About The Shop
About us, where do we even start? Well Magic's Custom Tack is a home based business just outside of Reno Nevada. It started out with a horse crazy girl named Nikki who bought some off brand leather paints at the store one day and proceeded to paint some pink zebra stripes on an old breast collar. It was obvious right from the get go that she really enjoyed painting. Next thing you know, every piece of leather in the tack room and house was getting an overhaul!
The breast collar that started it all! ^
She began riding in her "new" tack at barrel races and gymkhanas and started getting a lot of compliments. It sparked the idea that maybe she should go into the business. To get right to the point, about 8 weeks of researching later, she opened up Magic's Custom Tack in August of 2011. At First it was just a small little business painting bronc halters and spur straps. Then for some strange reason that Christmas *BAM* customers everywhere and lots of orders flying in. Nikki surely thought that things would slow down after the holiday season but they only got crazier! Towards the end of spring, she finally had to discontinue the hand painted tack as it stressed her out too much and she wanted to focus more on hide tack. This sounded all fine and good except...she was sewing everything by hand! She spent COUNTLESS hours sitting on the couch with a little sewing awl putting together tack for people and stashing away pennies for the hope to one day get a machine.
Despite the fact that Nikki was a pretty good artist, she eventually decided that painted tack just wasn't what she wanted to do anymore.
Well that day came sooner than she thought. In September of 2012, she went into her local Tandy's store and asked about a machine. They refered her to the Leather Machine Co to see about getting a Cobra machine. Nikki called with less than $50 to spend and just asked about the machine. Come find out, she could make payments! Victory! But..she had to come up with $1000 to put down on it in less than a week..so off she went to her workshop, pulled a bunch of tack together, threw an auction and got that money with time to spare! After a month of waiting, her Cobra class 4 finally came!
The very last hand sewn set Nikki made
With the addition of the cobra machine, Nikki was able to work faster than ever.
Since then, Nikki has invested in thousands of dollars worth of equipment to completely fill up her work room to help the business to continue to grow!
The Minds Behind Magic's Custom Tack
Well I'm Nikki and since this is a one man shop, I guess that means I'm running the show here! Everything is in my hands. From updating the website and pages, to making everything, to answering e-mails, to driving to the post office to ship things out. It gets a little crazy and stressful, but it really is an enjoyable job for the most part and I'm extremely greatful to be able to have one obsession (leatherwork) that supports my other obsession (horses).
But about me, well I was born and raised in Nevada-still living here. I showed rabbits and guinea pigs in 4-H during my elementary school years. I'd loved horses since I could remember. Unlike most people who grew up riding, I didn't get my first horse until I was in middle school. Coming from a family who knows NOTHING about horses made me take the reins and learn everything I could. Always being a crafty person, I found myself trying to make horse gear out of random things all the time which I think is part of what led into this business. I remember trying to make a hackamore with a friend of mine out of bailing twine and managing to rig up some sort of driving system with some old rope and cinches tied together because I thought my horse needed to learn how to ground drive lol!
I competed in 4-H with horses for quite some time. I did everything from western pleasure, to jumping, to barrel racing. Even tried reining a few times. I got into Junior and High School Rodeos and barrel races in high school.
During the first year I had Magic, he was my hunter/jumper pony!
When I really got into barrel racing I felt "ashamed" for lack of a better word that my tack was just plain leather and didn't have a single sparkle to it and we couldn't afford nice things. So out came the bedazzler, hot glue and rhinestones! Again, I think this is what started the creativity behind the business in the first place.
I did eventually buy a decent breast collar but Boulder (my first horse) still stuck with his bedazzled browband.
Magic came into my life the start of my freshman year of high school. To back the story up a bit, I had to have surgery on my foot after a barrel racing accident and my mom had promised that if I went through the surgery (I'm not a fan of doctors/needles/etc), she'd let me get another horse. My boarder at the time called me up and said she'd seen a nice little green broke paint horse on craigslist. Well up we went to check him out two days after my surgery. I gimped in on crutches and with my foot in a cast. His owner at the time took one look and said I couldn't ride him until my foot was out of the cast. A week later (well before my foot should've been out of a cast!), I cut up an old boot, painfully crammed my surgery foot in and limped out to her place to test ride this horse because dag-gonnit I needed that horse as soon as possible! To put it blankly, the test ride didn't go great. Considering I was in pain the whole time, this horse spooked at everything, couldn't turn or stop, was dead to any leg cues. So what did I do? "Mommy! I need this horse!"- Yeah, wonderful decision lol. But hey, considering he was only $1, papered and pretty young, it was a good deal.
I struggled with him at first (and who am I kidding, I still struggle with the little brat!) But he's one of those horses that just has so much heart and so much love that I think he was worth it. I have a bond with him that will never be duplicated by another horse. That being said, I only thought it fair to name my business after my little dorky paint boy! (and I say that affectionately lol!)
Nikki and Magic warm up at a barrel race
Magic is still a good part of my life. Boulder unfortunately had to be put down on Thankgiving of 2013 but is in a much better and less painful place now. Magic is still going strong. Magic is halfway retired now. Being a 2001 baby and not having the greatest build in the world, he's getting up there in age. We dabbled in mounted shooting and were pretty good at it for several years. He mostly spends his time packing me and friends around on trail rides and was on the Reno Rodeo Flag Team for 2018-and hope to be on it for years to come!
Me and Magic and our first day being exposed to gunfire.
Magic and I on the 2018 Reno Rodeo Flag Team!
I have another horse, Tipsy, who I use for a lot of different events. Her resume has consisted of barrels, mounted shooting, team penning, dressage, jumping, cross country, and she's an excellent trail horse too! Needless to say, myself and my horses very well versed in many different horse events and I think that helps me to better understand my customers coming from different backgrounds.
Tipsy was the original inspiration for this cross headstall.
Tipsy and I competing at a schooling show!
Me and Magic at our local shooting club's year end event.
My life continues to revolve around horses and leather..and I wouldn't want it any other way! That's basically my life story lol. If anybody took the time to read this, I thank you! And a huge thank you to everyone whose made this dream of being a successful tack maker a reality. Thanks to my customers, my followers, my parents, friends, horses and of course God.