Horsey folk must be some of the easiest people to buy presents for, there is a never ending choice of clothing and equipment for both horse and rider, tools for the yard and purely decorative items too but sometimes it is nice to find something just a little more unusual which demonstrates that personal touch and plenty of thought.
Here are some slightly more original ideas for horsey Christmas gifts to share with your friends and relatives this year.
- Designs made from horseshoes – some metalworkers are making beautiful items from horseshoes such as wine racks, candle holders, photo frames, entwined hearts, names, coat hooks, drinks coasters, pieces of decorative sculpture, the list goes on. An unusual present for someone who has everything and even more special if you are able to use shoes from their own horse
- Equestrian hampers – there are companies who produce beautiful bespoke equine hampers full of goodies for horse and rider or you could make your own. Fill a pretty basket with select items, you can theme it so perhaps essential items for next year’s showing season or the Essential Hamper for British Eventing...a stop watch, number bib, medical armband, all the things that riders need when they start affiliated eventing, not forgetting a bottle of gin for mother or the groom! What about a pamper basket, ideal for either horse or rider particularly in cold winter weather, there are some beautiful hats available which would look lovely presented with some luxury hand cream and a selection of lip balms, who would not be delighted to receive a gift like that
- Training voucher – for someone who has everything, the gift of a training voucher can make a very welcome and unusual present. Perhaps pick their favourite trainer or club together with someone else and really push the boat out and buy them a lesson with a top name. The affiliated disciplines offer trainer vouchers too which can be used with an accredited coach, a nice idea as the recipient can make their own choice from a designated list of trainers
- Equine experience – leave the horse at home and buy entry to a famous equine experience, a tour around the racing stables in Newmarket perhaps with a trip to the National Horseracing Museum and lunch thrown in or how about decent tickets to one of the top name shows such as the London International Horse Show, always a festive favourite, or a day at the races for 2018 with special passes to the paddock at Cheltenham or Aintree
- Photo shoot – horse owners are not very good at treating themselves, perhaps because all their hard earned money is spent on essentials such as vet bills, feed and shoeing so how about booking a shoot with an equine photographer, something to look forward to in the warmer months ahead
- Portrait – another real luxury item, an oil or pastel of an equine favourite, depending on size these can be quite pricey but clubbing together with other people makes it more affordable, a timeless gift which can be achieved purely from photographs so the lucky recipient will never know – the perfect surprise
- Personalised gifts – a calendar of classic shots taken throughout the competition season never fails as a lovely gift or maybe a mug or mouse mat with a selected image or even a photo tree bauble, a lovely big round ball perfect for popping in a treasured picture, ideal for children
- Colours and themes – colours are not just for cross country and racing, a saddle cloth with matching velvet browband and hat cover combine to make a classic gift and maybe even add some personalised embroidery to the saddle cloth for that extra special touch
- For foodies – there are some many local cake makers and artisan bakers who advertise on social media, why not find one to decorate a Christmas cake for you with icing images of your loved ones’ favourite horses in a snowy scene or a horseshoe border, perhaps even some mini show jumps, the options are endless
And don’t forget all the hard work that the rescue centres do at this time of year and the horses that don’t have anyone special to love and care for them. Pop an extra carrot sack onto your feed order, look out some old rugs that you haven’t used in an age, add a bale of hay or bedding and deliver them to your nearest rescue centre. Most welfare organisations provide visitors with the opportunity to sponsor a horse and that can also make a lovely Christmas gift, with regular photos and updates on their progress, the perfect present for the pony mad child that doesn’t have their own.