HI Spy: What’s on your holiday wish list?


Pinto Saddlebred horses with a Christmas stagecoachYou probably haven’t even picked out your Halloween pumpkin yet, but there are subtle hints that the holiday season is just around the corner. The days are getting longer and our horses’ coats are growing fuzzier by the minute. And, just in case you haven’t noticed, many retailers have slyly positioned red and green hued items on prominent shelves, subliminal hints that it’s time to start compiling your annual wish list.

As horse lovers, the holidays are usually our one big chance to get those special items we need to indulge our passion for riding. For example, Mandy McKellar of Portland, Oregon is hoping that her parents will underwrite her newfound interest in dressage. “I just started college, money is tight, and I can’t afford to ride more often. It’d be great just to get a gift certificate in a card saying, ‘Here. We pre-paid for some dressage lessons for you’.”

Marie Jones of Anaheim, California, takes a more direct approach. She bends back the pages of catalogs offering horsey home décor, riding apparel and specialty horse tack. Then she circles the stuff of her dreams with a magic marker. “I know it sounds a little mercenary, but my husband is completely non-horsey. He gets confused easily and he’s always afraid he’ll order the wrong thing.”
What are you hoping for? Have you been browsing through catalogs, surfing online horse sites or wandering the aisles of your local tack store? Does your horse really, truly need something that only “Santa” can deliver? If so, we want to hear about it! Consult with your horse and then share what’s on the top of your holiday wish list by clicking on “comments” below.  Just like previous installments of HI Spy, some of your responses may be featured in an upcoming issue of Horse Illustrated magazine.

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Cindy Hale
Cindy Hale’s life with horses has been filled with variety. As a child she rode western and learned to barrel race. Then she worked as a groom for a show...


  1. I started my wish list last summer! At the top is a set of electric horse clippers so I don’t have to pay my trainer’s groom to clip my horse before a show. I can do it myself and save money. But I need the clippers first!

  2. A Foal! yeah I know it sounds funny, but I really want to train a foal from start to finnish(but your never done training:) But I probably won’t get it for Christmas, my friend is breeding her horse next summer and I might buy her foal:)

  3. My horse Cymon-Cyez just told me that he would just love a pair of Profesional Choice SMB combo Boots. (In hunter green of course!) We do a lot of work on trails with crazy terrain and thinking about trying to start some reining meneuvers that his mom would feel better if his legs and hoof bulbs had some pertection.

  4. My Horsey wish list would consist of several things……Funding to build my therapy riding center and retirement so that I can teach therpy riding. My wish for me would be to get my mustang “Storm” riding more so that we may go places together and ride.

  5. At the tope of my holiday wish list is: a horse. A horse has been the number one item on my list for eight years running, but Santa has yet to leave one in my yard.

  6. On my horsey wish list, there are several things. At the top, it would most certainly have to be that all the unwanted horses could find peaceful and loving homes. Anf then, as long as I’m dreaming, I would love to have a scholarship to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College so that I could train in show jumping while in school persuing my career. On a more reasonable scale, I would love a new Hunter Jumper saddle and riding lessons so that I could tune my jumping and dressage skills.

  7. well this year, since i can’t keep my horse because we’re moving, i would love to get the apparal that i need to start dressage lessons not to mention a good riding barn at our new location. Sata better have a big sack good riding barns are hard to fit into tiny ones.

  8. Even though it’s close to impossible, even the impossible can happen… I wish I could have the horse I’ve started English lessons on, even though I already have a barrel racer, and it would also be nice if we could also buy my dad’s favorite horse for a good family horse so I could give my younger sister lessons. Flash’s show outfit might also be more “Flashy” and safe if he got a combo pack of blue Professional’s Choice sports medicine boots instead of the cheap front combo boots he has now.
    In all honesty, though, I’m truely blessed with what I already have. I just like to dream in color. My dad and I were actually discussing getting a shed row and his favorite horse, who’s buddiexs with my horse, and putting them in our backyard, then giving them turnout in our neighbor’s pasture. He’s my dad’s high school friend and has 4 Clydesdales.

  9. This year my christmas present was a month of boarding with my trainer. So except for other relatives I am not going to do to much unwrapping. In the past I have recieved books computer games and clothes. I hope the future holds books tack computer games and clothes. I really liked the lady who paged through catalogs and circled things I am going to do that.

  10. My horse wish list consists of…
    ..a pair of purple muck boots (purple to match my horses color), Hopefully a new saddle, a new sadle pad, and my horses leg to heal up from an injury so we can go compete again.

  11. My wish list extends to a point where it just gets ridicuous. However, i feel extremly blessed with what i have, my two mares are happy and healthy, which is really all i want.

  12. I’d love a horse, but I know that’s not going to happen yet. I’m hoping for new show sheen, flyspray, and polo wraps for my leased horse.

  13. I’ve been training a lovely young mare, Alita, for nearly four nears now, and she truly is the light of my life. I’ve loved horses and been around them since youth, but never anything like the devotion towards this particular mare.
    In trade for doing barn work; grooming, tacking the horses, lunging them as needed, etc., etc., I’ve been kindly granted the permission to ride, train, and have open access to her, similarly to a full lease.
    I’m hoping that this holiday season, I may be able to make this mare my own, legally. It’s a far-fetched hope, but we’ll see.
    After all, it’s the season of miracles, isn’t it?

  14. For Christmas this year all of us barn buddies would like an indoor arena…but Santa has yet to drop one from his sleigh, so I guess we’ll just have to freeze.

  15. Tilly, Baby Doll, and Sonora would love to have a new barn, but if Santa cannot give them a barn, a bushel of carrots and apples would do.

  16. My wish is a really B-I-G one. I have always wished for my own IN-DOOR RIDING RING on our property!!!! As we do not have the space on our property, my husband & I would have to purchase another place and since we love our place, this wish cannot be granted at this time. Maybe some day so I’ll just keep wishing! In the meantime, my wish will just be good health and a long life for my horses, myself, family and all my friends!

  17. I would absolutly love to have a blingy saddle pad for my horse in MY riding colors! πŸ™‚ I think that would be GREAT!!!!! I hope that my mom will get that for me, but i dout that I my mom will….. so Santa, it’s up to you! πŸ™‚ PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! πŸ™‚

  18. My equine side of the wish list is long. Well, its my only side of my wish list, but I’m telling you here and now that I REALLY need a training surcingle and side reins and a cavesson to get my show baby into the perfect headset. Actually, it’d be nice to have one of those fancy foreign training systems that cost 1000s of dollars.

  19. I just started training English after riding Western for 15 years. The saddle I am using doesn’t fit me (but it fits Tessa). All I want for Christmas is a saddle that fits both of us. Then, hopefully, we will enter our first show in the Spring.

  20. What is on my holiday wish list … well ALOT!! LOL. i really need a new saddle one that fits both my horse and I and a round pen so I can start training my filly soon … but there is more (smaller things) like new white breeches, chaps, splint boots, white saddle pad, and lots more lol. hopefully my mom goes all out this year on horse stuff like she did last year ( which was all horse stuff and it was awesome!!) I also hope that my horses stay happy and healthy and will enjoy their treat i get them lol. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!!!

  21. new STIRRUP LEATHERSSSS mine are so uneven i can’t even fix them anymore. the thing i want most other then the leathers, are a book/video on alternative therapies, and a new show coat(crossing my fingers though probablly won’t happen cause there so ecpensive!) or show shirt

  22. Well, of course I’m asking for a horse this year. But besides that I’m asking for equine training books, Breyer models, and the Rolex 2008 DVD!

  23. Anything horsey! I need bits, a new saddle blanket, maybe and English saddle, Breyer horses, etc you get the picture! πŸ™‚

  24. My Holiday wish list would comprise of one thing: getting to spend more time with my horse. I live 2 hours away from my parents ranch, and my hore Traveller lives with them. I get to see him oce every couple of weeks, but I would love to be able to spend every day with him.

  25. My Christmas wish consists of a years worth of show money and new leather not rubber Dressage boots. A nice new truck to pull a new horse trailer with living quarters would be nice too. If you can’t have any of them you mite as well want it all. ;-D

  26. On my wishlist this holiday season is definitly a horse! With a house in the country and things needed to ride the horse such as helmet, boots, etc. I go to horse camp every year which i guess is good enough but i would love to have a horse of my own! I might as well wish for the impossible to bring my hopes up! Hopefully this economy can change so when i get alot older i can have exactly what i dream of now!!!

  27. A new aluminum 4-horse trailer, a truck to pull the trailer, an indoor arena, and new boots. Pretty much every expensive (but nessicary) thing is on my list.

  28. well i am like many young girls who wish that they had a horse that they could love and take care of so that would be my number one wish!!my second would probably be some new boots to wear down to the barn I visit.I also wish to spend a memorable christmas with my grandparent’s next door nieghbor’s horse!!He is a 28 year old quarter horse gelding named Sandy!!He is always waitnig at the fence for me to come brush and pet him:)

  29. I always try to think reasonably at christmas, not trying to get a million things I don’t really need, but the excitement gets to me! I was hoping for a new saddle blanket the one I have is a bit worn and I need one that matches my horse for showing I am thinking pink! I am also hoping for my whole family to go on a trail ride, that would be a fun thing to do, but since I am the only horsey person in my family it’s very unlikely. Overall I hope christmas will have that excitement and magic to it.

  30. I’d say a horse… but a few other things like horseshoes, blankets, halters, and saddle soap MIGHT come in handy for the new, lucky fella’…..Wherever he or she may be.?

  31. I would really enjoy a gift card to my favorite tack shop. I also really like a saddle. And maby if I sould lease a horse thet would be great:)!!!

  32. My family does not celebrate Christmas, but we celebrate Chanukah. I do not own a horse, but I would hope someday to “unwrap” my very own horse. There is only one minor problem, though: we live in a village, so my hopes are put on wait.

  33. I want a 16 1/2 all purpose synthetic English saddle, an English saddle pad, an English bridle, and English lessons. Cheerios, on the other hand, wants homemade treats, Mrs. Pasture’s Cookies, and for me to not have to work his lazy butt. I’m sorry baby boy, but riding is good for you.

  34. I always hope for a horse somehow, but I know it’s probably not going to happen. So instead I hope for little things like Breyer horses, a saddle pad (my grandma gave me her saddle), or some more lessons from my aunt.

  35. I really really really want a dressage saddle and a few other things that I cant think of. Really if anyone needs to know what to get me for my birthday or Christmas they just need to ask “What do you need for Charlie?” or “How much money do you want instead of a real gift?”

  36. I saw my dream saddle at my favorite local tack shop, and it’s just a little bit out of my family’s budget. I would love to receive it more than anything!

  37. Well on my last wish lidt i wanted a horse and a dog.And it came true! on that day my mother gave me a document saying that she had bought one of my friends horses! and finaly my mom presented a litle winer dog named troubles but we quickly renamed him Nick in honor of St.Nick

  38. I would like to get 2 new saddle pads for my horse Marriah for Christmas(she needs a new one)and i would like to unwrap a new pair of riding boots for myself. mine are pinching my pinky toe!

  39. Well my main wish would to get a horse of my own, but I guess the actually “gift” I need before that is a Job! So my Christmas wish is My First Horse, but a great blessing before I get the horse would be to find a place that is hiring and get a Job :)!

  40. dear Santa Apache and the others would like to have mobility a truck and trailer that comfortably carries 3-4 horses and maybe someone to come and fix their barn so it won’t flood in one corner.


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