Canadian Tack shop of the Year 2013

Ellen's Background

I am a rider – sometimes  a dressage rider, sometimes an endurance rider, sometimes an eventer, sometimes obstacles are my thing and always I am a trail rider.  I began riding western. And learned to ride English as an adult.  To me – riding is riding. 

My background is of a farm kid who loved horses.   Always getting to the neighbours horses or working at the trail riding  stable near a friends cottage just for a chance to get on.   In our area there was a guy named Gypsy Jackson who hired horses out to summer camps.  In September these horses became available to people to have for the winter (better known as feed up and shape up).   Gypsy Jackson soon figured out the my dad loved to feed up horses and I would get on anything.  We had several years of learning different personalities and what it felt like to have to give up a horse in May. 

As I lived beside a small village with lots of girls with horses, there were days of races down the sideroads, ducking apple tree limbs, seeing if we could ride backwards and all the crazy things kids do when parents aren’t looking. 

At fifteen, I got my first own horse – a two year old pinto mare named Shannon.  I sometimes think I learned as much about what isn’t a good idea as what is.  The farm was sold a few years later and my horse was free leased while I went first to Fanshawe for Behavioural Science (ok so that didn’t work well) and then spent 2 years at Humber College for Equine Management. This was my first endevour into organized horse learning so while I was great with nutrition and basic riding, it was a steep learning curve for riding lessons, teaching and stable management. But that caused my interest and respect for good equipment, proper boots and how riding clothing makes a huge difference on the experience of riding. 

For some years, I trained, I taught and I boarded horses.  Over the years, there have been well over 90 horses here.  In 1987, The Horse Habit was born of my interest to teach other people how the equipment, the clothing and really important, the boots are to riding.  Of course, all the other grooming, blankets, bits  and equipment has come with it.

So in some ways – I dedicate this new website to “Shannon” – who came back to me and lived to be well into her twenties.  You will meet some of my current horses on these pages along with what they think of products.  

Trot on,