If you own a horse, you probably noticed something missing in Lewis County, a tack store. In July 2021, Emily Marshall fixed that by opening High Tail Tack, a new and used tack store in Winlock. Just a year later, it’s clear we needed her, as she has already had to move to a bigger location just a couple of months before their first anniversary.
Originally from Yelm, Emily and her family moved to Lewis County for more property and to be closer to family. Previously Emily worked as a middle school science teacher. “I love teaching and learning,” she shares, “And had a great group of students at Winlock Middle School.”
From Middle School to High Tail Tack
An equestrian herself, Emily has been riding for about 30 years. She owns quite the herd, including a paint mare, a thoroughbred mare, two foals out those mares by a Clydesdale stallion, two young Lusitano-crosses out of the same mares, and a paint gelding.
“I’ve made a career and lifestyle around the horses and farm family life!” Emily says, explaining her reason for opening a tack store. “I gained great experience in the industry through time at another saddle shop and also as a horse trainer and riding instructor. Starting High Tail Tack allowed me to use my unique combination of experience and to strike a balance between home and work. It’s been wonderful!”
It was not an overnight decision. “I have always entertained the idea of starting a used tack store, had researched it for years, and then everything fell into a perfect sequence of events to make it happen,” Emily explains. All that hard work paid off because they were an immediate success and quickly outgrew their first location on Jackson Highway. “I had no idea we would grow out of it so quickly,” she adds. “We are right along I-5, and the Lewis County location allows people traveling to and from Portland and Seattle to make an easy stop at our store.”
High Tail Tack Offers Large Selection Paired with Knowledge for a Winning Combination
“The support of the local horse community, and beyond, is the reason we are successful,” says Emily. “We are mostly consignment, so that means 80% plus of our inventory is being provided by people who clean out their tack rooms and bring us items to sell. We are able to provide quality equine sports equipment and clothing at a fraction of new prices.”
The store is packed floor to ceiling with deals that all horse owners can appreciate. You can get a complete English tack set—saddle, pad, stirrups, leathers, breast collar—for under $400! Great for those just starting out, on a budget or with a kid going to outgrow the saddle in a couple of months. They have great prices on western tack, too—you can even find $100 western saddles! It’s the perfect place to look when you need something that fits your budget. And they offer trials, which is essential to ensure fit without wasting money.
Aside from tack, they have tons of consigned show clothes that won’t cost you your entire paycheck, which you won’t feel bad when you want to change outfits next season, along with gifts and décor items. They often put together coordinated “bundles” to make shopping easier for those needing a complete kit. It’s a mecca for the local equestrian!
But having a great selection is only a piece of the puzzle. Emily’s friendly customer service, trial/refund policy and personal experiences are also key to High Tail Tack’s success. Over the years, Emily has ridden many different disciplines, meaning she is knowledgeable if someone comes in needing help picking out the right tack or outfit for a particular event. Her personal favorites are dressage—for the strength and fundamental techniques—trail riding challenges and jumping. “Anything that lets me spend time with great horses and their people,” she adds.
Need help fitting a horse? Just trailer over, and Emily can help with saddle fitting. You can even trade in that one you bought online that doesn’t fit. “I really enjoy using my experience to help people find what they are looking for,” she says. Tried something, and it doesn’t work? Just bring it back. Emily will help you either adjust it to work or find something else. And if you buy an item there and decide to sell it again down the road, you get a discount on the consignment fee.
High Tail Tack also carries items made locally, including blinged-out conchos and browbands that you won’t find anywhere else. Whether a 4-Her, weekend trail rider, breed shower or gamer, you will find what you need next at Emily’s wonderful store. Or, maybe you just need to downsize your own tack collection. She can help with that too. Visit the High Tail Tack website or Facebook page for more information.
High Tail Tack
476 State Highway 505, Winlock