A Rider’s Holiday Wish List

Christmas Braids
Christmas Mane by Andrew Moore on Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0

Ah, the holidays. A time to pause, reflect on the year gone by, and freak out because you failed to pay attention to a single hard-dropped hint your significant other served up over the last 300 days or so. Would that we all had wish lists as easy as our horses’, which go something like this:

  1. TREETS.
  7. TREETS.

Yes, human wish lists are a bit trickier, and riders in particular can be tough to shop for. But fear not, for I know what your equestrian loved one really wants this holiday season (other than infinite time and money, all the (healthy, sound) horses, all the best vet and farrier care, all the fun-colored breeches, matching sheets and tack trunks, rolling green fields, lush trails, fuzzy foals, fluff-lined leather horse boots and fancy tack, high-end horse shows, sexy show jackets, pricy new clippers, equine vacations, top training, expensive waterproof country boots, a dazzling custom trailer…).

And in the spirit of 12-Days-of-Christmas deals everywhere, here are 12 days’ worth of gifts sure to bring delight to the horse person in your life:

Day 1: A Men in Black-style flashy-thing for: When her horse breaks for a half-step during the hack; the moment the sprayer shoots on, gushes everywhere, violently flails around, and her spooked horse instantly develops a tremendous fear of hoses; and for when a German Grand Prix rider tells her she’s on the wrong diagonal.

Day 2: A reset button for the every time she is pretty sure she saw an extra stride before the blue oxer.

Day 3: A very specific type of clairvoyance that will enable her to know, with certainty, when her horse shouldn’t be ridden or even be looked at funny before being longed. Extensively.

Day 4: Equine telepathy, generally. And sometimes—like when she sees exactly 4.5 strides in a 5-stride line and knows the horse is calling her names unsuitable to print and telling her he plans to stop next time—the ability to turn said telepathy off.

Day 5: The cure for fungus. Is this the lamest present ever? No, and prepare to attend her Nobel acceptance ceremony and embrace riches beyond your wildest dreams.

Day 6: A metal detector with the power to locate lost horse shoes and crops in the Bermuda triangle between the barn and the ring.

Day 7: The ability to effectively communicate to her horse that the puddle on the wash rack eliciting blowing and snorting is comprised of the very same substance the horse spent all morning pawing and splashing through in the paddock—necessitating the excursion to the wash rack in the first place.

Day 8: An equine lie detector test for when her horse suddenly begins taking weird steps just before the show/that amazing clinic/someone comes to try him and recovers immediately afterward, just as mysteriously. HOW do they know?

Day 9: A metronome that will dictate perfect rhythm—now here’s the tricky part—implanted in your loved one’s brain.

Day 10: Professional show photos in which the horse’s eyes are open, his ears are forward, your loved one’s leg is solid, and her face is not frozen in the universally-understood expression for “Oh, ****.”

Day 11: The ability to leave the barn one time, just one time, not soaking wet and filthy.

Day 12: The beautiful joy of seeing the riders who never have a hair out of place leave the barn—one time, just one time—soaking wet and filthy.

Sure, these items may not be readily available at your local tack store, but what’s a good gift if you don’t have to do a little bit of searching for it? Okay, I see your point. Just get her all the breeches. But the cure for fungus—we should definitely work on that.

Now go forth and gift!

Liked this article? Here are others you’ll enjoy:
The Horse Owner’s Christmas Letter
What Your Vet Wants for Christmas

Emily Bogenschutz lives in Texas and is a freelance writer,
recent hunter-turned-jumper, and professional sneaker of saddle pads
into the washing machine. Follow her on Twitter: @EJBog.



  1. My wish would be that every horse or animal will have a home with LOVE, food, water, and shelter……and a few apples and carrots, oh, yea, and hoof trimming and brushing…..did I forget anything???


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