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Christmas Gifts for Trail Riders – NWHS Nov 2014

NWHSnov2014 Gifts for the Trail Rider – As published in the Northwest Horse Source Nov, 2014

It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is already upon us. It seems like just yesterday we were enjoying the heat of summer and now, to judge by the advertising, it seems that we’ve already skipped Thanksgiving and are headed straight into Christmas. Around this time of year I often find myself searching for gift ideas that are both thoughtful and unique.

One of my favorite Christmas gifts is a Christmas ornament that features hand painted images of my wife and I on our horses. It’s priceless to us and stays on display year round. Sara; thank you very much!

Stockings hung from the chimney with care? ! A simple feed bucket, or grooming tote, is a much more versatile container for small items and can be used year round unlike a glorified red and green sock. Do it Yourselfers can easily create a very thoughtful and unique gift by simply filling a feed bucket with small items that you’ve picked out yourself. Once the tote or bucket is full, wrap it in craft paper; tie with a bailing twine bow, and presto! You’re done.

But what shall we fill the bucket with?

Hoof picks – Like pens and pocketknives, hoof picks seem to be constantly disappearing. They’re great to have hanging by horse stalls, handy to have in your saddlebags, and in the trailer. Drop a couple in your horse lover’s feed pail so they’ll always have one close by.

Weight and Height tapes – How much wormer to use or what size blanket to order? Weight tapes will help answer these questions in a hurry. If you could only find the darned things. Tapes are small, cheap, and will easily fit in a bucket.

Veterinary 1st Aid guide – We hope this will never be used but for those “just in case” times a pocket first aid guide can be very valuable.

Phone Case – Trail riders can be tough on phones and a good case will help protect your favorite equestrians expensive cell phone when that inevitable oops occurs and their phone tumbles to the ground below. Make sure to discretely learn the make and model before purchasing.

Gloves – Riding gloves are great for protecting fingers. Warm ones for winter, a lighter pair for the summer, or even better waterproof gloves. Either way they will certainly be appreciated.

NWHSnov2014-1Lessons – Even the most experienced rider can learn more. If they’re already taking lessons you’ll want to stick with where they’re at currently. Most trainers will be more than happy to create a gift certificate for you.

Treats – For the horses that is; the rider will do just fine during the holiday season! A special treat that will have the ponies running at dinnertime can be found at the local feed store or even better made at home. Here’s a recipe I’ve found that my horses enjoy throughout the year.

  • 1 cup oats
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2Tbl molasses
  • Peppermints

Mix the oats and water first then add the molasses. Roll the sticky mixture into balls and press a peppermint in the center. Store in the refrigerator until they’re hard.

DVD’s – Although some may not admit, a perfect equine evening can be spent in front of the TV with a horsey movie playing. For me that would be the 1982 film “The Man From Snowy River”. Your special rider may have other ideas so some inquiries may be in order.

Grooming Tools – You can never have too many brushes and combs. Plastic mane combs are inexpensive and easy on long manes and tails. Curry combs and shedding blades are great for scraping off mud and also remind us that spring is indeed on the way.

Well there you go; a great set of Christmas gift ideas sure to please your favorite trail rider. For more ideas for trail rider’s equipment please visit’s review pages for real reviews and unbiased opinions as well as for the nation’s largest horse trail and horse camping area directory.