Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 45
 
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

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N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

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It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton



EQUESTRIAN DELIGHT: “We have always been known for our horse equipment and supplies, and now our apparel line is also very popular, both with riders and non-riders.” Edith Ann Kall, owner of Stitching Horse Saddlery in Kingston, is shown by the Good Rider line of jackets.

The Stitching Horse Saddlery in Kingston Has History of Outfitting Horse and Rider

In this, the age of the internet, and of YouTube, the cell phone, fax, iPod, etc., the high tech world is ever-present. How to escape the omnipresent, constant connections?

For some people, a horseback ride alone — or with like-minded friends — in the country, is a welcome respite.

“Interest in horses continues to be steady and strong,” says Edith Ann Kall, owner of the Stitching Horse Saddlery at 4422 Route 27 in Kingston. “People like the idea of being out in open space and just being with the horse. They’re away from the cell phone, and they can really be themselves. They often talk to the horse; it doesn’t matter what they say or what they look like. The horse is very non-judgemental.”

A former rider herself, Ms. Kall opened the Stitching Horse in 1985. She also owns another Stitching Horse Saddlery in Titusville. The Kingston store started with a selection of horse supplies and equipment, and it has grown tremendously over the years. Last August, it moved to expanded quarters, just behind the former store, with much more room to display the many items for horse and rider.

Fine-Quality

Among the products are riding apparel and accessories. Boots (including tall and the shorter paddock style), breeches, jodhpurs, tights, chaps, helmets, handsome formal show jackets, more casual parkas and waterproof coats, as well as gloves and gear bags, are all available.

New and used fine-quality English saddles from England, France, Italy, and Argentina are on display, as is a selection of tack (bridles, reins, breastplates, girth, stirrup leather, bits, etc.) and maintenance supplies.

Horse clothing, such as stable sheets, blankets, fly sheets, bonnets, and masks, horse boots and leg wraps are also in stock. Grooming supplies for horses include brushes, curries, shampoo and body wash, and bath sponges, as well as hoof picks and other accessories. There are also special bran and oat horse treats. “We are a full-service tack shop, with particular expertise in outfitting hunter/jumper horses and riders,” points out Ms. Kall. “Our manager, Susan Farinick, and our friendly and knowledgeable staff pride themselves on offering attentive, personalized service, whether working with beginning riders or advanced competitors.”

Equestrian Experience

Customers are certainly big fans of the shop. They appear to be all ages, and all share a keen interest in horses. Many own horses, while others may be taking riding lessons and just beginning their equestrian experience.

“There is no other shop like this in the area,” reports Ms. Kall. “Most, but not all, of the customers are riders, and they are really all ages. Parents may want to start their children on a horse at two or three, and we have people in their sixties and seventies riding, as well as a lady who rides at Hasty Acres, who is 80. We have customers from the Princeton area and beyond, including Clinton and Pennsylvania.

“Horses are also very popular with special needs people — children and adults,” continues Ms. Kall, “and there are riding programs for them in the area.”

Saddles are highly important, of course, and even if riders do not own a horse, they will often want their own saddle, especially if they ride more than once a week. “We fit the rider here.” explains Ms. Kall. “Then, they have to see that it fits the horse properly. It has to suit the horse and the rider. We can also go to your location, if necessary.

“Also,” she adds, “there are different saddles for different needs, such as dressage, hunter/jumpers, etc.”

In addition to the specific equestrian apparel, such as the Ariat line, there is a variety of clothing popular with non-riders. Jackets, shirts, and pants, including the Good Rider line, are favorites, and many of the clothes feature a horse design.

Horse-Related

Customers have also been pleased to find a new selection of non-related horse items, including the Brighton line of jewelry and purses. Dansko clogs are also available.

An assortment of horse-related gift items, such as book ends, mugs, and greeting cards, is available, as are the popular and collectible Breyer Horses, and a selection of plush toy horses. Books on horses and riding are also offered.

The store offers cleaning and repair services for horse blankets, tack, and boots, as well as engraving and monogramming. Ms. Kall started out repairing leather, she explains, and for those unaware of the origin of the stitching horse, she has an enlightening story.

“In order to do leather repairs, you need a piece of equipment called a stitching horse, on which you place the leather to be repaired. This was from the time when people worked by hand. My parents got me an antique stitching horse, and I thought it was the perfect name for the store.”

Ms. Kall is delighted with the success of the Stitching Horse, where one can find items from $1 to $2500 (for a saddle) and everything in between.

“I am so happy with the progress of the store. I love the people who come in. Many are regulars, and have become friends. We see the kids grow up, and then they bring in their own kids. We are a destination place. When people come in, they are usually planning to buy something. We look forward to seeing them.”

Stitching Horse Saddlery is open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 to 5, Sunday 12 to 5. (609) 921-6854. Website: www.stitchinghorsesaddlery.com.

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