Mandatory Guide to Christmas – even in These Odd Times

It seems rather mandatory for a news blog to address the thorny subject of helping those who need it, to provide some ideas for Christmas. Why we think we are in such a good position to offer such advice is quite an enigma to me! However, as usual, there is a huge array of gifts being offered for the horse enthusiast costing from thousands to a few dollars/pounds each. In this article, we look a few which have caught our eye and perhaps provide the hard pressed present donor with some ideas! There is no doubt this year will be one where on line shopping will be king and as such most equine gift suppliers have spent a considerable time getting their products available on line and making it easy for the customer to spend money.

Looking at the less expensive range of gifts on line, there is an awful lot of tutt! We did notice some quite tasteful looking purses and small bags made of soft leather with a snaffle bit or insignia on the outside retailing for the mid £30 mark. Also in this range, there are the usual array of glass wear which have equine engravings. These probably need to be seen in the flesh as we have noticed that some of the engraving is done well and sympathetically, whereas some look as if they have been done by a complete novice. A slightly more expensive but different idea is giving a weather vane. These come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and again some look classy well-made stylish articles, while others look all out of proportion. For those with little or no taste, there is a clock showing a horse completely out of proportion in our opinion, with a tail which wags, presumably to try to convince the recipient of its usefulness and that it actually works! Country and Home, is a web site with all sorts of gifts available, and just could be a place to look for the hard pressed person desperate to find a gift for a horse mad person which they may like?

Tack is another popular gift, both to give and receive. This sort of gift can be relatively inexpensive for a nice leather head collar to a top of the range saddle costing thousands. There is not a great deal you can do to change the design, say of a stirrup for example, but designers in recent years have ‘blinged’ them with either colour or fake jewels embedded down the side of the stirrup. These designs have been around for a few years now, but they still seem to be a popular gift. There are always items which are necessary for the rider. Grooming items are always needed, as are travelling boots, tail guards, grooming bags and of course, rugs for all manor of eventualities. These are all readily available on line and from saddlery shops and there are hundreds of makes and designs for all these sorts of items at a relatively reasonable cost up to the ridiculous!

There are dozens of web site offering prints or sketches of famous horses throughout time, from the great race horses to the greatest sports horses. There is also a wealth of web sites claiming to be able to turn an image of your own horse into something very special. Generally, these gifts are not too expensive and for the right item matched to the recipient can be really appreciated.

Another idea which could be just the ticket. A rather more practical gift where the recipient receives a chance to have some lessons or guidance from a professional rider on how to improve their riding skills. This seems to have been quite a popular choice this time around.

Artists/Sculptures & Jewellery

At the expensive end of the gift market, jewellery specially designed for the mainly female horse enthusiast including rings, necklaces, broaches and bracelets. With all things, some are beautifully designed and are classy items but others are not, shall we say!! One of the more popular jewellery items over time, is a horse shoe shaped ring. There was a wonderful example of this made in gold with small stones set within the ring made by Garrards. While the rings have lasted, sadly Garrards have not, but there are plenty of good jewellers selling the same type of bling. Other equine gifts are bronzes. The range on offer can be real quality items full of life and beautifully crafted to rather dull, badly made articles which have about as much attraction as a ditch full of stagnant water. The fact is that there are many many ‘equine bronze sculptors on the web, but in truth, there are very few who make a worthwhile product and we believe in the importance of actually seeing and feeling the bronze to ascertain its quality before buying. In the UK Harriet Glen does lovely bronzes of many animals, but her horse sculptures are generally well made and life like which is how they should be. She also designs and sells bespoke jewellery.

In this article we have rather generalised on ideas of Christmas gifts and think that we have probably covered the most common ones. We hope you agree and if you need a ‘horsey’ gift, this may give you a small amount of inspiration.

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