Earlier in the week we made some suggestions for great gifts for your equestrian adult. As promised we’re following up on that post with ideas for your horse crazy kids. We’ve also included teenagers in this guide.
When kids like something THEY REALLY like something. I know, I have a nephew who was OBSESSED with cows last year. So for Christmas I made him cow shaped and decorated sugar cookies AND got him his own cow barn for Christmas and he LOVED them. (I think he’s moved on to Dinosaurs this year so…new cookie cutters for me!)
Anyhow, horse crazy kiddos are no different. I will caution you about kids, especially horse kids, they can be very specific. So it’s VERRY IMPORTANT to know if your horse crazy kiddo rides English or Western. Namely, is a cowgirl or not. Trust me, the kids care. It’s usually much easier to find horse “stuff” of all kinds for Western riders. A good rule of thumb with horse toys of all kind is: if the saddle is brown on the horse it’s probably a Western Saddle. If the saddle and tack are black then it’s usually english. ALTHOUGH there are exceptions just know, if it looks like John Wayne would sit on it it’s a Western horse. If it looks like it galloped out of a painting of Napoleon then that’s English.
Like with adults, it’s good to know if your kid has a specific color they consider their riding color. These colors are important, they help them remember which stuff is theirs and also make a statement when they go to shows.
As with adults you certainly want to know their horse’s name, color and breed. If you’re going to get something personalized, consider having it personalized with the horse’s name, not the kid or both.
Here are some good ideas for horse kids (12 and under):
1: Clothes for the barn. Yes, clothing might not be the MOST exciting gift, but if it’s clothing to specifically be worn while riding that’s totally different! T-shirts with horses on them. Riding breeches and hoodies are all good options. Most of our kiddo students are really excited to have JUST BARN CLOTHES and are always showing us their horse tee’s and breeches. For specifically kid friendly, affordable, useable horse themed clothing I suggest Kerrets Brand. They are durable and well made for riding, and don’t break the bank. Kerrets brand is available for purchase on Amazon.com. As an added element of fun Kerrets clothing comes with Carrot seeds. Ariat also makes really nice kids clothes for slightly more money, Ariat clothing is also available on Amazon.com
2: Supplies As a child I asked for a manure fork as a reward for good grades. I still have that fork. Kiddos want the weirdest, most boring horse supplies. They see adult riders or their coach has something and even if it seems kind of silly or boring to you if it’s for the horse it’s exciting. A full tack cleaning set with their own bucket is a nice gift! You’ll need little hand friendly sponges, saddle soap, saddle conditioner and some rags. For bonus points in your tack cleaning kit, add a can of Never Dull which is an amazing, oddly smelling product that miraculously and easily polishes metal buckles, spurs, stirrup irons and any sort of metal work at all. Often times horse kids have just the bare necessities when they start out. Horsemanship is a consuming hobby. We have to take are of our horses AND our equipment. Shampoo and conditioner for horses would also be a fun gift, especially paired with some Show Sheen or Cowboy Magic detangler and a nice scrubby brush. Again, not exciting UNLESS you’re horse crazy then it’s AMAZING.
3: Breyer Horses. Breyer horses ARE THE VERY BEST horse crazy kid gift for kiddos under the age of 10. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, they all want them they will be treasured and played with forever. I still have mine, and in fact I have my mother’s Breyer horse as well. They come in several sizes and there are options for barns, horse trailers, tack and everyone’s favorite “Brenda Breyer.” As mentioned before, make sure your Brenda is the the correct Brenda for how your kiddo rides. This is when you need to remember the “John Wayne or Napoleon?” rule.
4: Riding gloves. Like all gloves, kids lose them so don’t worry if your horse crazy kid already has a pair, they need another one. (True for adults as well…seriously where are all of my gloves???). They need them they’re an under appreciated piece of safety equipment for riders of all kinds. Useful in the saddle and also if you are leading a horse or loading into a trailer. At LEC we have discovered that baseball gloves fit the bill really well for riding. They’re durable, washable and have good grip and are more readily available than horse specific riding gloves.
5: Little horse details Maybe you have your gifts already and want to add something horsey in to the mix as a stocking stuffer. Stickers are a great add or a journal for them to track their progress. Horse treats, especially candy canes are extremely fun things to give kiddos. Horses LOVE candy canes and kids LOVE to feed them to the horses. So when you’re putting your stocking stuffers together don’t forget about the pony! Add a little note with a horse’s name and stick it to a candy cane. Kids too will be excited and happy you thought of their horse.
….Now for teens.
Teens aren’t quite kids and they’re not quite adults. They are THE HARDEST people on Earth to shop for who aren’t my mother.
1: Matching saddle pads and wraps/Saddle Blankets and boots Teens have a penchant for wild colors (unless you specifically know they don’t). I say for Christmas go big or go home. Get the wildest combinations you can find. Teens love to show their style at the barn, and if you think your 16 year old is growing up too fast, she probably is, but she’s still in love with her horse and definitely wants to dress him up a bit for Instagram.
2: Equestrian Specific Backpacks and Equipment bags. There are lots of great bags out there for Equipment. Ariat and Noble Outiftters both make wonderful bags for all things horse, from clothing to grooming. Backpacks in a horse setting are often referred to as a “Ring Bag” owing to the fact that people carry them to the show ring with things like water, towels and snacks for the horses. Teens who are showing will appreciate a matched set of garment, boot and helmet bags for horse shows. Matching is kind of a big deal in the horse world.
3: A Show Trunk. IF you’re looking for a great big showy horse present that isn’t a horse I suggest a show trunk. You can go as fancy or as approachable as your budget allows. Many people use Stanley Tool chests as show trunks. They are durable, and have wheels for easy transport. Depending on the setup of your horse teen’s barn they may use them daily. Look to ETSY for a custom decal with their name or horse’s name. Dover, Smartpak and many of the major equine retailers also make custom wooden trunks, however it will be a bit late in December to receive a show trunk in time for Christmas.
4: Monograms OMG you guys. Monograms, everything monograms. If you have a teen, seriously, just go to ETSY right now and order some custom vinyl Monogram Stickers in their favorite range of colors and be done with it. Your horse kid can tag as much of her equipment as she sees fit. Although fading in popularity, it’s even possible to get custom helmet monograms for your teen. Buy several sizes for different types of items!
We hope these gift guides have been useful to you be sure to share them with Grandmas and others who are looking for just the right gift for their horse person. Sometimes being a horse kid/teen can make a kiddo feel kind of like an outsider because horses are just not as popular or cool as basketball. Kiddos don’t want their passions to be skipped or ignored because family members think the things they want may be hard to find. It’s not as complicated or difficult as it may seem. I’ve mentioned this before, but if the ONLY thing you do that is horse related this Christmas is to stick a carrot with a bow in your Little’s stocking for their horse you will have successfully included your horse kid’s passion in the holidays!