Consignment Store a Win for Everyone
For many riders, their horse’s tack is one of the most expensive equestrian purchases they’ll make. But for those looking to save, it’s possible to get high quality tack at prices 40-50 percent lower than new by taking advantage of consignment.
Located in Tilton and online, The Trainer’s Loft is a consignment horse supply store that functions as a “personal hub for all things equestrian,” according to store owner Shira Nafshi. Their huge inventory, which includes everything from used tack to organic feed, is sold at affordable prices so everyone wins.
The Trainer’s Loft was founded by Sue Douglas 18 years ago. Its name derives from her original occupation and location - at the time, she was a horse trainer who operated the store out of her barn in Boscawen.
Shira took over the business a year ago and moved it to its current location in Tilton. She moved into an old convenience store and started remodeling everything - doing a lot of the work herself.
“I had to rent a commercial floor cleaner and completely strip everything down,” Shira says. “It was fun revisioning what this space could be.”
Now, the space has been completely transformed into an equestrian hub. The Trainer’s Loft carries a huge selection of consignment tack and clothing. Each item is thoroughly examined by Shira and her team to ensure it meets their strict standards for integrity and quality.
“About 80 percent of our store is consignment tack and clothes,” Shira explains. “A large percentage of our goods are priced below $200 - other areas charge 40 to 50 percent more for their products.”
The Trainer’s Loft consigns almost everything horse-related, with the exception of used helmets due to safety concerns. As long as your gear is well-cared for and in good, sellable condition, they will help you earn some money back.
But The Trainer’s Loft carries more than just consignment items. When she was working as a farrier, Shira was a supplier of Thrive horse feed. She and her friend would stock three or four pallets between their two homes. Customers would take as many bags as they needed and drop their money off in a box.
Now, Shira has a warehouse to hold her supplies. The Trainer’s Loft also carries new horse body care items, helmets, and supplements. Their holistic horse supplies include Vitamin E supplements tailored to different specifications, Hilton Herbs, Equinature, and other higher-end, harder to find supplement supplies and feed.
“We keep a combination of known, requested products as well as effective organic solutions,” Shira explains. “We have a lot of things on our shelves that no one else carries. To be able to find it all in one store is unusual.”
If they don’t have the size or pattern riding gear you like, don’t worry: Shira can special order items from her vendors, which typically arrive within a week. The Trainer's Loft also offers shipping for most of their items.
According to Shira, when you shop at The Trainer’s Loft, everybody wins.
“You win because you get the item you want at a discounted price. I win because every sale matters to our business. And the consignee wins because they are earning money without any hassle.”
Additionally, you benefit from their extensive knowledge every time you enter The Trainer’s Loft. Whether you’ve been riding for 40 years or you’re just starting lessons, Shira and her staff can answer any questions you may have while providing helpful insight based on their personal and professional experiences with horses.
If you have more in-depth questions, you can always attend one of their educational classes, which cover a variety of topics from proper horse care to riding.
“The whole point of a small business like ours is to get to know your customers,” Shira says. “What you get here is an individual experience. We build connections based on our common bond of horses.”
The Trainer’s Loft builds those connections with excellent customer service. If you would like a closer look at a particular item, Shira will send you additional photographs. Once, she FaceTimed a customer to show them different saddles.
“We have nothing to hide,” Shira says. “We just want to help people find the right solution.”
Another group that benefits from The Trainer’s Loft is the local community.
“We support both the local and equestrian communities,” Shira explains. “We work with local rescue shelters and organizations, and we support local creators.”
These local creators - often consignees - create a variety of hand-made items, including paintings, herbal remedies, and jewelry, which they sell through The Trainer’s Loft. Shira points out an amateur painting dating back to 1896 as well as bear bells, honey, and rhythm beads all created by members of the community.
If you’re looking for affordable horse tack and equipment, organic feed and supplements, or if you’d just like to learn more about horses, come visit The Trainer’s Loft in Tilton. You’ll know it by the sign in the window - the original from Sue’s farm.
The Trainer's Loft is located at 307 Main Street in Titlon, NH. Visit their website at thetrainersloft.com.