POULSBO — With a wealth of horse sense between them, Equine Essentials owners Shannon Prigger and Velvet Eberharter are confident they will take the horse world by storm with their new Poulsbo tack shop — or at least Kitsap County horses and riders.
Prigger and Eberharter opened their shop with “blue ribbon service” and a love of all things horses March 17, and will be hosting a grand opening April 28 at the store.
“The reception has been very good,” Eberharter said. “We’ve had an excellent response from the community.”
She has worked with horses on and off since she was about 7 years old, which amounts to more than 30 years of experience. Eberharter said she’s always been passionate about them, and this is the next step to fueling her love and enjoyment of horses.
“I’ve been back into horses for about 13 years now,” Prigger said. “Before that, in high school I was involved in 4-H and on the rodeo team.”
Now, she owns her own farm, Painted Valley Farms, which includes boarding and breeding horses as well as teaching children and adults how to ride. Prigger said she feels through her barn-owning experience, she’s developed a good idea of what riders and their horses are looking for in products, saddles, bridles, brushes and treats.
“We have a knowledge of what people need to take care of their horses,” she said. “There’s a big need for stuff to treat horses and horse supplies in this area.”
Eberharter and Prigger are both also hoping to keep North End residents from having to gallop to the other side of the water to get what their horses need, providing them with options and the best possible products.
“A big thing for us is networking with local riders and horse lovers,” Prigger said. A long-term goal, that’s already being met, is Equine Essentials will be a gathering point for residents, as well as a source of information for riders of all kinds. In three years, Prigger is hoping to leave her current job and devote all of her time to running her barn and the store. She and Eberharter would also like to branch out into riding clothes — though they currently have boots and helmets — and expand their product line.
“If we don’t know it, we’ll find out about it,” Eberharter said. “We keep fair prices, so the customer gets a good deal, and we can make a living. We’re working with vendors, and basically networking with anyone who comes through the door. Next year, we’d like the store to be a complete, one-stop shopping so you don’t have to go to the other side for tack.”