COVID-19 closed several New York Tack Shops for good. At Cheshire Equestrian Center I’ve been getting lots of inquiries from New York horsewomen and horsemen. Riders in Westchester County, Putnam County, Dutchess County and New York City are showing up at my place in nearby Cheshire, Connecticut.

My heart goes out to the former store owners in New York and around the country. As a fellow horse lover, I wish them only the best. (I understand some were ready to retire and this was a good tipping point for them.)

I can attest that managing an equestrian store with tack for horses, saddlery, riding clothes and all the horse lovers’ sundries is a labor of love. It demands your time. It challenges your finances. It pays off in every happy customer.

Fortunately my shop, Cheshire Equestrian Center, has weathered the COVID-19 storm pretty well. Our loyal customers stuck with us. We’ve picked up new customers as they search the internet for riding gear. I am buying inventory and keeping a good amount of stock on hand.

Offering Hard-to-Find European Brands

Please take a look through my website. I stock a lot of European brands not typically found in our area: Kep Italia helmets, Ego7 Boots, Equestrian Stockholm apparel and saddle pads and more.

Kep Italia helmet at CT Tack Shop, Cheshire Equestrian Center

Back in November I started adding an e-commerce addition to my site. Good timing. Who knew? My Online Tack Shop was set up soon before the virus hit. Then, in my downtime when closed due to virus, I expanded the online offerings.

All the same, a store visit is still great and now welcome. Certainly, there are times when you’d rather try on a pair of boots or riding pants, than guess on a website. As we all know, seeing a saddle and sitting on it are two very different experiences. And I don’t know about you, but I still love to browse. The web is fine, but a physical visit is better for me.

Rest assured, I have rigorous sanitation protocols in place. You will need a mask! I clean the shop thoroughly twice daily. Any items you try on and choose not to purchase are sanitized before they go back on the rack or shelf.

Just Over an Hour’s Drive from New York Tack Shops

Many of my New York visitors make a day of it. Really, Cheshire, CT is not that far away from the former — or current — New York Tack Shops. So even if your favorite equestrian store is still open, why not take an hour’s drive over to Cheshire, Connecticut and check out my store?

As you can see, we are conveniently located between Interstate Route 84 and Route 15. Route 15 starts as the Hutchinson Parkway in New York, then changes to the Merritt in Connecticut and finally to the Wilbur Cross. Don’t you just love GPS?

Map of Cheshire Equestrian Center in Connecticut showing proximity to New York Tack Shops

For example, we’re just over an hour from Bedford, NY. or Westchester, NY. On any weekend day it’s a nice drive. On a weekday, just wait until after rush hour and get home before evening rush and it’s no problem.

My store is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 to 4 on Saturdays. (Sundays and Mondays I’m riding!) For holiday shopping, I’ll open Sundays from 11 to 4 in December. Check out my Contact page for details. Feel free to call: 203-439-8004 or fill out the contact form.

Fall Foliage is Spectacular Here

Cheshire is a quaint New England town. My shop is walking distance from the town green and Cheshire Academy. You can walk the grounds or eat outside if the weather’s nice.

As you certainly know, this time of year the drive over from New York is about to become spectacular. Fall foliage, especially on the Route 15 parkways, is predicted to be amazing this year. In fact my store is located in the middle of CT Visit’s recommended fall foliage drives. (Cheshire Equestrian Center is located something like smack on the “F” of “Foliage” in the map shown.)

CT Visit Fall Foliage Drives with CT Tack Shop in Cheshire, CT in the middle of them all.

Make it a lunch date! Let me know what you like and I can recommend a great local restaurant. Viron Rondo is one of my favorites. Wood-fired pizza oven and locally-sourced Italian cuisine. There’s a great coffee shop a block away: Cheshire Coffee.

Again, my heartfelt concern goes out to the owners and employees of New York tack shops and equestrian stores that have closed. If your favorite tack shop has closed — or if you want to enjoy something different — please consider visiting me either online or in person in Cheshire, Connecticut. Many of your fellow New York riders have told me it is well worth the drive. For some, we are now your local tack shop. I promise to do all I can to be worthy of your patronage. Thank you.

Carol DiCarlo, Dressage Rider and Owner of CT Tack Shop Cheshire Equestrian Center shown mounted on Modico