The Horse World
Warning. Downer post. If you are not in a headspace for that, please come back tomorrow. I’ll be talking about parks.
Awareness of the outside world. Special Equestrians.
Due to the sudden and unexpected death of Rita Mendel, owner of the Carousel Tack Shoppe, the store will close Monday, June 28 at 5pm until further notice. Thank you for your patronage and understanding. Please keep the Mendel family in your prayers.Carousel Tack Shoppe
After moving to the area from New York, avid horsewoman Rita Mendel recognized a need for therapeutic riding in Birmingham. She started with just a few volunteers with big hearts and a passion for horses, and with the help of instructor Pam Ibrahim, special education teacher Annette Troxell, and physical therapist Patrice Murphy, a program was born.Special Equestrians: History, The Beginning
This is part of what made last week so tiring. [Practice]
Monday, I went by the store for what might be the last time. No one is sure what the future will bring. Thursday was the Celebration of Life for the Alabama crowd. The funeral had been held earlier in California with family.
I mainly knew Rita from being a customer at her store. That may not sound like much, but I was a customer for a long time and bought a lot of stuff.
Boots [Boots, Before & After]
More Boots [New Equipment: Britches & Boots]
Tall Boots [My Heart Is In My Boots, and That’s a Good Thing]
Horse Boots [These Boots Were Made For Shipping, New Equipment]
Shirt. “I’m so out of touch that I simply bought what the nice ladies at Carousel Tack Shoppe recommended.” [Show Shirt Surprise]
More Shirts. “I am the diametric opposite of a shopasaurus. I loathe every aspect of the process. I went to a place I trust, Carousel Tack Shoppe. These items were available. They solved my problems. Done.” [Clothing Kaleidoscope].
Rodney’s Saddle. “Her professional recommendation was a Wintec 2000 with suede seat and air panels in the all-purpose style, because reasons. Hmm. I have been shopping at Carousel Tack Shoppe for 20 years. She has yet to lead me astray. Let’s do this.” [New Equipment: Saddle]
… along with uncountable odds & ends. Plus all the stuff I bought before the blog began.
Rita didn’t sell me all of this to me in person. She did recommend the saddle. Not sure I would have listed to anyone else on that. Several local horsewomen worked for Carousel over the years. They did a fine job. Regardless of who was behind the counter, it was always Rita’s shop.
It was a small shop, tiny even. She had to be selective about what she carried. This made for limited choice at times. I didn’t always agree with the choice, but it was always a difference of opinion, not a matter of quality. For example, I prefer pink Swat. Carousel carried clear.
Rita was a supporter of the local horse community. Blue ribbons from Full Circle shows often came with Carousel gift certificates, above. I still have the gift certificate Rodney won earlier this year. I forgot about it for a recent purchase and then I couldn’t bring myself to spend it on the last day.
Rita always greeted me with a smile and good advice.
Memorial donations may be made to Special Equestrians.
Stay safe. Stay sane.