Saddle shop serves central Wyoming and beyondWritten by Christy Martinez
Present-day owner Susan Moss-Wyatt grew up in the store’s Riverton location, which her parents H.H. “Red” and Diana Moss opened in 1966. Today Susan owns and manages the store with her husband Jerry Wyatt, with help from long-time employee Tut Miladinovich and recent hire Tori Pike.
“The first time they left me alone in the store I was nine years old,” recalls Susan of her early days with the business. “They had to run errands, and no one else was there, and I knew how to run the register.”
Adding products, brands
Although some viewed the store’s move to the Casper area as a smart business decision, Susan says she really made the transition so that she could get married. Since then, she says she and Jerry have added more to the store than what it contained in Riverton, thus their slogan: Moss Saddles, Boots and Tack… Plus a Whole Lot More.
“Since we’ve been here we picked up Boulet and Twisted X boots and Austin Accent jewelry, and we just picked up Kelly Herd jewelry,” says Susan, noting that Wyoming Traders has also added shirts, coats and vests to their line. “We’ve also added Martin, Circle G and Cactus saddles, and we now have McCall saddles again.”
Because of their wide array of brands and lines, Susan says the store does quite a bit of special ordering.
“Many things come in right away, but Hondo boot company lets us spec boots to the customer specs, so those take a little longer because the customer is getting exactly what they want,” she explains.
Of adding the new brands and products, Susan says that sometimes they get visits from road reps who are looking for a new store, or they might pick up new lines when they go to market or when they see something advertised that they think would be a good fit.
“I really like boots,” says Susan when asked about her favorite product in the store. “I like saddles, but you can only have so many. We sell a lot of boots, and they keep us going when the horse season is cold – people still have to wear boots.”
The store also does a brisk Christmas business, and she says boots sales in December keep increasing.
“We always sold a lot of boots at Christmas in Riverton, and now we’re picking up here,” she adds.
Customers come from far and wide to Moss Saddles, Boots and Tack, and that includes from throughout Wyoming as well as beyond the state’s borders.
“With the oil boom we get a lot of out-of-state people,” says Susan. “We’ve shipped to New York, North Carolina, Texas, Idaho and Utah, but we don’t do a real big mail order business.”
Susan says she doesn’t really have a daily routine, because she never knows when customers will come in.
“Sometimes we get here and they’re waiting, and we’re busy all day, and sometimes we have two or three hours to get some work done. There aren’t many days when it’s just dead,” she says.
Of the fluctuations in the horse market, Susan says they work for both good and bad.
“The low horse market takes away some customers, but we also get new customers from the people who didn’t want to pay more for a horse previously, and then they generally need everything for equipment,” she says.
Looking to the future, Susan says she would like a bigger building, but that finding an affordable opportunity in Casper is a challenge.
“We carry a large variety of things, and we try to listen to our customers and keep things that people might need but aren’t that common,” she says.