As a kid, you probably received the occasional “practical” present for Christmas. “Practical” might have been a pair of winter boots, or maybe some gloves. As nice as practical presents are, and as much as they help us learn to appreciate necessitates, most kids still gravitate towards the toys and games. Even today at the barn, practical presents like muck bucket carts and heated water buckets can make great gifts—but somewhere deep inside most of us lurks a little kid yelling “I WANT SOME FUN STUFF, TOO!!” Here are a couple of ideas for some unpractical stable accessories that people on your list would probably like to have, but don’t necessarily need.
Stall Name Plates
You can store your horsey gear in bags or covers that aren’t monogrammed. Your boots won’t care if their boot bag has three flashy letters and a cool triangle stitched on the side. Neither will your helmet or your saddle pad. But it’s fun! Not only does monogramming make it easy to keep track of everyone’s gear at the barn, it’s a great way to show how serious you are about your sport. And monogrammed blankets or saddle pads are another fun way to subtly brag about show winnings! If you can’t think of a gift for the horseperson who has everything, then personalizing an object can be a great gift solution.
Sure, our barns and tack rooms function just fine without any frills, but they might lack some warmth and character. So go ahead—swap out those plain white light switchplates for decorative ones with a fancy fox hunting scene or some roping cowboy silhouettes. Put up a few framed photos of your favorite equine pal next to the saddle racks. Replace stale hooks on the wall with a bridle rack. Just a few details like this can quickly spruce up your tack area—or a friend’s.
What fun—but non-essential—horse items would you like to find under the tree? Add your ideas in the comments and have fun! Merry Christmas!
Daniel Johnson is a freelance writer and professional photographer. He’s the author of several books, including How to Raise Horses: Everything You Need to Know, (Voyageur Press, 2014). Dan’s barn is home to Summer, a Welsh/TB cross, Orion, a Welsh Cob, and Mati and Amos, two Welsh Mountain Ponies.Follow him at www.facebook.com/foxhillphoto.