California Riding Magazine • October, 2009

American Horse Products
Selling everything but hay in
San Juan Capistrano

by Kathleen Burke Jensen

A decade ago Diane and Jim Carter pooled their expertise to create American Horse Products. Diane had a lifetime of horse expertise and Jim knew the catalog business from top to bottom. But when the San Juan Capistrano horse community learned that the American Horse Products catalog warehouse was local they came knocking at the door. So Jim and Diane opened for business and now they’re just too busy helping customers in person to do a catalog.

American Horse Products is 8,000 square feet of “everything but hay,” says Diane Carter. Nutrition-wise they stock bag feed and supplements. One 30 foot long by 6 feet tall wall is full of nothing but joint supplements. “Our customers are smart and like to comparison shop so all of our products are grouped together by type,” says Carter. “Plus we like to help educate our customers so they’re not over-supplementing.”

Tack, equipment and clothing are available for every discipline including jumpers, hunters, dressage, reiners, barrel racers, trail riders, ropers and team penners. Two customers recently competed in the Tevis Cup. All American Horse Products employees have horses and they all ride. The Carter’s oldest daughter, Brooke, is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is a team roper. She comes into the store to help when she can. Younger daughter Brittney is a student at Sonoma State University.

At American Horse Products the staff offers suggestions and solutions often based on products they use themselves. Products are offered from proven manufacturers like Purina Mills, Professional’s Choice, Farnam, Troxel, Bar F, Toklat, Tailored Sportsman, Tredstep and Intrepid.

In addition to traditional equine gear, American Horse Products carries unique items like leather canteens and Anti Monkey Butt Powder and a few non-riding items like cowboy music performed by Rusty Richards of Sons of the Pioneers fame.

Discount Days

“Everyone knows how expensive it is to have a horse,” says Carter. “We do our best to discount wherever we can.” And there’s always a cappuccino ready to greet a customer as they come through the door. “Most of our customers enjoy visiting with us as well as each other. They’ll stand around and talk and sometimes they sit on the feed bags in the back to form a coffee clutch. We like to help people and most everyone is interested in learning about all the different products.”

The Saturday before Mother’s Day is Customer Appreciation Day and it includes a wide variety of entertainment as well as demonstrations and clinics. In the past there have been an assortment of clinics including Mike Quick talking about bits, horses dentists and chiropractors and Steve Khang from KR Natural Products demonstrating Careflex, all in all, some 50 vendors. There is also a used tack swap meet for customers. “The event only goes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and people come and stay for the whole event,” explains Carter. “It’s very family oriented. We do a lot with our vendors, even socially, so you get the latest products and up to date information.”

American Horse Products’ goal is to help riders get the most from their horses and they know from experience that the healthier the horse, the happier the rider, so they have dedicated their efforts in that direction. Riders looking for high quality products at a great price, head their direction.

For more information contact American Horse Products at 800-500-0799 or or visit the store at 31896 Plaza Dr, C4 in San Juan Capistrano.

Sarah & Eunie from American Horse Products in the Swallows Day Parade.