How to Spoil Your Favorite Horse Owner
by Kim Roe
How do you choose a gift for a horse-loving friend or family member? You don’t want to break the bank, nor go too practical and buy them a bale of alfalfa, sack of grain, or a manure fork. So, what to do? Here are seven of my favorite gift ideas that will delight many horse owners, regardless of their discipline.
A really nice fleece cooler. These come in many weights and styles, and are easy to monogram. They keep people warm too, and are great for curling up under while hanging out in the barn. I especially like the ones that go up over the horse’s neck and can be put on a wet horse for a trailer ride home after a rainy trail ride or a lesson.
Leg protection for the horse. Many riders go through a few pairs of splint, bell, or brushing boots a year. A new pair is always welcome—whether they’ll replace the old tattered ones or be used as a spare pair for clinics and special events.
Leather halter with brass nameplate. An old standby, a quality leather halter with the horse’s name engraved on a brass plate is a beautiful gift. These are wonderful to have for shows, transporting horses, or everyday use.
Saddle pads. Whether it’s English or Western, a new saddle pad or Navajo pad is always a real treat. Check with your friend if you aren’t sure the kind they prefer (this may take a little sleuthing if you want it to be a surprise). My favorite dressage pad is all natural wool or cotton; I especially like the shearlinglined versions. These items can also be made special with monogramming or adding a design like a logo or farm name.
Stall plates. These can be ordered from many equestrian supply stores in brass, wood, or colored plastic, but they can also be handmade. I’ve seen beautiful homemade, one-of-a-kind stall name plates that add class and personality to a barn.
Poll pads. I’ve just recently discovered these made by BeneFab, and ordered a number of them for my own horses and for gifts (shh, don’t tell anyone). They come in many colors and can be used under bridles, halters, grazing muzzles, etc.
Books and DVDs. Winter is here! It’s nice to have a new book or two, some training DVDs, or just a good old horse movie to while away the time waiting for better riding weather and longer days.
Kim Roe grew up riding on the family ranch and competed in Western rail classes, trail horse, reining, working cow, and hunter/jumper. She trained her first horse for money at 12 years old, starting a pony for a neighbor.
Kim has been a professional dressage instructor in Washington state for over 30 years, training hundreds of horses and students through the levels. In recent years Kim has become involved in Working Equitation and is a small ‘r’ Working Equitation judge with WE United.
Kim is the editor of the Northwest Horse Source Magazine, and also a writer, photographer, and poet. She owns and manages Blue Gate Farm in Deming, Washington where she continues to be passionate about helping horses and riders in many disciplines.