A horse-themed present just might be the gateway drug your child needs to started on the path toward a lifetime of equine addiction. Lorraine Jackson offers a few ideas.
Did you just walk out of the barn in a daze and realize that there are only four days until Christmas, and you have a whole generation of youngsters to brainwash into mucking stalls for you? It’s OK. I can help. Here is my last-minute gift guide to convincing the special tyke in your life that ponies and show ribbons are what it’s all about.
Step One: Literature.
Do you remember pouring over your horse books under your blankets with a flashlight, and stupidly believing for the next 20 years that somewhere out there was a fiery steed who could be tamed by you and only you? Of course you do. Now inflict this stupidity on another generation.
Top Reading Picks:
1. The Black Stallion, The Island Stallion or Man O’War by Walter Farley. You can’t go wrong with these three epic tales of adventure and loyalty between a boy and his horse.
2. Horse Diaries 1,2, & 3 by Ruth Sanderson and Catherine Hapka. A newer series that follows a different and unique horse in every book.
3. For your young foals, Not Just a Pony by Patty Mund. This book is adorable, and part of the proceeds benefit a horse camp for at-risk youth.
All these titles are available on Amazon and can be pre-wrapped and delivered by Christmas!
Step Two: Toys.
You need to infiltrate their daily play habits, and replace those dolls with Thoroughbreds. Like Barbie with her plethora of high heels and interchangeable outfits, accessories are KEY to building out optimal equine playtime.
Top Toy Picks:
1. Playmobil has an AWESOME horse collection right now, including all three eventing phases, trail riders, lunging sets and even a variety of breeds to choose from, along with great accessories and add-ons. I was impressed.
2. Breyer–The only choice for realistic and stunning models. I recommend a beefier horse like the Highland Pony if this is the child’s first Breyer, as the dainty arabs tend to lose limbs a little quicker, and you don’t want to traumatize anyone on Christmas. An accompanying rider or accessory set will increase Pony Obsession an estimated 71%.
3. For even younger young’uns, hit them where it hurts: Bath time. Go for the Horse Hooded Towel, and you’ll have that kid in the tub faster than you can say “future working student.” Up the ante by including some Mane n’Tail shampoo!
Step Three: Fancy Getups.
Last year I gave my nephew a pair of cowboy boots, and now he insists on wearing them to school every day, tucked into his corduroy pants. When he’s home, this outfit is completed with pop gun, holster, and a sorry excuse for a lasso (competition grade Jr. calf rope is under his tree from Auntie L this year). Depending on whether you’re trying to invent the next John Wayne or Jackie O., here are a few choice wardrobe finishes.
Top Outfit Picks:
1. The equestrian look is ‘in’ beyond the barn! Pick up this Essex Girl’s Show Shirt from our friends at SmartPak for her to sport with leggings, jeans, or a tweed skirt. The flash of plaid inside the cuffs utterly slays me.
2. I am in love with these flashy Ovation patent leather jods, and your little miss will be, too. (Yes, yes they do have them in adult sizes. I’m so glad you asked.)
3. For the aspiring cowhand, nothing will hook them like a pair of kicks. Especially these Justin Gypsy boots in black and red suede.
And if you’re still stumped by Christmas Eve, never fret. Just consider a card with a liability waiver and three free rides on your barn’s best babysitter! Because nothing gets the dormant horse genes flowing like time in the saddle. If anyone else scored a win in the pony gift department this year, tell us about it!
Merry Holidays, Horse Nation!