Horse owners and riders are usually the easiest people to buy for but what if you want to find something a little more original than just another pair of warm socks, a fleecy hat or a new saddle cloth?
Why not buy from one of the recognised equestrian charities? World Horse Welfare and Redwings are amongst numerous equine rescue and welfare organisations which have an extensive gift catalogue. Remember other horses who may not be as fortunate as your own when you purchase from them. Why not make a donation instead of buying a gift for someone and pop a note in their Christmas card? Use the money to help secure a warm stable and some hay for an unwanted or neglected horse, pony or donkey this Christmas.
Personalised gifts never fail to be well received. A wall calendar celebrating a year of competition successes or a photo mug filled with festive chocolate are two options but there are plenty more. Find an online company who can convert a favourite picture into canvas wall art, a mouse mat, a mug or a fridge magnet.
Why not consider a unique jump filler or plank or even a pair of fence wings? Choose a personalised design or image or bespoke the name of the horse and rider onto the wood. This makes a lovely gift with the option of so many different colours either a favourite combination or perhaps to match competition colours.
A beautiful silver horseshoe frame makes the ideal mount for a treasured picture. If you have planned ahead, there are plenty of people who will decorate an individual horseshoe for you and others who can sculpt decorative or functional pieces such as wine bottle holders or coat hooks from actual horseshoes. What a lovely personalised gift.
There are companies such as StableBox that make a range of equestrian gift hampers or, you could put your own together. Fill a pretty box or straw basket with a variety of items for both horse and rider which you know will be well received. And it’s not as if it’s difficult to find hay or straw to pack it in! Sweet treats for both human and equine can be mixed with other useful and practical items such as lip balms and hand cream for the rider and warming winter washes and barrier creams for the horse. A personalised hamper gives you the opportunity to put together something really unique and distinctive – remember, it is the thought that counts.
If you are struggling to come up with an original idea, why not buy a training voucher or lesson with a local instructor or a top competition rider? Most people have trainers or riders they really admire and a lesson in the warmer days of springtime is something to really look forward to. This doesn’t have to be on their own horse either. Some trainers have schoolmasters available for tuition – a lesson on an advanced dressage horse or show jumper can be a really special experience. Why not roll your sleeves up and give a day or two free horse care to a friend? The chance to have a weekend away or a break is another very popular gift, some welcome respite for a busy horse owner.
The equestrian industry is not immune to the ‘experience gift’ trend. Buy tickets for the races, horse trials or a special show in the warmer days of spring or summer, a lovely present to put away and look forward to in the dark days of winter. Yard tours are another option particularly for ‘the behind the scenes’ style experience. These are some of the nicest gifts as they are items that people would not usually buy for themselves so make a genuine treat.
Equestrian jewellery can make for a really treasured Christmas gift particularly if it is in the memory of a cherished horse no longer around. There are some beautiful designs in silver or braided horse hair or a combination of the two. Some silversmiths will undertake bespoke commissions; certainly, there are a wealth of makers who produce horsehair jewellery. Vintage equestrian jewellery is all the rage with lots of different retro items for a range of budgets. Stock pins and tie pins are always well received and there are some lovely decorative choices in gold and silver set with precious stones and pearls.
Unusual and clever equestrian Christmas gifts do not have to be predictable or expensive. A little imagination and thought can go a long way to create something distinctive and unique. So it is possible to find a present for the horse owner that just seems to have everything.