With the holidays sneaking up on us with surprising speed, the gift-giving season is here! So make sure you have some great stocking-stuffer ideas for your barn family.
By SmartPaker Annina McMillan
Finding super useful and thoughtful gifts for my fellow boarders, riding companions, and trainers is one of my favorite parts of the holidays. Our barn families are always there to offer their support for all the ups and downs we experience with our horses, so I love showing mine a little extra appreciation during the holiday season.
Here are 15 of my favorite stocking stuffer ideas for your trainer, barn mates, and other equine friends in your horse life. Happy shopping!
1. For the Equine Foodie
All riders love to give their horses tasty treats, and SmartCookies are the perfect goody to give this holiday season. Their no-sugar added recipe makes me feel good about feeding these treats to all the horses and ponies in my life. The Banana Bread is my horse Titan’s favorite flavor, but lots of horses really enjoy the Peppermint Pattie and Carrot Cake. This is also a perfect holiday gift for your horse!
2. Happy Feet
A great pair of tall boot socks can be the perfect stocking stuffer! In my opinion, the CR Riding Socks are some of the best out there. The stay-up fabric technology really works, and I find that they don’t ride down like some of my other riding socks. The foot bed is extra cushioned, and the diamond-stitched arch support is great. They’re made out of a super soft cotton blend, but are both durable and comfortable; plus, they come in a variety of fun colors. These socks would make a great stocking stuffer for any rider!
3. Get Personal
Personalizing gifts can make them super special, and this Tory Leather Key Fob Strap with Snap is a great way to give a customized yet inexpensive gift to your barn friends. It’s ideal to hold car keys or the key to your tack locker.
I personalized mine with my horse’s name. It looks great with my keys, and the leather is still in fantastic shape even after being used for a number of years. With a variety of font options to choose from, you can customize the fob to anyone’s liking.
4. Tail Obsessions
For those who love to keep their horses’ tails long and luscious, it’s always helpful to have some extra tail bags on hand. This is a small, but very useful gift to give during the holiday season. Especially if you have any riding friends who are trying to grow out their horses’ tails, winter is the perfect time to start in preparation for the summer show season. The Tough1 Lyra Tail Bag help keep tails clean and easier to maintain. It’s always nice to have a few on hand, so you can rotate them when one needs a wash.
5. For the Barn-Chore Queen
Simply put, the Heritage Stable Work Gloves are fantastic! For anyone who regularly does barn chores, high-quality work gloves are an essential wardrobe staple. I purchased these for myself, and they’re a must for when I tackle barn chores. They’re durable and comfortable; plus, there’s a personal I.D. label to note who the gloves belong to. If you’re like me and tend to leave your gloves lying around (oops!), the I.D. tag is a great way to make sure gloves don’t accidently get mixed up at the barn.
6. Safety-Conscious Style
I got one of the Ride Safe Bracelets for myself and received so many compliments on it from my fellow riding friends! The bracelets are available in a wide variety of colors and provide a clear way to display necessary contact information in the event of an emergency. As riders, we do our best to stay as safe as possible, and having your emergency contact info handy in the event of an emergency is an important safety measure, which makes this bracelet a great and practical stocking stuffer for anyone who rides. These are especially good gift ideas for anyone who trail rides or rides by themselves often.
7. For Brilliant Braiding
For the mane-and-tail braider on your holiday shopping list, braiding supplies make fantastic stocking stuffers! The holiday season is a perfect time to stock up on braiding tools for anyone who regularly braids their own horse’s mane or does so for others’ horses. You can never have too many clear or colored bands on hand!
The Tail Tamer’s Clear Bands are perfect to help train your horse’s mane to lie on one side of his neck or the other—or to braid his tail to protect it from tangles. With the new year just around the corner and future goals in mind, it’s great to support your riding buddy’s show goals (or even just mane/tail goals) with some small, but very necessary items.
8. For the Tangle Wrangler
In addition to braiding bands, grooming supplies also make great stocking stuffers! If any of your equine friends need a new mane-and-tail brush, I highly recommend the Tail Tamer’s Curved Handle Rainbow Brush. This brush is my absolute all-time favorite and would make a fantastic gift! The curved, ergonomic handle makes it super easy and comfortable to hold for extended periods of time. The bright, multi-colored bristles are slightly kinked, and I find this “wavy” bristle design does a great job untangling even the worst knots without pulling or breaking hairs. This brush is a great addition to any rider’s grooming tote!
9. Helping Hands
Speaking of new grooming supplies, the HandsOn Gloves for Grooming are my absolute favorite tool for currying my horse! Since they’re gloves, it’s super easy to control the amount of pressure you use, depending on what area of your horse’s body you’re working on. They’re soft enough to use on Titan’s legs and are great for thin-skinned or sensitive horses. Plus, they provide amazing relief if your horse has any itchy areas!
These are handy for removing any caked-on mud from your horse’s legs, and they’re fantastic at helping shed out Titan’s coat in the spring. These are much nicer and more effective than a typical shedding blade. The HandsOn Gloves would make the perfect stocking stuffer to upgrade your riding friends’ grooming supplies!
10. For Luscious Locks
If your barn buddies already have some high-quality brushes, a nice comb would a great stocking-stuffer alternative option! Especially if their horses are prone to getting burrs caught in their manes and tails or they struggle with tangles in specific areas, the Epona Pony Tail Comb is a very handy addition to anyone’s grooming kit. Designed with wide teeth, this comb is gentle on long tails and results in less hair breakage compared to combs or brushes with less space between teeth. This is great to comb tails out after washing and before competition and is also a super handy for braiding!
11. For the Shedding Machine
I love giving the SleekEZ Grooming Tool as a stocking stuffer in preparation for spring when we need a quality, heavy-duty shedding comb. The stainless-steel blade doesn’t rust or require much elbow grease, and it’s super effective at removing loose hairs, dirt, and dander from your horse’s coat.
I find this really helps speed along the shedding process, so those shiny, sleek summer coats grow in sooner! It can also be useful year-round depending on your horse’s coat growth. There’s also no need to remove hair from blade; it simply falls to the ground to be swept up later. This is a nice upgrade gift to give in anticipation of shedding season.
12. For the Mud Wrestler
In terms of grooming tool updates and as a grooming lover, I enjoy gifting great quality brushes to my barn mates. The Haas Mustang Stiff Brush is one of the best stiff brushes I’ve ever used. It does a fantastic job of removing dirt, mud, and shavings from Titan’s coat. It’s stiff enough to be effective but is still gentle enough for thin-skinned or sensitive horses. I’ve found this brush to be especially necessary for spring grooming, as it does a great job of busting through dried, caked-on mud after those April showers. This would be a great stocking stuffer to upgrade your barn bestie’s grooming kit or for anyone who has a horse that loves to roll or needs a clean horse for a show!
13. Bathing Beauty
We all have a plain, regular sweat scraper at the barn. Why not give something a little fancier this holiday season? We may not be thinking about pre-show bathing right now, but spring will be here before we know it, and the WaterWisk is an ideal upgrade to plain sweat scrapers at a very economical price!
This is a very effective tool for removing excess water and soap suds from your horse’s coat, and I love that it’s gentle enough to use on Titan’s legs. The blade is durable but flexible, so I find that even thin-skinned or sensitive horses tolerate it well. The cedar handle is waterproof and mold- and bacteria-resistant, so there’s no special care needed to keep the WaterWisk looking great. This tool is so efficient at whisking off water, I find it really cuts down on drying time more than standard plastic sweat scrapers!
14. Scoop Smarter
For anyone who regularly feeds numerous horses or preps meals to take to shows, these scoops are fantastic to have on hand. Regardless of what kind of feed your barn pals’ horses need, the SureScoop allows you to know precisely how much grain your horse is getting because its markers measure grain by weight, not volume. Perfect for those with easy or hard keepers, this scoop can help you keep track of exactly how much grain in pounds your horse is getting and can be very handy to keep track of weight gain or loss if you need to carefully monitor your horse’s weight for any reason.
This is also a great tool for preparing meals for shows or other travel, because it’s so easy and fast to ensure you’ve measured the correct amount of grain needed per meal. For horse friends who rely on accuracy for feeding, this is a fantastic stocking stuffer idea!
15. For Any Horse Lover
For trainers, barn staff, and riding buddies who seem to already have everything they might need or want—or you’re just not sure what they need—a SmartPak gift card is always a great go-to stocking stuffer!
You can email the gift card directly to the recipient for fast delivery or purchase a “hard copy” gift card that comes in nifty little SmartPak gift box so your barn friends can pick out exactly what they want. SmartPak gift cards are always a solid stocking-stuffer option and make great last-minute gifts for those of us who find themselves super busy over the holiday season!
Happy holiday shopping, Horse Nation. Go SmartPak and go riding!