Equestrian in the City - Visiting Manhattan’s only Saddlery

I was debating whether to title this article, “An Awkward Equestrian Goes Through Airport Security.” Read on and you’ll find out why...

My husband is all too accustomed with my new routine - visiting every tack store in every city we go to. We travel often and frequently visit New York City and yet, somehow, I had never discovered Manhattan Saddlery… until now.

The allure of finding a tack shop in the middle of Manhattan (aka the concrete jungle) made me too excited for words and so, on a very warm New York Saturday this past summer, I dragged my husband through the streets on a quest to find this place.

“What do you need to buy again?” my husband asked.

Silly husband, you don’t actually have to “need” something to go to a tack store. I mumbled something incoherent to appease him and continued to lead the march along the avenues and streets until we finally reached our destination.

“This is IT!” I exclaimed as I darted across the street and through the front door.

An equestrian mecca of breeches, show jackets and tack was laid out before me.

The store is spread out over two floors and they have a huge supply of the latest apparel. I tried on some insulated breeches which, in retrospect was a horrible idea because I was practically melting from the heat wave in the city so trying on some very tight, warm pants was less than a thrilling experience. After that, I couldn’t bring myself to try on any more clothing because it was simply too hot in the city.

But I couldn’t leave the store without actually purchasing anything!

I ended up purchasing a hoof pick (I know, so original) and some all-natural fly wipes. On the way out the door my husband asks, “Are you allowed to bring those through airport security?” “I guess we’ll find out…” I replied.

Upon arriving at the airport, I decided I would ask the very bored-looking TSA agent whether I could bring the hoof pick through security. I started off with the following, “Hey, so you know horses? You know how they have hooves for feet?”

At this point my husband, took two decidedly large steps away from me clearly not wanting to be associated with me.

“Well, to clean them you use something called a hoof pick.”


“I have one in my bag - can you tell me if I can bring it through security? Would you like to see it?”

(Obviously, I sounded like a lunatic at this point.)

She stared at me for a few seconds and then just waved me to continue on and told me to ask one of the security agents.

At this point I was a little nervous because I hadn’t gotten a clear answer and, similar to the way a police car following you can make you nervous even if you’re not doing anything wrong, I felt uneasy. Now, I should also clarify, that this isn’t quite the standard hoof pick. It’s something that’s called the joker… and it looks a little “weapon-ish”. (And, to make matters worse, the one I purchased was not a cutesy color like pink or teal - it is black, which makes it look even more like a prison shank.)

I proceeded to start unpacking my laptop, taking off my shoes and dumping my bag and purse into those little grey tubs that go on the conveyor belts through the x-ray machine. I decided to not ask anyone else about the hoof-pick because I honestly didn’t think my lead-in of “Hey, so you know horses,” was going to garner me anything other than strange looks and raised eyebrows. I figured if it was a problem, they would stop me and ask me about it and worst case scenario, I would have to toss it in the garbage.

I proceeded through the mental detector, gathered my things and… we made it through!

Nobody said anything...

I’m not sure if I should be happy that I got to keep my hoof pick, or concerned that I made it through security with something that looks rather alarming to anyone who isn’t familiar with the tools necessary to pick mud and stones out of a horse hoof.

Either way, I’m happy with my purchases from the one and only Manhattan Saddlery.

TravelSamantha MirzaeeNYC