The Horse Habit
The Horse Habit located at Kemble, Ontario, was established in 1987 by Ellen O’Reilly, with the mission “To bring quality equipment to the horse and their human.”
O’Reilly, a lifelong “habit-rider” herself, has a varied background in both English and Western horsemanship, which has aided her in bringing in the best options for every horse’s needs. She tries out new products and knows exactly what she is selling, because customer satisfaction was always been paramount.
The inventory at The Horse Habit changes continuously. “I am a function person,” says O’Reilly. “Yes, colours and fashions are great but first it has to do the job, whether it is a piece of tack, a cowboy boot, or a specialized breech. Technical clothing is a must, especially for the older rider. It must be comfortable, functional, and if it is to keep you warm or keep you cool, it must work.”
By trying out new equipment, O’Reilly familiarizes herself with the latest trends and can make the informed recommendations to her customers. Photo courtesy of Ellen O’Reilly
O’Reilly has specialized in what she terms the “habit market” rather than the “addict market.” This means that her clients are the family-oriented, backyard, pleasure, and local to provincial show people. “I want to deal with people where the horse itself is their concern, not just the ribbons. The ‘horse addict’ gets in, and like any addict tends to get in too deep and then get out. The ‘habit’ rider is the rider who keeps their horse or horses as a family member – they might borrow from the family food budget to do it, but they keep the habit for a long time. The ‘habit’ rider is the one where the family might say to them, ‘please go ride your horse’ because they know the horse is the rider’s therapist.”
Lots of O’Reilly’s clients have been customers since day one. Some have taken a hiatus from horses, but will always come back to them. Some have been here as riders, parents, and are now riding with their grandchildren (just like O’Reilly!).
The Horse Habit website reaches new customers from across the country and the US. Horse people know they can call and talk to Ellen – every question is important and deserves an answer, and Ellen has the knowledge to help.
To learn more, please visit The Horse Habit website.
Main Photo: Ellen O’Reilly, owner of The Horse Habit, goes the extra mile to ensure that her customers get the right products for themselves and their horses. Photo courtesy of Ellen O’Reilly