By Carolyn Tamler
Heather Carder remembers walking into the Manhattan Saddlery in New York City several years ago and admiring the quality Equestrian clothing and accessories. The store provided inspiration for Noble Horse Gallery, an Equestrian boutique store in Oak Harbor, owned by Heather and her partner, Gregg Lanza. She says, “There is nothing like this store anywhere in Washington State.”
In 2003 Heather and Gregg purchased the 80-acre Wildwood Farm in the northwest corner of Whidbey Island. Wildwood Farm fulfilled Heather’s life-long dream of finding the right place to breed, raise, train and board horses.
Shortly after purchasing the Farm, Heather was approached by Stubben North America to create a local showroom for Stubben saddles and tack. After converting a 20-stall barn on the property, Noble Horse Saddlery was opened for business. Four years after the saddlery, Heather and Gregg decided they wanted to also establish a more upscale retail store with top quality Equestrian clothing and accessories that would be a complement to their farm. Noble Horse Gallery, which came from this vision, was in Pioneer Square in Seattle from 2007 through 2012, and then for three years it was located in Downtown Oak Harbor. Since 2015, the Gallery is back in the original converted 20-stall barn with the Noble Horse Saddlery at Wildwood Farm.
The Noble Horse Gallery can be described best as “Beyond Equestrian,” pairing traditional riding attire with non-traditional sportswear lines and vintage pieces to create a look that is uniquely steeped in classic Equestrian charm but with current fashions. The collection of products is meant to celebrate the style and beauty of the horse and the Equestrian world, and appeals to those who appreciate timeless style and elegance.
Anyone who walks through the door of The Noble Horse Gallery will agree that the store has unusual ambience and sophistication, more like a store one would expect to find in New York City.
Items featured in the store include fine quality apparel for men, women and children; home décor; gifts; art; and jewelry. A specialty of The Noble Horse is vintage Equestrian-inspired clothing, clothing that is at least 20 years old. Heather has collected pieces from vintage shops around the world and most recently her vintage items were sought after by the esteemed stylist Anastasia Barbieri for the June/July issue of Vogue Paris.
The Noble Horse is located at Wildwood Farm, 2326 Happy Valley Road in Oak Harbor and is open to the public by appointment. Horse enthusiasts will find the Noble Horse set up at many of the top Equestrian competitions throughout the year both locally and all over the country – please check their website for the current show schedule: www.wildwoodfarm.com/.
The website for Noble Horse Gallery includes detailed information about items for sale at the store and provides a source for ordering on-line: www.noblehorsegallery.com/.
Note: Noble Horse capitalizes “Equestrian” as a statement that they emphasize the lifestyle and use it as a name rather than an adjective.