Christmas Gift Ideas For The Horse Crazy
So You Have A Horse Crazy Friend?
Or a pony-obsessed relative? But you know nothing about horses, and all you've heard is that horse gear is incredibly expensive. What sort of Christmas gifts might be appreciated - and, for that matter, reasonably priced?
Here are just a few suggestions.
Nothing goes down better for the horse owner or regular rider than a big bag of horse treats. If you are really short of funds, you can even make them yourself - there are a lot of good recipes online.
One great idea is to make up a gift basket that contains a bag of horse treats and a bag of horse-shaped cookies or candy for the human part of the equation.
Any tack store will have treats, and if you want to be particularly holiday appropriate, buy the peppermint flavor. (Horses love peppermint, with rare exceptions).
Grooming gear is cheap and tends to wear out quickly. Your horse-loving friend will appreciate a new hoofpick or grooming brush.
Folding hoofpicks that can be taken on trail rides are often greatly appreciated (after all, what goes out on the trail ride does not always come back).
You could also buy a bottle of equine shampoo or conditioner, hoof oil or fly spray...all consumables that the average horse owner gets through fairly quickly. If in doubt, the best shampoo is Mane 'n' Tail shampoo - equally good for horses and long-haired humans.
Helmets and boots should always be purchased by the person who intends to wear them, as should breeches.
However, riding shirts are often appreciated. It does not have to be specialist riding gear either. Most riders will appreciate fitted T-shirts, both short and long-sleeved. Fleece outdoor jackets are handy for outdoor rides.
For a smaller outlay, consider a couple of pairs of thermal socks (especially for English riders, as metal stirrups completely drain all the heat from your toes).
Do not, however, buy regular gloves. Normal wool gloves are impossible to ride in, especially when wet...the reins just slip right through your fingers. Cheap riding gloves can be purchased from tack stores.
Books and DVDs
There are thousands of equestrian books out there. The young pony lover might appreciate classic pony fiction and there are plenty of horse-related novels for adults, too. A book by a trainer your friend admires might also be well-received.
For the new horse owner or the person considering buying a horse, there are numerous books about keeping a horse that might be useful to them.
You could also consider a horse related movie. Or, perhaps, a DVD of a training clinic or a major equestrian event.
Toys and Models
A pony-crazy youngster might appreciate a model horse. Or, if they already have model horses, tack and rugs for their model horse might go down well.
A Breyer model of their favorite breed or even their favorite famous horse (Breyer often immortalizes specific individual animals) would work even for a young-at-heart adult. Some adults collect model horses and their tack.
Plush toys are good for younger pony loving children as, of course, are the traditional My Little Pony toys. Kids might also like a T-shirt with a picture of a horse on it.
One final suggestion is a gift in the person's name to a local shelter or equine charity. Many charities will do gift packages including horse photos or other merchandise.
For a bit more of an outlay (ranging from a few dollars a month to several hundred a year) you can sponsor a horse for your friend. This often includes the right to visit and hang out with the sponsored horse. Horses that are available for sponsorship are normally permanent residents of sanctuaries or rescues due to age, injury or other reasons that make them unadoptable...but they still appreciate the love and attention. It's a great way to give somebody 'their' horse for much less than buying a horse in terms of both money and responsibility (although watch out...your teenager might visit the horse rescue and never leave).