Gift giving is a challenge on both ends of the equation. It can be tough to find something thoughtful (and affordable) for each person on your list. It can also be tough to offer ideas when your family or significant other ask that annual question, “What do you want for [Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Festivus, et cetera]?”
I’ve come across a few things that I’d love to have during my mindless perusing of holiday sales at the tack shops this season. First, I thought I might want one of those quarter sheet/exercise blankets that covers the horse’s hindquarters and rider’s legs. Is it because I’m keeping Snoopy in such heavy training this winter that I’ll need a blanket to safely cool him out after our workouts? Not hardly.
When I think of an exercise blanket, I picture myself out at the barn at sunrise on a cold Saturday morning in January. The sun is just beginning to filter through the sparkling trees. Snoopy’s coal-black coat contrasts with the fresh snow cover, and his breath rises in front of us as we meander around the farm, cozy under our wonderful new blanket.
Yes, if I only had that blanket, that’s what my winter mornings would be like, not hiding under the blankets until the dog informs me that there will be dire consequences if I don’t get out of bed and take her for a walk right now.
I also thought that maybe I could use a bareback pad. I used to ride Snoopy bareback all the time in the winter. Heated seat! And one of my goals for the winter is to work on riding without stirrups, so why not ditch the saddle entirely every once in a while? A bareback pad is hardly a requirement (and it is sort of an oxymoron, isn’t it?) but Snoopy’s always had a bit of a protruding backbone, and as you can imagine, that is not getting any better as he ages.
Riding with a soft bareback pad and a cozy exercise blanket sounds downright luxurious, doesn’t it?
Of course, all good rides must come to an end, and one of my least favorite parts of riding in winter is the dismount. You can prepare yourself, shake out your legs and let yourself down gradually, but when your frozen feet hit that frozen ground, forget it. I have a relatively short horse, and it still kills me every time. So you know what? Maybe just a nice pair of warm boot socks would do the trick this year.
What’s on your wish list this year? Or have you found something perfect for the horse people in your life? Click “Submit a Comment” below and let me know.
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