These women have "been there and done that"--they are the backbone of Carousel Tack Shoppe. Can't find an item? Look no farther. They are here to help. Don't know how to fit a boot, saddle, bridle? They do! Rita prides herself on service, always willing to help with any of your horsy needs. She is an offical saddle fitter and she has the tools to prove it. Linda can teach you anything you want to know about Pony Club and if it's not done right she will be the first to tell you so. Watch out when you work with her--it's "gonna" be right! She can recite the book.
These are the women of Carousel Tack Shoppe!
Rita was born and raised in Virginia. In 1962 she married the love of her life, Jack Mendel. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Everyone rides!
Rita took up riding as an adult and began with hunt seat lessons. This is where she purchased her first horse, "Whimpy," who was an Appendix. In 1969 Rita started the Gibson Hill Riding Club, to provide lessons to 200 campers a week each summer to cover the cost of her family's riding hobby the remainder of the year. Rita's biggest equestrian achievement was riding Fourth Level and earning the USDF bronze medal on her Mustang, Nicholas. In 2000 she traveled to Holland and purchased her Dutch mare, "Karina," the love of her horse-life. Karina has a beautiful two-year-old daughter, Demitasse, by Olivier (the USDF 2008 Horse of the Year).
In 1984 Rita and Jack moved to Birmingham and started boarding her three horses and two peacocks at Oak Mountain State Park Stables. There Rita met Pam and Galal Abdulla. This relationship began the start of what is now known as Special Equestrians, a handicapped riding program that is located at Indian Springs School in Indian Springs Village, Alabama. In 1988 Rita and Jacked opened Carousel Tack Shoppe. Rita is really the owner of Carousel, and provides Birmingham with a much-needed tack service. Carousel "spoke" directly to the English riding community and these are the folks that Rita thinks of as her 'family." Rita says, "Every day I walk into my shoppe it's a joy, and serving my family has always been my love."
Linda Holman was born in New York and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a graduate of the Brooke Hill School, now the Altamont School, in Birmingham and of Cornell University-New York Hospital School of Nursing in New York. She is a retired OB-Gyn nurse. She married Bill Holman in 1976. They have two daughters, Liza and Caroline, both of whom ride and compete.
Linda started riding as a young child on her great-uncle's ranch. She received her early formal riding education under the tutelage of Major Bela Buttykay. Major Buttykay was a former member of the Hungarian cavalry and Hungarian Olympic 3-Day Team. Linda grew up foxhunting and eventing. She attained the national B rating as a member of the Cahaba Pony Club, Birmingham, Alabama.
Linda received her United States Eventing Association bronze medal and was active in Pony Club as an officer, instructor, coach, and parent. She is a guest book reviewer for the USEA. Currently, she shows her young event horse, a Thoroughbred gelding, at the Novice level. Linda boards her family horses at Bear Creek Farm in Vandiver, Alabama.