Horse Lover’s Holiday Shopping Guide

December 2008
The holiday season is here! In anticipation, store shelves are lined with holiday decorations, tasty goodies and great gift ideas. If you haven’t made it all the way through your shopping list yet, read on
to get some creative gift ideas for your fellow equestrians, trainers and the young horse lovers in your life.

Our gift ideas are sure to get you in the spirit of the season and ready to shop! Regardless of your budget or timeline, we can help you find that perfect gift for any horse lover.

Trainer Gift Ideas

A holiday gift to recognize the efforts of your trainer throughout the year is always a nice way to show your appreciation. You may want to plan a joint gift with a few other riders at the barn. If money is not an object, consider purchasing a new set of stall drapes, a custom pair of chaps or a monogrammed tack trunk.

Frame a recent photo of the riders from the barn and hang it in the tack room or gather some show candids, make a collage and laminate it. Everyone walking by will enjoy reminiscing about the show season. Or how about a decorative ribbon rack on which riders can display their hard-earned ribbons?

Many times our trainers could use a little time away from the barn. Give them a gift certificate to a nearby restaurant, tickets to a holiday event or even a relaxing spa treatment. What trainer wouldn’t appreciate a nice massage? Another thoughtful suggestion is to take them out to lunch or dinner after your lesson when their schedule allows.

Offer to give your trainer a hand so that they can finish their work an hour or two early and thus have time to go do their own shopping. Stick around after your lesson to tidy up the tack room, water, feed, or bring the horses in from the paddock.

The holiday season is also a great time for baking! Spread the cheer by whipping up a few batches of your favorite cookies or brownies. Decorate them with an equestrian theme, arrange them in a basket which you can purchase at any craft store, wrap it in cellophane and complete the presentation with a decorative bow. Don’t forget about your four-legged friends at the barn either. Bake some homemade horse treats or mix up some fresh cut apples and carrots with molasses and oats. Horses love this sweet treat and will definitely come back for more!

For the Young Horse Lovers on Your List

There is no doubt that the young equestrians in your life will have a long list filled with horse-related items. From riding apparel to pajamas, new clothing with fun patterns and wild colors debuts each year. Accessories such as gloves, chaps, riding helmets and whips feature a wide variety of color options. Buy a set of color coordinated leg wraps and a saddle pad featuring your youngster’s favorite color.

Horsey-themed backpacks, hats, cozy flannel sheets and books also make ideal gifts for the young horse lover. Decorative lunch boxes, board games and stationery are fun presents as well.

And what young girl doesn’t love jewelry? How about a charm bracelet, necklace, or jewelry making kit? With so many great gift ideas available, you may have trouble narrowing your options down! Creative, unique activities like making your own T-shirts, painting your own horse or a horse stamping kit are wonderful ways to spend time working with your child and to foster their interest in horses.

If you know a young rider who is a computer whiz, consider one of the myriad of horse games designed to spark their imagination. Interactive computer games allow them to become Olympic level riders, experience what it’s like to run a horse farm, become a veterinarian for a day or to even design their dream horse!

We all know the importance of good grooming. Encourage your young rider to spend time grooming their horse by putting together their very own grooming kit. Include the usual tools and then throw in a few different items to pique their interest—a heart-shaped curry comb, some scented shampoo or maybe a massage tool. Put it in a personalized tote. Not only will your horse enjoy it, but your youngster will probably hang on to it for years to come. You can continue to add to it each year during the holiday season or on other special occasions.

Perfect Presents for Riding Buddies

Shopping for the perfect gift for your fellow equestrians can be fun. You might even end up making your own wish list in the process! Tasteful accessories for the home are timeless. A set of etched glasses or a serving platter for the kitchen are great gifts for those who like to entertain.

A decorative tin full of tasty chocolates, a personalized photo frame, some eye-catching horse mugs, a new fragrance, or a playful stationery set make great stocking stuffers. And what horse lover doesn’t have room for another stylish handbag in their closet? For men, consider a wallet or a pair of deerskin gloves—both practical and durable gift ideas.  

For the serious-minded competitor, a monogrammed saddle and bridle bag or a color coordinated luggage set are useful gifts that will come in handy for years to come. A gift certificate for a custom show shirt, a fancy stock pin or a pair of new boots also make memorable gifts.

For your trail riding friend, put together a portable first aid kit. For starters make sure to include the following items: bandages, a thermometer, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, and cutting tools. A water-resistant bag that attaches to the saddle will make this a must-have each time the rider hits the trail. A cell phone holder is also a useful, inexpensive gift that offers safety and convenience. Reflective accessories like tail wraps, breastplates, reins and nosebands help the trail rider stay safe on the roadways.

Customized mouse pads or mugs are nice mementos to keep at work or home. Or consider ordering a customized photo notepad. Simply upload your photo online and you will receive your personalized pads in the mail. If you don’t have any recent photos on hand, pick up a mouse pad or business card holder at a local tack shop that shows the recipient’s favorite breed or discipline in action.

Also keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to spend money to give a gift. Give your barnmate a break by offering to do chores for him or her for a week. Volunteer at a therapeutic riding program in your free time or invite your local 4-H group to the barn for a lesson in basic horse care and a chance to experience horses firsthand.

Whether you are shopping for your trainer, farrier, barn manager, friend or horse-crazy child, it’s time to work your way through your shopping list and spread the good cheer!

Categories: Feature Articles

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