What's (Not) in a Name: Centreville Pet Store Sells Hair Extensions for Horses

Clifton Saddlery is not quite what the name implies.

Clifton Saddlery in Centreville sells horse hair used in tail extensions for competition horses. (Jamie Rogers, Patch.com)
Clifton Saddlery in Centreville sells horse hair used in tail extensions for competition horses. (Jamie Rogers, Patch.com)
Clifton Saddlery is a store of the unexpected. For one— it's not in Clifton—and two, it's not a saddlery. 

Instead, the Centreville store is a dealer of some of the most exclusive pet foods, feeds and supplies in the area.
As the name implies, a large part of the business does come from horse owners. 

The store sells rider costumes and even hair extensions for horses for competition season.
The extensions are real horse hair taken from the tails of living horses—the horses can grow their tails back if they are cut, said Lauren Stockwell, manager of Clifton Saddlery. 

The extensions are braided into the hair of a horse to make it look fuller for competition, she added. 

The store carries plenty of equipment for children's riding lessons, horse camps and equine therapy sessions. 

Exotic pet owners can find Mazuri on the shelves, an exclusive feed used at zoos for an array of animals for primates to water fowl, she said. 

"We have parrot food, food for chinchillas and macaws; that's what makes us different," she said. "The food is very high quality; you won't get that going in a grocery store. The food is a little bit harder to find."

The store also carries hay and shavings.  Clifton Saddlery employees are set to deliver those very supplies to the Coleman Circus which is putting on several shows this weekend at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville. 

Delivery service is offered to every customer of the store. "We try to develop personal relationships with our customers," she said. " We know your name and we know where you live."

The saddlery keeps other supplies, such as fly spray, on the truck with the customers' orders so they can conveniently have whatever they need, Stockwell said. 

The store opened more than 20 years ago down in Clifton where its clients were mainly horse owners. The store did sell and consign saddles once upon a time, but that business was very challenging and competitive, so the owners decided to exit it, Stockwell said. 
Over the years, the clientele began to shrank as people sold their horses and the farms were sold to developers.  

The decision was made two years ago to move from historic Clifton to the current location on Metroplex Drive in Centreville. The new location is more convenient  for horse owners in other places like Nokesville in Prince William County.  
"We have a lot of people who have followed us (from Clifton) They have been in this area for a long time," Stockwell said. 

Since the move, the store has expanded its offerings to more common forms of pet supplies, but the staff is still working to get its inventory to reflect what its customers want. 
Stockwell said there are lots of marketing events in the works to show customer appreciation and get the word out there about the business.
The next event dubbed, "Gone to the Dogs" is on Sept. 7 at the store. There will be a pet photographer on hand and a dog wash for charity, Stockwell said. 
There will also be pet contests. 

Plans are in the works for a pet costume contest in October and horse drawn sleigh rides through Centreville neighborhoods in November and December. 
The "sleigh" is actually on wheels and is pulled by a team of horses, she said. 
Find more information about Clifton Saddlery by visiting its website at cliftonsaddlery.com/.


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