on whether or not my dressage saddle needed re-stuffing. I’ve had it for a number of years, and it’s getting lots of use in the therapeutic riding program, so I thought it might need some work. Carmen examined it carefully and decided that, no, it did not need to be restuffed. I heaved a sigh of relief at the money saved. Running a therapeutic riding program generally means you’re doing everything on a shoestring budget, so not having to pay several hundred dollars to re-stuff a saddle is good news indeed.

This was the first time Carmen had heard that I now ran a therapeutic riding program. I had bought things at Baker’s over the years, but as it’s rather far away from me, I’m not there as often as I would like (that may not be a bad thing – Baker’s is so full of cool horsey stuff that it’s easy to get carried away in there!). As soon as he heard, though, Carmen leaped into action. He gave me two good-quality used bridles, and asked me to let him know when I would be in the area next, as he would have some riding helmets to give me. He just needed to round them up in his stock room.

Talk about luck! Helmets are one of those things that you can never have enough of, and they can be expensive. When next I stopped by Baker’s, Carmen and his staff loaded up my car with 10 brand new helmets in a variety of sizes. These were excellent quality helmets whose only “flaw” was having gone out of style (doesn’t anyone wear a black velvet helmet anymore?).

Heartfelt thanks to Carmen for helping us keep our riders that much safer, and if you’re a rider in search of some great gear for yourself or your horse, I highly recommend a visit to Baker’s. It’s packed with wonderful stuff, and has one of the most knowledgeable sales staffs I have ever encountered in a tack shop.

You can visit Baker’s online, too, at www.bakerssaddlery.com.

Return to News