Riding gear company takes a new tack

New owner of Medford equestrian gear online company seeks to boost it local on-site sales
Carla Winkler, the new owner of Action Rider Tack in Medford, wants to increase its local presence.

Online retailers generally don't worry about Main Street, Central Avenue or locations on any major thoroughfare. Visibility on the information super-highway is of far greater concern for e-tailers.

The new owner of Medford online saddle shop Action Rider Tack, whose clients range from sea to shining sea, hopes to be better known in the Rogue Valley in coming months.

About Action Rider Tack

Name: Action Rider Tack

Service: Retails equestrian gear

Owner: Carla Winkler

Location: 255 E. Barnett Road, Suite 104, Medford

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday

Phone number: 541-773-6300

Website: actionridertack.com

Email: info@actionridertack.com

Facebook: Action Rider Tack

"Our customers are the kind of people looking for gear for trail and endurance riding, also dressage," said Carla Winkler, who took over the business just before Labor Day. "To this point, 90 percent of the sales have been done over the Internet."

Even though the store boasts the largest selection of treeless saddles — without a wooden frame — anywhere, Winkler has grander designs.

"We're in a warehouse behind Winco and converted a portion into a retail-friendly space," she said. "As soon as we can, we want to move to a location where there's a better opportunity for retail."

She plans to expand Action Rider Tack's local presence, adding boots and hats to the mix of tack, ropes and crates.

While Winkler is coaxing Action Rider in a new direction, credit founder Candace Kahn, who launched the company in 2004, for persevering through the nastiest of economic times and building sales to nearly a million dollars before turning over the reins.

"I feel very lucky to purchase a company that has Internet sales across the continent," Winkler said.

Raised in Douglas County in a crossroads known as Umpqua outside of Sutherlin, Winkler lived in Bakersfield, Calif., and Black Diamond, Wash., before going to work for Church & Dwight, the parent company of Arm & Hammer, in Seattle. She rose through the ranks for the home-products company, becoming a national deduction manager — tracking the financing for field sales — and traveling around the country until changing careers a couple of months ago.

Winkler, her husband, Andy, and their children moved to the Rogue Valley 10 years ago. They acquired three horses and trained them at Hope Equestrian Center. When her daughter lost interest in riding, Winkler maintained her horse.

Now it's a full-time endeavor.

Her staff of eight equine aficionados covers the gamut of trail riding, endurance, Western riding, gaming, reining and dressage, she said.

"It wasn't designed that way, it just happens to be that way," Winkler said.

For people who think horses don't need to be shoed the old-fashioned way, Action Rider Tack will carry Easyboots made of synthetics.

"We're going to have everything associated with horses available except for medicine," she said.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com.

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