Welcome to Day Eleven of the 12 Days of Giftmas by Inside Track Eventing – the ultimate Equestrian Christmas Gift Guide! Each day for the 12 days, I will be bringing you a range of Christmas gift ideas for the horse lovers in your life, each day centred around a specific theme – that will hopefully provide some inspiration for your Christmas gift shopping, or your own Santa list!
You can find the entire gift guide for every day here – why not bookmark it so you can come back to it each day, or use it as your inspiration when doing your Christmas shopping?
The theme for the penultimate day of the 12 Days of Giftmas is Show Season, Sorted. Many of us are excitedly (desperately?!) looking forward to the day when shows and competitions resume, and fingers crossed that day is not too far away. Whenever it is, you or your gift recipient will want to be ready, and I’ve tried to come up with some ideas outside of ‘the usual suspects’ of show jackets, hats, riding boots etc – so read on for some gift ideas for all budgets that will surely make Show Season all the better!
A New Set of Brushes to give the Ultimate Shine
Whether trotting down the centre line, doing your gallop down the long side, or trotting into the arena from the pocket, you always want to ensure that your horse is turned out to the best they can be. And a good set of grooming brushes is a great place to start. When it comes to grooming brushes, for me it “Has to be Haas”! I’ve had a set of them for a few years now, designed for coloured and grey horses, to help lift stable and grass stains out the morning of a show (when my horse has inevitably used its poo as a pillow), and also to give a show ring shine with some of their amazing finishing brushes. As I have a coloured horse, I’ve been able to see not only how the brushes help make the white bits white (I wouldn’t be without the Schimmel), but also how they lift dust and scurf out of the coat, as that is more visible on darker coats.
[AD-PR PRODUCT] Now when I think of Haas brushes, I also think Eqclusive. Eqclusive has been founded by the lovely Marta, who put her competition groom experience to great use to bring all the Haas brushes together into patented brush packs that are tailored to each horse’s coat colour. As I mentioned, I already have a grey/coloured horse pack that I purchased myself a number of years ago (I’ve forgotten how long I’ve had them!), but now, thanks to Eqclusive, I also have a Black/Bay Horse Pack for Paddy! Packs are available in Grey/Coloured, Black/Bay, Chestnut, and Universal (if you want a kit for multiple horses). There is also the Alan Davies’ signature pack. You have the option to customise your pack even further by going Standard, Royal or Deluxe, which adds on a lovely Mane & Tail Brush, a Curry Comb and the amazing SleekEZ (which is very worth having in the grooming kit come spring), and you can choose the box it comes in, or even add a lovely grooming bag with it.
There isn’t a person I know who has bought these brushes that doesn’t love them – and while I’ve added them to my show season gift guide, you do not have to be a competitive rider to benefit from these brush packs – every horse deserves a lovely deep groom, and no better product to do that (and last you well), than Haas brushes. Some call them expensive – but based on quality and results, I call them an investment.
An Equestrian Planner
Again, not just for show season, but pretty useful if you’ve got lots of training and competition plans! I don’t know about you, but there is nothing in this world I love more than new stationery – branded my favourite colours, with a new pen, a blank page or something to be filled out, just fills my soul. I am also a big fan of keeping track of my journey with my horses (in case the blog didn’t give it away!), and also having two means it can sometimes be hard to keep on top of everything that needs doing – their training schedules, appointments with farriers vets and dentists, and competition schedules are just so hard to keep track of! And so enters a good equestrian planner.
[AD-PR PRODUCT] I have always had horsey planners in some shape or form, and I feel like there’s lots of new ones coming out of the woodwork at the moment which is fantastic! One which I have had the pleasure of trialling and testing behind the scenes, pre-launch (I always feel so important when I test a product before it launches!), is Between the Ears. Remember Creations by Katie which I introduced to you all recently, thanks to the fabulous drawing Katie did of my two horses? Same person. Because Katie likes to be busy! And boy has she been busy creating the most epic Equestrian planner ever for you all! Between the Ears is hands down, the most comprehensive and customisable equestrian planner I have ever come across. I’ve been using this as a digital copy, before the printed version became available, and it has such an extensive range of sections, as well as the ability to completely customise it to suit your needs.
Between the Ears comes in three options: Printed (in a stunning leather effect binder), Printable (so you get the pages but you just print them yourself) or Digital (that you can use in conjunction with a note taking app, such as Goodnotes). My personal pick, because I love the art of writing, would be the Printed Planner – and again, you’ve got options here. You can go for a 2021 diary or an undated diary – and thinking ahead for future, you can also just buy the inserts for future years, so you can keep re-using the same binder over and over again. You also have the option to buy individual refills for your planner such as Event Records, Training Records or even records for individual disciplines such as Showjumping and Dressage.
Prices start from just £4, with the highest priced item being £40 depending on what you buy.
A Plaiting Apron
I know I can’t be the only one that gets annoyed by having to constantly get up and down off the plaiting step to pick up grooming items, or plaiting bands? Or I’m finding stray plaiting bands in my pockets along with bits of my horses mane for weeks? And then somehow they end up in my ‘real clothes’ because I washed the jacket with my real clothes?
Well, you could solve this problem for those who suffer from it with a plaiting apron. And a very nice one at that! I came across this plaiting apron from Equishine recently and thought it was so smart looking, and quite reasonably priced at £29.99 for a well made item. It is also well presented so would be a lovely Christmas gift for someone who competes a lot, or maybe a competition groom!
A Reusable Number Bib
Things I hate about going eventing:
- The faffing of trying to make an A4 piece of paper fit into a number bib that was clearly not designed to accept A4 pieces of paper when I am very stressed about my dressage test and definitely late, and
- Point 1, but when it’s raining
Well, with that plus COVID having many shows asking people to print out their own numbers (and I do all my printing in the office, so now that I work from home that’s a problem), there has never been a better time to get a gift of a BibEaz for your Eventing, Combined Training or Hunter Trialling enthusiasts. For just £20, you can have a set of reusable bib numbers and do your number bib the night before, never having to worry about faffing with numbers before your dressage test again! And for an extra £5, you can have them be waterproof – it’s pretty necessary if you event in the UK or Ireland. Eventing Ireland members can even get Eventing Ireland branded numbers – how thoughtful!
A Stable Organiser for Away Shows
I got this as a gift from a friend two years ago and absolutely love it (this friend is VERY good at giving gifts as another one of her gifts featured in a previous gift guide!) – the Busse Rio Stable Hanging Box/Bag – she told me she bought it from Eqclusive! I have taken two horses to an away show for a weekend and it has stored four saddlepads, both of their tendon boots, sheepskin half pad, my riding whip, brushes, and lots more that I can’t even remember because it’s so long since I’ve been to a show! I also use it to hang my coolers over as it handily buckles on around the stable bars. It’s absolutely perfect for away shows and also handy to pack everything up into for the boot of the car or the horsebox!
So that’s five ideas for gifts that will help anyone get ready for show season (and actually, a lot of these gifts would be much appreciated by those who don’t compete!), and something a little bit different to the usual boots, hat, breeches and show jacket that I know everyone knows how and where to find!