Anyone who has visited our Landrum location knows the minute they walk through the door they will be greeted like an old friend. The most familiar face our fans recognize would have to be that of Vicki Wood.
Vicki has been with the Farm House since the early days of our existence, some of you may remember when we first started out, we were the go-to location for pet food, horse food, birdseed, pool & spa supplies as well as tack and apparel. Over the years we've grown into a nationally branded tack shop, and Vicki has been with us every step of the way.
Vicki's interest in horses, like most of us, began at an early age. She was smitten with the horse bug at first glance. Working her way up from riding to barn manager and for many years, she traveled the show circuit as a professional groom.
As many of you know the Farm House is a family-owned tack shop, the family employed Vicki for many years as their professional traveling show groom. As the store began to grow, the focus changed from local feed and farm supply to that of a dedicated equestrian tack and apparel retailer. The family wanted to maintain the reputation of having a highly knowledgeable staff. Asking Vicki to come work in the store as a senior staff member was a no-brainer. Vicki's love of horses and a deep well of knowledge made the transition seamless.
In the late 90's early 2000's saddle design and fit for horse and rider started down a more technical road. The influx of imported broader built warmblood breeds into the show ring and the phasing out of the formerly popular and leaner American Thoroughbred, made saddle fitting tricky. Gone were the days of just fitting the rider to the correct seat size. Matching the fit of a saddle to the rider as well as the horse's conformation became required knowledge in the industry.
Once the current trends in design and manufacture stabilized across the industry it was clear we needed a fitter knowledgeable in new styles, design methods, and techniques. Vicki was eager to learn equine gross anatomy to further her knowledge of all things horse-related. You would be very surprised to know how much studying she had to do with regard to muscle groups, bone structure, tendons, and ligaments. Knowing how each function and how saddle fit can affect the motion of the horse, both good and bad!
Vicki spent nearly a year working with saddle fitting educators at the top of their field. Her course work and studies are endorsed by The Society of Master Saddlers and included many hours of academic as well as hands-on course work. Vicki's training included proper fitting techniques, recognizing a poor fit, appropriate fit adjustments as well as when and where adjustments are applicable.
After completing her SMS certification, Vicki went on to complete the certification process with each of the many brands we sell here at The Farm House. Antares, Butet, Bates, Black Country, Luc Childeric, Prestige, Pessoa, and many more. For Vicki, it's not just about selling someone a saddle, it's selling them the right saddle with the right fit for the horse and the rider.
Long-time Farm House fans know Vicki as a familiar face who is eager to assist however she can. If she doesn't know the answer, she won't stop looking until she finds it. Currently, she is our Senior saddle fitter and top staff member. She can be found fitting saddles on-site as well as traveling to fitting appointments regionally.
What you may not know about Vicki is, in her off time she is a FIERCE competitor on the local women's golf circuit. This July, Vicki will celebrate 30 years here at The Farm House and we are happy she is a member of our Farm House Team.