Smash your Shopping! Find 12 useful gift ideas for every horse and rider
Smash your shopping – find 12 useful gift ideas for every horse and rider in this blog post.
Christmas is only a few weeks away…. Start thinking about your shopping now. And use the Black Friday-sales to find great deals for everybody on your list. Those with two legs, and those with four!
Say ‘Thank You!’
No rider can do everything alone. The Christmas season is a great opportunity to say ‘Thank You’ to all the people who support us – and our horse! – throughout the year. Such as the stable owner, your veterinarian and your hoof care specialist, your trainer, your friends at the stable…
Are you a younger rider and your parents are supporting you? Then this is the perfect time to let them know how much you appreciate all they do.
Or maybe you are just looking for a present for somebody who is crazy about horses?
Don’t forget yourself!
Around horses, good quality items often are the best investment. They last longer, they are safer and more comfortable. But they come at a price. Most riders are always short of cash, and short of time.
Being savvy with your shopping is a great way to save time and money, AND to get those useful things you have thinking about.
Take a look around your tack room this weekend and make a list of what’s missing. Or what needs to be replaced.
And how about that one fancy item you have been hesitating about…?
Use the Black Friday sales to get good discounts – and get your shopping sent home to you, too. (Which means more time for your horse!)
12 Gift ideas for everybody on your list (including your horse)
1. Halter and Lead rope
Your horse uses his halter and leadrope every day, in every weather – and it shows! They get get rusty, muddy, faded, and the snaps don’t work smoothly anymore.
Swop it for a safe, soft, and well-fitting halter in a nice colour. Make it look even better it with a matching lead rope.
TIP: Not sure which colour to choose? ‘Safe’ colours like black, dark blue and brown look great on nearly every horse. And it makes it easier to find a matching replacement if one of the parts breaks or gets lost.
2. Leather Travel Halter
Commercial horse transport people often insist that the horses should be wearing leather halters (not nylon). Why? Because they are sturdy and comfortable. But at the same time, if there should be an accident, the halter will break. So the horse will not get ‘stuck’.
Nice leather halters are usually expensive – perfect to keep an eye out for during the sales.
TIP: Some leather halters come with a fancy little metal plate on the side. There you can have the name of the horse engraved, for a really personal touch.
3. Longer Lead Rope
Lead ropes seem to be suffering from ‘shrinkflation’. It seems like they are getting shorter and shorter!
For daily use, a length of around 2.00 m is fine for leading and tying up safely. However, sometimes a longer lead rope can come in very handy. For example, when leading a fresh or spooky horse, for taking your horse on a walk, for training trailer loading, and when riding out with a hand horse.
TIP: Buy one in the same colour as your regular lead rope. Then you can swap them as needed and still have a nice coordinated look.
4. The humble Hoof Pick
The humble hoof pick – the perfect present if you want to give something not-too-expensive to several people. For example, all your friends at the stable. Choose your favourite colour, or a different colour for everybody.
TIP: Hoof picks get lost ALL THE TIME. Attach a piece of bright cord to the end – or recycle some twine from a hay bale and make a little braid.
5. A nice Saddle Pad
Just like halters, saddle pads get used every day. They are exposed to sweat, dirt, sunshine and frequent washing.
Here, good quality really makes a difference. High quality saddle pads fit better and last longer.
Sales season is the perfect time to ‘score’ one of those nice expensive saddle pads at a good discount.
TIP: For a lovely personal touch, get it embroidered! Many horse stores offer that service. You can put on your own name, the name of your horse, a logo, or even just something funny or encouraging. Just remember that it might make the delivery time a bit longer.
6. A Custom Brow band
Browbands used to be simple pieces of leather. Not anymore! These days, they come in many colors and variations. Often decorated with glitzy rhinestones.
Our horses live outside year-round, and I have to admit that sparkly stones don’t look so great on a muddy, hairy horse… so we mostly use fairly simple browbands.
However, for special occasions I love the old-fashioned ones with the velvet ‘shark teeth’ ribbons. And you can even have those made in your favorite colors.
Just be sure to order it large enough, so the brow band doesn’t pinch your horse’s ears.
7. An Anatomical bridle
Research shows that bridles can be a real pain point for many horses.
There are more and more so-called ‘anatomical bridles’ on the market. They can make your horse more comfortable and maybe even enhance his performance. Unfortunately, they are pricey… so perfect to look for when there are sales going on.
TIP: Remember to check the length of the browband – even in an anatomical bridle.
8. Horse Blankets/Rugs
Our horses love living in a herd with their friends. The only downside is that they destroy a lot of blankets when they are playing and running around. So, I try to stock up on medium-priced blankets when they are on sale.
For less destructive horses, sales are the perfect time to snap up a really high-quality blanket at a good price.
TIP: For extra warmth, it’s also possible to use a stable blanket under a regular blanket. Look for ones with a shoulder split, if you plan to use it outdoors.
9. A Wool Throw Blanket
Winters in Norway get cold! We often use a little wool throw blanket over our horse’s back while warming up in walk. They are also great to wrap yourself in while sitting next to the arena. And why not have one in your car, too?
TIP: Homeware stores often sell nice wool plaids at very low prices. And with a great choice of colors and patterns, too!
10. Give organization – and peace of mind
Peace of mind is one of the best gifts for anybody – including yourself! Feeling really on top of things is a good way to start the New Year.
A good Horse Journal is a great way to have all information about your horse in one place. It can save you time and money, and even help avoid misunderstandings and medical problems.
11. The Gift of Knowledge
Knowledge is the one thing we never have enough of….
Keep an eye open around Black Friday for great deals on video trainings, classes, books and such. It can be a great gift for somebody who ‘has everything’. And, of course, for yourself.
TIP: Does your favorite trainer live too far away? Ask if (s)he can do a video lesson. And yes, you can get a video lesson from us here at HorseCompass!
12. New Brooms Sweep Clean
Don’t we all know it – searching all over the stable, just to find a broom? And when you find one it’s often old, worn out and falling apart.
A new broom is a great gift to sweep the old year away, and the New Year in!
TIP: Brooms come in different sizes. A smaller and lighter one might be easier to use for children. A wide broom is heavier but can help you save time.
Share YOUR shopping!
We hope these tips came in handy for you. Let us all know in the comments how YOU plan to smash your shopping!
And keep an eye out for our blog post: 20 Easy Last Minute Gifts and Stocking Stuffers for Riders
Don’t risk missing out – sign up here, and our blog posts will automatically land in your inbox.
BONUS: you will get this FREE E-BOOK! With 10 easy tips how you can be a better rider, already today. Because our horses deserve that we are the best riders we can be…