The Tack Room

by Paula Sells

  • Hardback - £30.00
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The story of saddlery and harness in 27 equine disciplines

Polo, horse-racing, show jumping, endurance riding, ploughing, carriage driving, mining with pit ponies, policing on horseback: all these activities need different tack.

Paula Sells shows how the tack used in 27 different disciplines has become specialised for each one. She describes the tack rooms and their contents, conversations with the owners, meetings with Master Saddlers and the history and current challenges of each discipline.  

Each tack room has been selected for its importance in the discipline it represents: Badminton House’s tack room is dedicated to the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt; Hyde Park Barracks houses the Household Cavalry tack; the dressage, eventing and racing tack rooms of Carl Hester, Mary King and Andrew Balding are featured; so is the fifteen-ton Mercedes horsebox which serves as portable tack room for the Weston-super-Mare beach donkeys.

Tack rooms are treasure houses of traditional and modern, innovative craftsmanship and this lavishly illustrated hardback showcases the workmanship behind the scenes.


210 Colour photographs, 5 Colour illustrations, 11 Black & white photographs, 12 Black & white illustrations


Sep 06, 2018


About the Author:

Dr Paula Sells learnt to ride on Welsh Mountain ponies by rounding up sheep in north Wales. She hunted with the Flint & Denbigh, Cheshire Forest and Cheshire Hunts. She has evented at Burghley.

In 1998, after a career in tropical medicine, Paula became a member of the British Horse Loggers and worked Shire cross heavy horses in Wales and Cheshire. She visited Slovakia on a Leonardo da Vinci Scholarship in forestry and continues her work with agricultural students and schoolchildren.

Work with Riding for the Disabled led to long-distance trekking in Scotland and together with her family, Paula is now breeding thoroughbreds that are racing successfully on the flat.

The gift of a huge leather headcollar, stamped GWR and once worn by a Shire horse used for shunting carriages on the Great Western Railway, sparked an interest in the craft and history of harness and saddlery which has developed into the material for this book.

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