We have all thought about it. Going to a tack shop in the city you are visiting on holiday. But how? Especially with the non horsey family it can be a challenge. But I think I have mastered it after a few years, ok maybe a decade of practice. I have been to tack shops in Ireland (easy with a horse loving Aunt), Paris, San Diego, Seattle and elsewhere. Almost went to one in Hawaii, but something happened that foiled the plan. This happens; be prepared for a failed mission.
This is how I start. Before we even go on vacation, I do a bit of research for seamless execution.
Step 1. I suss out the situation of what tack shops there are and how close to where we are staying.
Step 2. I ask the family what they would like to do and then figure out where those places are and how we can route close to one of the tack shops.
Step 3. When we arrive at our vacation, I drop the hint that I would like to go to “chosen” tack shop on our way to “family’s chosen destination”.
Step 4. Find out what else is around “chosen” tack store to entice the family with items such as speciality coffees, ice cream or other treats. Sometimes this is required to allow more time inside, I might need to send them on an errand to one of these places. Otherwise, shopping time can be short – much too short for a thorough look in a new tack shop.
Once I have talked about how easy it is to just drop by the tack shop, and usually after we have hit most of the places the rest of the family would like to go – poof, it is easy. I think my husband is hip to it now after almost two decades of being married. It is now the kids patience that is tested.
For the kids, there are games on phones and iPads which has made the tack shop escape much easier! I used to have to drag the whole family into the tack shops – this is not ideal.
This past holiday, the work was simple: go to a tack shop I have been to before and check out specific items. Since it was not a visit to unknown store, less time was required. A good thing since there were no enticements in sight, so it required a promise for treats later. Success! A tack shop visit and I scored some new breeches! Shop on, Horse Junkies!