Sunday

Stable Tips for Holiday Tipping

Creativity counts, when giving holiday tips at the stables.

Christmas is only a handful of days away.

Are you ready? (I almost am.)

My holiday shopping (and baking and crafting) now complete, I am becoming a total wrap star. In fact, I have come up with a few new and creative uses for baling twine.

Yesterday, I checked with the barn manager to find out which day this week would find all of the barn men at work. Yes, it’s time for those holiday tips.

How do you tip stable staff for the holidays?

At some barns, folks tip collectively, pooling holiday gratuities for distribution to stable grooms and other barn workers. (In fact, we have been at barns where the management collected from boarders for this purpose. You can call me cynical, but somehow I always wondered if every dollar made its way to the actual workers.)

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A fair number of equestrians find ways all year long to express appreciation to those who care for their horses. Maybe it’s a case of cold Gatorade on a sweltering August afternoon, a fresh-baked batch of brownies on another day, a dozen donuts or even a crockpot of steaming chili for lunch one wintry noon.

Still, Christmas is the traditional time for tipping.
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Do you have creative ideas for sharing holiday gratuities with stable grooms and barn staff?

In past years, we have enjoyed giving small, but often practical, gifts to go with the tips. One year, I tucked cash inside winter work gloves and gave these to the guys at the barn. Another time, they all received ragg wool socks with their Christmas bonuses.

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This year, with the national (and world) economy stretching us all a bit more than usual, my kids and I baked up some horse-shaped sugar cookies (with painted manes) and mini bundt cakes. Each of the barn men will receive a Christmas goodie package with his holiday tip.

Photo copyrighted by Nickers and Ink.

These hard-working barn staffers care daily for our beloved horses in every sort of weather. They have bailed me (and my kids) out of some sticky equine situations, particularly with our younger horses, who can be somewhat unpredictable.

At Christmas (and throughout the year), I think they deserve a whopping helping of appreciation. A few home-baked goodies (accompanied by some legal tender lettuce) will have to do the trick.

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1 comment:

  1. Those are all fabulous ideas and I am planning on baking pony cookies and also a made my PBO a cute horsey stocking (it is a black and brown tall boot with her horse's picture on it)full of horsey items she uses most.
    YOU have yourself a loverly time for Christmas!
    KK

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