Great Gifts for Horse Lovers

Great Gifts for Horse Lovers
Tacky Actually Works, If You're Talking Tack!

Shopping for Valentine's Day, a birthday or another special occasion? If you love a horse-lover, you may already have the ideal gift in mind. If not, don't be saddled with guilt. Here's a bit of advice: Skip the bridal shop, and head for the bridle shop.

Equestrian-friendly gifts are available in every price range. The possibilities are vast. Try to rein in your enthusiasm, as you peruse this list, which may stir-up some ideas.

Gifts for Equine Enthusiasts:

Artistic horse figurines: Pick from Breyer Collectibles, Montana Silversmiths statues, Trail of Painted Ponies, Peter Stone Horses and many more offerings. Gee, even Webkinz (from Ganz) has horse models!

Apparel: Shop for horse-printed baseball caps, bandannas, jackets, neckties, pajamas, socks, tee shirts, sweatshirts and other fun items. Check out horse-themed items at Whale and Friends or your favorite tack store.

Calendars: Select from equine photography or cartoon calendars (Last year, I got five of these!) and day planners. If you are extra handy with your computer, why not try a bit of desktop publishing and create your own horsey photo calendar?

Child care: Offer to watch the horse-lover's children, so he or she can enjoy a few hours at the barn!

Gift cards: Order these from tack and feed stores, saddle shops or online equine catalogs. Most horse owners have an ever-growing list of equipment needs, as well as items requiring repair. A gift card might be just the ticket! Favorites may include Dover Saddlery and State Line Tack.

Gift certificates: Create a free pass for a free ride (on your horse), a riding lesson, trailering to a show or forest preserve trail system or a horse-grooming lesson.

Holiday items: Buy horsey tree ornaments, pony light strands, equine tree skirts, wreaths of horse treats and other festive treats.

Horse games and puzzles: Look for board and video games, such as Herd Your Horses and Horse Sense.

Horsey care package: Assemble a basket of horse grooming supplies. Include braiding bands, brushes and combs, fly spray, hoof pick, hoof polish, mane detangler, shower mitt and a sweat scraper.

Jewelry: Pick out equine-themed bracelets, cufflinks, earrings, hairpins, money-clips, pendants and rings.

Movies (DVDs) about horses: Choose from Hidalgo, The Horse Whisperer, Misty, National Velvet, Phar Lap, Racing Stripes, Seabiscuit, Spirit and Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken.

Non-fiction books about horses: Dorling-Kindersley has a full array of informative picture books for children. For adults, you might find a discipline-specific book (dressage, jumping, barrel-racing, driving, etc.), a breed-specific work (thoroughbreds, appaloosas, warmbloods, Morgans and more), or a general how-to guide.

Novels about horses: Pick from dozens of titles, including Black Beauty, The Black Stallion, Misty of Chincoteague, and Wander.

Office supplies: Look at equine-themed desk sets, mouse pads, notepads, pencils and pens, playing cards, screen-savers and stationary sets.

Personal items: Shop for backpacks, belts, cell phone cases, key rings, tote bags, wallets, etc. (all with horsey themes). Wildhorsefeathers and Colors of Horses are great sites for starters.

Picture frames: Give horse-shaped or pony-printed frames, or basic frames containing a photo of a favorite horse (possibly with the recipient!).

Saddle pads or blankets: These are available in countless colors and patterns. You can often find excellent bargains at Chick's Discount Saddlery and local feed stores.

Splint boots or polo wraps for the recipient's horse. Why not match these to a brand-new saddle pad?

Tablewares: Choose from pony-printed beverage coasters, cereal bowls, coffee mugs, dessert plates, flatware, hi-ball glasses, placemats, etc. You can find a super selection at Back in the Saddle.

Tack: Unless you are an equine enthusiast as well, you may find it difficult to select tack and riding equipment for your recipient. However, a bit of investigating and a few strategic questions might put you on the right path here.

Treats: Horses love alfalfa cubes, apples, carrots, oat cookies, peppermints, stud-muffins, vitamin chunks, and more. At Christmas, we hang stockings on each horse's stall, and we fill them with tiny candy canes and starlight peppermints. Most of our horses prefer the red-and-white ones over the green-and-white spearmints. You might include horse-shaped cookies or chocolates for your human gift recipient too!

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