Get Thrifty With Your Holiday Decorating
Story and Photos by Aliena Hook
Whether you’re at a boarding facility or keep your horses at home, decorating the barn is a great way for you and your equestrian friends to get into the holiday spirit.
Think cheap and creative when it comes to decorations. The dollar store is a good place to find items like stockings, bows, and bells to hang around the horses’ stalls. However, horses will be horses so be careful that the festive tinsels are well out of their reach.
Door decals are a favorite for decorating stall fronts. These can often be found at the dollar store. They fit perfectly onto most stall doors. Most are either stick-on or plastic and come in fun prints like a fireplace or a Christmas tree. These add a pop of color and a good laugh when all the stalls are different.
Stall decorating is also a fun way to give small gifts to all your barn mates. Get a bunch of small stockings to hang on stall doors at your local thrift store and you have the perfect sacks for cookies and carrots. And of course, holiday hats are always amusing to both horse and owner. Your gift of the hat can be easily expanded on by offering to take a photo of each horse wearing his hat. Everyone loves a silly photo of their horse.
Go out and pick up branches and windfalls from our recent wind storms and have a wreath-making party. Everyone can contribute some items and ideas.
You can even make this year the start of a new holiday tradition for you and your barn buddies — get together to decorate and complete winterizing tasks. Just make sure the carrots and candy canes are out of reach until Christmas morning!
Aliena Hook grew up in the Northwest and discovered horses at a young age while attending a birthday party. Beginning with her first rides and through many years of training, Aliena has strived to develop her own way of training based on natural horsemanship and focusing on the bond between humans and their horses.
When she’s not riding, she is writing. Aliena is currently working on her first book about her rescue horse Orion, and the issues surrounding the horse slaughter industry.
Aliena lives and works in Bellingham, WA and owns two Arabian geldings that she trains and learns from on a daily basis. She is a senior at Western Washington University, and hopes to pursue the careers of both trainer and writer in the near future. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Facebook.