The weather has cooled, the leaves are changing, and the holiday season is finally upon us. Just as there are many different types of horses in the world, so are there many different types of equestrians…some prefer gifts they can use, some think it’s the thought that counts, some like to wear their gifts to the barn and some like to wear their gifts everywhere. The Holiday Elves at SLO Horse News have scoured SLO County and beyond to create a gift giving guide for that special equestrian in your life.
The Practical Equestrian
Everyone has a “practical” horse friend…you know, the one who prefers solid colors and plain designs over glitz and glam? It can be tough to think of something to get for this type of person or their equine friend, but chances are you really don’t have to look that far. This is the type of person who would absolutely love a “Christmas Bucket”.
What is this, you ask? Well, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive to create; it’s practical and it’s still personal. Start with a small feed bucket in your friend’s favorite color. Fill it with those “must have” items that get used up, worn out or misplaced. Consider items like a pretty new hoof pick, curry comb, and perhaps a bottle of ShowSheen or Cowboy Magic Mane and Tail Spray and a small bottle of Well-Horse Wound Care. Throw in a small bag of horse treats, a pair of cute equestrian socks (even the most practical of equestrian’s appreciates a good pair of socks under their boots) and you’re finished – all things that your friend will actually “use”.
If you’re the artsy type, grab a stencil (or go free hand) and some spray paint and paint the person’s name and the name of their horse on the bucket – killing two birds with one stone by both making it personal and making it “theft proof” out at the barn.
A New Halter
What is one thing that every practical equestrian uses every day at the barn? That’s right, a halter! It seems like an odd idea for a gift, but if you look out at most barns, halters are something that are usually only “new” when a horse is purchased…they don’t get changed out all that often and they get used every day. Why not purchase the equestrian in your life a new halter (good quality nylon or if you’re willing to splurge, a nice leather one) and a name plate to adorn it with the equestrian’s name and the name of their horse?
The Sentimental Equestrian
We all know this type of person…the one who “likes” all of those tear-jerker horse videos on Facebook and posts more photos of their horse online than of their significant other or children. This is the type of person who would appreciate a wearable keepsake from TailSpin Bracelets . This home grown company was started by two horse friends who never wanted to be far from their equine friends, even when they weren’t at the barn. Simply grab a nice lock of your friend’s horse’s tail (always ask first and cut from the very middle of the tail and toward the back so that it won’t show) and send it to these great gals and they will create something personal and beautiful that will sure to bring tears to any equestrian’s eyes – they can make everything from bracelets to earrings, key chains and tassels for bridle’s and saddles.
Finally, no sentimental equestrian could help but smile when presented with a gift certificate for a personal equine portrait photography session…after all, memories are so very important, and how many of us have only those fuzzy “cell phone” photos of our horses? There are many wonderful equine portrait photographers on the Central Coast who can help make this a possibility. Our own Sarah Williams, from Mirror’s Edge Photography, is a great place to start; she has been working with horses and riders for years, loves what she does and has many happy clients (even our own Sharon Jantzen has had her photos taken by Sarah). The equestrian in your life will absolutely adore having something so personal and unique as a gift…and you may even get one of the prints as a gift back!
The Impossible to Shop For Equestrian
…and then there is this person, who is absolutely impossible to shop for. They have their own likes and dislikes and are not easy to read. This is when the good old “gift card” comes into play. Here on the Central Coast we have many wonderful tack shops that are sure to delight all type of equestrians, whether they love Western or English, Arabians or Warmbloods. A good place to start is Riding Warehouse, where you can find just about everything you need for horse and rider – unique gifts, blankets, tack, the finest in riding apparel, etc. A few other great options are Whitehorse Tack in Paso Robles (for the North County Riders), Farm Supply (with locations from Paso Robles to Buelton), Jedlicka’s (with locations in Los Olivos and Santa Barbara) and while you are in Santa Ynez check out the very “horsey” Back at the Ranch boutique on Edison Street.
Hopefully this holiday gift giving guide will help to set you on the right track when shopping for your equestrian friends and family. The SLO Horse News Elves want to wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season!
Just so you know, clicking the above links takes you to the product on the Riding Warehouse site. This makes shopping easy and convenient for you. We do get a little kick-back from items purchased, giving us resources to bring you more stories, but your price stays the same. It’s a win-win! Also for local riders you can order items online and request pick-up – during checkout – at the Riding Warehouse store. Happy Trails!