Horse blanket business reopens, just a leap away
AMENIA â€” Equestrians throughout the Harlem Valley are celebrating because The Clothes Horse, a blanket cleaning and repair business, is back in town. This time, the horsey business is going to be stationed at Horse Leap, a tack shop located on Route 343 in Amenia.
â€œGoing through the tack store streamlines the process for us and makes us more efficient,â€ Clothes Horse owner Maria Genovesi said, adding sheâ€™s owned the business for 14 years. Horse Leap, meanwhile, has been in business in Amenia for five years. â€œHer location is such that itâ€™s really convenient for people to do two things at once â€” their weekly visit to the tack store and to drop their blankets off.â€
As far as pricing goes, Genovesi said it will be no more or no less to go through the tack store than it would have been to drop the blankets off at her former location, next to Godspeed Horse Hostel, her horse rescue farm in Amenia.
â€œI think itâ€™s wonderful because anything I can do to make it more convenient for the customer is a positive. Customer service is what my business is built upon,â€ Horse Leap owner Barbara Wadsworth said. â€œWe have worked together right since day one because Horse Leap has always promoted horse rescue at Godspeed whenever theyâ€™ve done various things to raise money for the rescue in the past.â€
â€œI love the arrangement,â€ Genovesi said, adding that The Clothes Horse was not open last year as she went down south to work on her horse rescue mission. â€œA longtime employee, John Achilla, is a partner in The Clothes Horse and he had a lot to do with us getting back to doing this. Not to mention, all the people I run into in the grocery store always ask me when Iâ€™m going to start it up again. Itâ€™s a new beginning.â€
According to Genovesi, when The Clothes Horse was operating from her Amenia farm, she had roughly 400 customers bringing their blankets to be cleaned and repaired.
â€œThis is a pretty big equestrian community,â€ Wadsworth said. â€œWe have Millbrook, which is a very horsey area, and western Connecticut, which is also very horsey.â€
According to Genovesi, statistics from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets show that Dutchess County rates second only to Saratoga County in the number of horses owned.
â€œWe have a lot of horses here,â€ she said. â€œSo there is definitely a need here for this kind of service. Very few people do this, and I think this is going to be more convenient for people as itâ€™s centrally located now that itâ€™s at Horse Leap.â€
For more information, call Horse Leap at 845-789-1177. The storeâ€™s hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. The store is closed on Tuesdays. Itâ€™s located at 3315 Route 343, next to the Amenia Free Library; on April 1 the store will be relocated across the street to a larger space, at 3314 Route 343.