The final Gift Guide for the Clueless of 2016: Meagan DeLisle reminds us all that equestrians are people too, and there are plenty of last-minute gift ideas that aren’t too “horsey” that any horse lover will still love!
If you haven’t finalized your shopping already, don’t fret! There are tons of last minute gifts you can score for the equestrian on your shopping list that will be easy to get your hands on, even if you don’t live near a tack store. While the good majority of our lives are spent at the barn and around horses, not every gift has to be strictly horse-related. Check out the list of suggestions below straight from the horse-lover’s mouth!
One great gift idea (that I beg for yearly) is a massage! The average equestrian rarely takes the time or money out of their busy schedule to relax and pamper themselves (most of us are forking out the cash for our horses to get massages!). A quiet day at the spa with a deep tissue massage and a glass of wine is a great escape for anyone, but the small period away from the demands of the barn will be a much-needed siesta for equestrians. Want to make the day even more special? Throw in a manicure or pedicure to this escape! Most of us have hands that are kind of gross and our toes live in boots so why pamper them? These are gifts we would most likely never treat ourselves too, so they make great opportunities for you to score major bonus points.
If the person you are shopping for boards their horse, they often tote their tack/boots/apparel around in their car. Toting those goodies around each day is a hassle and somehow our equipment seems to pick up more and more dirt each trip we make. Consider getting the equestrian you care about a car detailing, or if you are on a budget — detail their car yourself to save some money! Trust me, true equestrians often forget the color of the carpet in their car/truck because of the large amount of horse related goodies we stash in our vehicle. A nice deep cleaning of our daily driver would be a wonderful gift to receive this Christmas season.
A great stocking stuffer would be various gift cards to popular food chains, both sit down and fast food. When a competitive equestrian travels for shows, costs for food rack up quickly. When I was competing on the IHSA circuit, my mom loaded me up with Burger King, McDonalds, Steak n Shake, and Panera Bread gift cards so that when I traveled I wouldn’t have to worry about meals. Gift cards to sit-down restaurants also give the horse lover in your life the chance to sit down and eat a good meal that isn’t drive-through food. Schedule a date night if you are in a relationship and have reservations for a nice restaurant. Give that special person a chance to dress in something other than breeches or boots for a night!
If you like to DIY then there are several quick and easy gifts you can assemble on a deadline that will be greatly appreciated by the person you are making it for. One of the best homemade gifts I received one Christmas was a first aid kit (AKA tons of band aids in a tackle box). I am the resident klutz in my family, and factor in my liking for jumping large animals over sticks and suddenly my hospital record starts to make sense. My parents put together all of the necessities: Tylenol, band aids, a purse-size mirror, ankle wraps, duct tape (for broken toes… who goes to doctors for broken toes anyway?), hair ties, peppermint oil for migraine relief, a purse sized manicure kit for those god-awful hangnails, alcohol wipes, medicine for nausea, gauze, butterfly closures, and more. It may not sound like an exciting gift — but I still keep it stored under the seat in my truck and it gets used probably once a week or more. It has come in handy so many times, both on and off the horse. Sure, you can buy the standard first aid kit, but my parents tailored it towards my needs (lots of cuts and headaches). A gift like this shows you care about the health and well-being of the recipient!
Last but not least, another great idea is a subscription to Sirius XM, Pandora or Spotify. We spend a lot of time in our cars, traveling to and from work and the barn or making long trips to horse shows or trail rides. Having great music options definitely makes the ride more enjoyable. And our barn has a handy stereo system and I love to plug my phone up and jam out on my hack days! If you want to add a little more to that gift, a cordless Bluetooth speaker can help out those who like to listen to music at home or at the barn and may not have the stereo system to play it on.
No matter what route you go with your gift giving this year, an equestrian can use it to their advantage in some way, shape, or fashion. Arm yourself with these helpful tips and tricks and purchase a gift that speaks to your relationship with the horse lover in your life. Whether you’re shopping for a sibling, a significant other, or a friend, the options are endless!