When we say "We Ride. We Show. We Know"... we really mean it, almost all our staff members have horses or have had horses over the years. And with the holidays fast approaching, we got nostalgic and shared some of our favorite "horsey" holiday gifts that we've received over the years.
Get your tissues at the ready, and prepare to have your heart strings tugged on!
Lizzie: My favorite horsey gift has to be from The Christmas after I got my first pony, Stormy. I had only had him for a few months at this point and was still collecting all the essential items for “pony ownership”. I was attending the annual holiday party that my barn put on each year (aka an evening entirely dedicated to us eating as much food as we could) and not expecting a gift at all. Before it was time to go, my trainer pulled me aside and handed me this squishy wrapped bundle. I eagerly opened it up and inside was a beautiful navy Amigo cooler with Stormy’s name embroidered on it! I had never received such a thoughtful gift and never from someone outside my family before! Stormy has long since passed on, but I still have his cooler that I use fondly now and again when a pony is in the barn. To me, the gift itself doesn’t matter, it truly is the thought behind it that means so much to me!
Bonnie: The gifts that always meant the most to me growing up were the Breyer horses I received! I wasn’t able to have a real horse, so the models were “my horses”. My favorite Breyer was “Yellow Mount”, a brown and white Overo Paint that I lovingly called Spotty. Little did I know that the holidays would eventually lead me to own my first real horse… I saved money from selling Christmas trees and was able to purchase my own horse in the next few years.
Vicki: I still get chills thinking about receiving my custom Larocque Full Chaps! There were (and still are) so gorgeous… tan with teal detailing, and I smile whenever I look at them. The fact they are one of a kind and so unique is what makes them my favorite.
Sara: My favorite holiday gift is without a doubt the Barbie Horse Stable I was given when I was 8! I was obsessed with it and spent hours playing with it. All My Little Ponies lived in it and I even made them paddocks out of Lincoln Logs. I think it was my favorite because even then I knew I wanted to spend my life working with horses, and with this Barbie Stable, I got to be the barn manager!
Michelle: I fondly remember the holiday I got my first piece of tack. I was riding at a local barn and exchanging chores for lessons. My favorite horse decided he needed a martingale and that was the once bit of equipment I couldn’t borrow from anyone...but my mom surprised me and gifted me a lovely standing martingale. It was just a simple one, nothing fancy, but was so special to me because it was my first!
Liz: My most memorable gift has to be the pink sparkly saddle pad that my friend got me one year! She is not horsey in the slightest but remembered I needed a new saddle pad and found the perfect one all by herself. I love using loud and funky pads to school in at home, and this pink one quickly became my favorite.
Carol: My favorite gift is super practical. I love my Barbour Wax Jacket, many years later and it’s still going strong. I’m not exaggerating when I say it is “stable to street” wear because there were many days where I’ve done just that in my jacket.
Claire: My all-time top holiday moment was this one year in December my parents and I had gone to look at a horse and we liked it, but wanted to wait to buy him for a little bit longer. Then on Christmas morning, I received a Breyer horse with the name “Bud” (the name of the horse we tried) on his rump and I thought that I meant I wasn’t going to get a new horse after all, that I was just getting a play horse. My parents thought this was hilarious and I got so mad at them for laughing. But when they took me out to the barn later that day… the “real” Bud was waiting for me too!
Dawn: When I think of the holidays, my mind drifts back to when I was 10 and was given my very first grooming box and lead rope. They were both purple (my favorite color of course) and were my favorite gift because these were the first things I got for my first horse! My parents then took me to the local tack shop too and let me fill up the grooming box with all the things I needed!
Emily: I have two memorable gifts that I’ve received, the first was an old school embroidery belt that was all the rage back in the 80s. This was the must-have belt on the circuit and I remember being at The Kentucky Horse Park between classes and me and all my friends would do needlepoint on our belts. The second favorite is more recent when my husband got me a fox hunting themed lamp. He isn’t horsey in the slightest, so it was very sweet that he found the perfect piece for me!
Leigh: My favorite gift seems sad to some people but I just find it sentimental. One year I was given a gorgeous belt with two of my previous horses’ tails braided into it. Marty and Max were the horses who made me who I am today and I proudly wear this belt whenever I show. This way I always have them with me to bring me good luck.
Bobbie: I went crazy the year I received a new saddle for Christmas! It was high time since I had outgrown my previous one and this new one was just so pretty.
Lisa: One year I was given a custom Ogilvy pad from my husband. It was super special to me because he took the time to make note of the colors of my favorite bonnet and then got the saddle pad to match. I also fondly remember growing up that Santa would leave treats each year for my pony… and then one year there was also a new halter and nameplate.
Vicky: My favorite holiday gift was the ceramic bowl infused with horsehair that my dad got me after my jumper mare passed away. It was just so thoughtful of him and meant a lot.
Horse people can be notoriously difficult to shop for, but luckily the loved ones in our families got it right these times.
Keep an eye out for a new blog post coming that will give you tips and tricks on how to find that PERFECT gift for the equestrian in your life!