I grew up in a small, community conscious area so "Shop Local" has always been a relatively present concept in my mind. 90% of my shopping is about and for my animals, naturally. I now live much closer to more shopping opportunities, both local and in the "big city" (Sacramento) but the last four times I was actively searching for something for my horses I drove the hour up to the next town to shop at the locally owned tack store. Each and every time, including today, they haven't had what I needed! Its hard to shop local when its..just not possible. I was really frustrated after driving all that way and not finding a THING I was looking for (if I can walk through a tack store and buy nothing, something is up!). Then I thought about it and realized that it was most likely related to their most common clientele. If I were an average trail rider, or weekend warrior, and/or particularly a western rider with a QH or other good sized animal I suppose that store would be just the ticket! All the leather and camo and western saddles would be exciting, no doubt. Since I'm working my way towards being a full fledged endurance rider, ride English, and have shrimpy Arabs, this store has nothing useful beyond absolute basics like brushes or wound spray that I don't buy often. They don't carry blankets small enough, small enough splint boots, much of any English tack, and certainly no endurance gear. Once I got that concept through my noggin I wasn't so perturbed--its just the way it goes. To this day I have only ever been in one tack store that carries endurance gear in stock, and that's Christensen's in Loomis which is a good haul away from here. But a very cool store! Have gotten some beloved tack there and my favorite breeches, half chaps, and winter riding coat as well.
So here I am listening to a torrential downpour, credit card in hand, ready to order the horse things I need online. I tried!