On The Bit Tack and Apparel - Tack Shop in Ontario, Canada
Beautiful Boutique Horse Tack and Apparel Shop in Ontario Canada, located between Mattawa and North Bay, Ontario on Trans-Canada Hwy 17, On The Bit Tack and Apparel services clientele in the municipalities of Corbeil, Powassan, Sudbury, Rutherglen, Bonfield, North Bay, West Nippissing, and Mattawa, Ontario. On The Bit Tack and Apparel welcomes travelers to our boutique tack shop experience with interesting finds for horse people and casual shoppers alike. We offer, the top quality brands of BR Equestrian, LeMieux, Acavallo, Bucas Blankets as well as Ariat boots, equestrian apparel and denim.
Certified Equine Bit Fitting Specialist
Owner, Tammy Levasseur, is a Certified Bit Fitter and offers Equine Bit Fitting Clinics and Individual Bit Fitting Sessions for you and your Equine partner throughout Canada.
A Little About Me
Like many of you, my first experience with horses was as a very small child, as I recall I couldn’t have been much older than four. My sister, mother, father and I lived in Chalk River, Ontario in a small bungalow with a large backyard that abutted an old farm.
One spring morning my mom was hanging laundry out on the line while I played in the backyard. I toddled over to the fence line that separated our yard from the farmer’s field. In the field, were two very large, kind eyed draft horses. I sat down and started picking grass and holding it through the fence for them. They took it tenderly from my hand. This is the moment my lifelong passion for horses began. I remember being amazed at how large they were and yet so gentle. That moment has left a long lasting impression on me.
A couple years later we moved to a new house, leaving my gentle backyard friends behind. Shortly after, I began school and our kindergarten class was introduced to the library. I immediately found the “horse” section. I poured over book after book about horse care and riding in hopes that one day I would have my very own pony. This is how I learned to read. I especially like the Little Black series which I more recently sought out and purchased for my step son.
Years passed and my attention diverted to gymnastics and over the next few years I became an accomplished gymnast competing at various levels, all the while never losing sight of my interest in horses.
On weekends I would take odd jobs around the neighbourhood to earn money to ride at the farm down the road. As soon as I had collected enough money I’d hop on my bike and peddled as fast as I could to see the appaloosa stallion, Domino. He was old, grumpy and seriously ugly but I didn’t care. He was a horse I was allowed to ride.
When I was about twelve I started working at a real stable for an elderly British woman named Mrs. Munro. The earthy smell of the stable was intoxicating and kept me coming back. My duties included cleaning stalls, grooming and mixing feed as well as preparing for horse shows in return for actual lessons. I would attend shows and dream that one day it would be me collecting the ribbons at the end of the day.
By the time I was 14 I was ready. I had a part time job and had saved half the money to purchase a horse and my parents helped with the rest. My day had finally come. We went to see a thoroughbred mare named Sassy, which should have been my first clue. She was jet black and in my mind all black horses were good, Black Beauty, Black Stallion and my childhood favourite Little Black. I paid $1000 for her and she was trailered back to a local stable where I had arranged to board her. After a few days of settling in, the day had come to ride her. I got out my saddle and cinched up the girth. I mounted and started walking her around the riding ring. Moments later, she took off bucking. I went flying through the air and landed on the railing. Thankfully I wasn't seriously injured but my pride was bruised. Sassy was shipped back to where we bought her from and I never saw her again.
After a few months of looking and a little more knowledge gained we found another horse. Prince was a quiet Quarter Horse and was my partner for a couple years. Eventually it was time to move up and start showing and so I sold my long time partner to purchase a hunter/jumper.
Over the course of the next several years, my parents built a stable, I went to college in Belleville, I got married and finally decided to start a family. During this time I took a break from riding while I raised my daughter Téa and worked full time at Atomic Energy of Canada. It was during this riding break that I developed a new passion. I began running years earlier as part of my conditioning for Gymnastics but returned to it now as a pass time and to keep myself fit. I eventually started participating in Triathlons and distance running events around Ontario.
It was now time to start fresh, together with my partner, Chris Hilton and daughter Téa we moved to North Bay, Ontario. I took a job with Cementation Canada and settled into life in a new community. Something didn't feel quite right. I knew it was time for me to revisit my passion for horses.
In 2010 I purchased Shananigin, who I nicknamed Gus, a very large, 4 year old German Warmblood and decided to pursue my love of the art of Dressage. When I purchased Gus he was virtually an untrained horse and over the course of the 4 years I developed him to first level on the dressage training scale. After a heart wrenching decision, I made the decision to part ways with Gus. His heart wasn't in dressage and he is now happy in his work in the jumper world.
I purchased Fantasia a beautiful Oldenburg mare from Parkwood Stables of Georgetown, Ontario. This mare has my heart. She gives me 110% every time we ride.
I also own a spunky little Hafliger Pony, Gracie, who was given to me by a dear friend Dianne Melnychuk. Gracie is a real card. A total class clown who loves to entertain people by playing her ukulele.
We have now all settled in Bonfield, Ontario on the outskirts of North Bay where I have my family, horses and a beautiful boutique tack and apparel shop.