Tack Room Too has been a family business since its inception, and the O’Briens have taken over in stellar form. In this column where we look and applaud our local equestrian businesses, we take a closer look at the beloved tack store, Tack Room Too.
For nearly 35 years, Tack Room Too has been providing services and products for equestrians in Western Washington. Located in Tumwater, the original store was launched as part of the Trails End event center, providing tack and equipment to a growing community of horse owners. The business operated under its founders, Dan and Carole Rees, for over 30 years, until a changing of the guard took place in 2018.
Tim and Tracie O’Brien are a local horse family who have been visiting and shopping at Tack Room Too for years. Tracie fondly recalls saving her summer job money as a high schooler to purchase her first saddle from Tack Room Too back in the late 1980’s. Now, raising their three daughters on their nearby equestrian facility in Olympia, Keev Farm, the O’Briens became loyal customers, and also, friends with the founders. When Dan and Carole started discussing what it might mean to sell the store and retire, what began as a joke between the O’Briens turned into a new venture for the young equestrian family.
Tim and Tracie bought the store and have continued to service Tack Room Too’s legacy of supporting their equestrian community. With a balanced skillset of business and horse savvy, the O’Briens hit the ground running. Tim brought with him a background of business and marketing, while Tracie is the family’s “technical equestrian”. She rides, teaches, competes, and runs Keev Farm’s program, which focuses on young riders through lesson programs, workshops, and camps throughout the year.
Tack Room Too sees a diverse set of riders: Western and English enthusiasts, facility owners, new riders and seasoned professionals, are all Tack Room Too customers. Tim and Tracie’s unique experience in business and horses have allowed them to continue servicing this diverse crowd in the tradition the tack store laid out under Carol and Dan, but with more modern offerings.
Since owning Tack Room Too, Tim and Tracie have expanded its ability to sell online, allowing riders to shop 24-7 as well as drawing in new customers outside of the South Puget Sound area. They extensively developed the youth selection, focusing on products and brands for young riders, and they increased the available safety options and equipment as demand for those products increased. The traditions are in place — English and Western saddles for sale – but with an eye for larger selections, and, with emerging brands and products, the store is filled with special touches and fresh perspectives. The O’Briens like to say, “All disciplines, and all budgets,” which is reflected in the products and services the store provides. There is a little something for everyone at Tack Room Too.
One of the store’s main initiatives is their annual Fall blanket sale, which kicks off in mid-September, providing blanket selections from miniature horses to drafts. Stylistically, there is a lot to applaud as well. The tack store has collaborated with blanket manufacturer Weatherbeeta on exclusive patterns that are only available through Tack Room Too. Like their Purple Panda print, which brightens up even the dreariest winter day. They will also have an exciting new exclusive pattern for Fall 2022, but the design has not been released yet.
Tack Room Too has always been known for its support of the local equestrian community, and Tim and Tracie are as committed as ever to that legacy. They invest back by sponsoring shows and events throughout the year, from barrel races to eventing to 4-H and more! With affiliations with over 50 clubs and associations, they are always looking for ways to support the store’s loyal following.
Tack Room Too is “Absolutely one of the finest tack shops around. Friendly service and a great inventory of everything you need for horse and rider,” as one recent Google reviewer put it. And these reviews are easy to find, with hundreds of 5-star reviews from new and old customers alike.
Tim and Tracie write on the store’s website: “We’re a local horse farm family raising our daughters with the responsibility, care, and respect of horses… We believe strongly that our children should be responsible, hard-working, well-rounded kids. They play an integral role in the operation of our horse farm where we offer lessons, clinics, and camps throughout the year. You’ll also see them around the store too!”
This family effort feels like the perfect support system to a horse community that also feels like a family. Consider supporting the store for your next purchase as blanket season fast approaches or join them for their annual customer appreciation sale in the second weekend in March. Either way, online or in person, Tack Room Too continues to be a stalwart for Western Washington riders by promoting values and a quality experience appreciated by all.
Visit them today at:
201 Lee St SW, Tumwater, WA 98501
Open 7 days per week