It’s the mooost wonderfuuul tiiiime… of the yeeeaaar ♫♫♫
Yes, it is that time of the year again – Christmas Gift buying time! Whether you are buying for an Equestrian enthusiast, or looking for ideas to add to your “Dear Santa” list, I have you covered!
I have put together a Christmas Gift Guide containing my most highly recommended products – I either already own and love them, know someone who highly rates them, or have asked for them myself for Christmas!
For the Horse
Special Edition Browbands, €25-45
If there’s one thing I love, it’s supporting local. Karen of Special Edition Browbands is based in Dublin, and makes bespoke pearl, diamante and ribbon browbands on request. Below is an example of one she recently made to match a show jacket. A beautiful gift to match XC colours, for showing, or to jazz up a dressage bridle. See more examples of Karen’s work on her Facebook page here. She also does gift vouchers if you’re unsure of the colours, or are concerned about delivery dates.
LeMieux Merino Lambswool Saddle Pads, from £60
Of course, any LeMieux saddlepad is a wonderful Christmas gift to receive, but at this time of year when coats are prone to rubs and we want our neddies to have the cosiest of kit, the Merino Lambswool pads are the most luxurious gift. I have the Merino Wool Sensitive Skin Jump Pad and I love it (you can read my review here) – it is totally worth the investment!
Henry James Saddlery Reins, from £22.99
If you don’t already have these reins in your tack room, you need to get them! I recently ordered the BioGrip Hybrid reins and they are better quality than some of the biogrip reins I was seeing for €50 plus. I have ridden with them in the rain, and without gloves, and have had no rubs on my fingers and no slipping of reins! I used Parcel Motel and the total cost was less €40.
Easy Stud Kit, from €65
Before the eventing season starts, it’s always a good plan to review your stud kit and check that everything is intact and nothing missing. I did this last year and noticed I was missing a lot of studs, and many were rusty. I decided to completely overhaul my kit, and purchased an Easy Stud Kit direct from Kennedy Equi Products – first, you choose the kit size (16, 24 or 32) and then you choose the studs that go into it. The kit comes with a spanner and tap, and really lives up to the “easy” part of its name! So far none of my studs have rusted, and I haven’t exactly taken care of them!
I recently purchased both of these products (well, I was given the boots for my birthday!) and I wouldn’t be without them. They have formed an integral part of Paddy’s rehab programme, and I intend to use them both for preparation and recovery when we are back out eventing next year. You can read my review of the Sportz Vibe Rug here.
The Equine Warehouse regularly have sales on Horseware products, and the Sportz Vibe ZX rug is currently on sale for just €480, down from €640 (link here), and the Ice Vibes are on sale for just €176, down from €235 (link here)
I recently won a competition and get to try out the Back on Track Quick Wraps Royal which I’m really excited to use, as Paddy’s back legs fill up when he is stood in. I have long lusted after Back on Track’s products and would love to try out their mesh rug at some point.
Another brand I am getting on board with is the Masta Protechmasta infra-red therapy range. Above all else because it has scientific research backing it, and also the diversity of product range. I particularly like the poll pad and would love to try this.
If anyone has tried these products and has some reviews to share for those thinking of adding it to their Christmas wish list or buying for someone – please share in the comments!
Eating & Treating
LeMieux Hay Tidy Hay Bag, £16.96
This is one product I absolutely could not be without – you can read my review here. I use this for every trip away, it is so quick and easy to fill and attach, limits wastage, and looks stylish!
Stud Muffins, from €2
Every Christmas day, I like to give my horses a little treat – last year I gave them a Likit Selection Box, but Paddy was wildly unimpressed with the Likit bars, so I considered them a waste of money. However he nearly did backflips for Stud Muffins! They are full of molasses, so I don’t recommend them as a regular treat, but for a special occasion they are just perfect! They have brought out Christmas Pudding treats for the season that’s in it – definitely recommend picking up a pack!
LeMieux Lava Burst Shampoo, from £9.95
This is the best shampoo I have ever used on my horse. Think of it as a luxurious, colour enhancing, conditioning and beautifully smelling shampoo that you would buy at the hairdressers for yourself! Paddy’s coat is uber shiny, smells DELICIOUS, and is so soft after washing – and you don’t need much. I would buy this over and over again!
HAAS Brush Set, from £9.50 (individual brushes) or £80 (colour set)
I have yet to pick up one of these sets, but the reviews speak for themselves! If getting a gift, why not splash out on one of the Colour Packs?
For the Rider
Roeckl Madison Gloves, from €25
Since discovering these gloves nearly four years ago, I haven’t worn another pair of riding gloves since! They easily last 12+ months, and I would use them 4-6 days a week. The fit is second to none, your hands are not too hot and not too cold regardless of the weather – and you can use your smartphone with them on! Worth every penny and I plan to buy a nice brown pair for showing during the summer.
Racesafe RS2010 Back Protector, RRP €210-250
With the new rules for back protectors coming in 2018, it is worth checking if your back protector is up to standard? If not, consider asking for a new back protector for Christmas! The RS2010 is my favourite, but as with all riding wear, fit is unique to each person, so do make sure to try a back protector on before buying. Maybe ask for a gift voucher!
If you’ve been competing for a while now and your XC colours are starting to look a bit tired, or if you don’t have your XC colours yet – get yourself to Super X Country! I got their Faux Fur PomPom Hat Silk as a gift last year and love it.
Horseware Riding Tights, RRP €69.99
I already have the black riding tights and live in them – currently lusting after the charcoal tights! They are perfect if you need to go out and about, and then straight to the yard – or if you have a yoga class and then need to go ride! I wouldn’t ride a fresh or young horse in them but I absolutely love them and feel they are worth every penny.
I recently bought these and wonder how I survived last winter without them?! Waterproof, fleece lined and uber comfortable – all for less than 50 quid! They get shipped very quickly too! The back has a high rise waistband to keep your back cosy, and the lower legs have lycra so your legs dont get too hot.
The only thing I wish they had was a suede full seat for a fresh or young horse in the winter, but for 50 quid I won’t complain! Worth the investment!
ProCush Personalised Riding Whip, £47.95
If you want to get personal, why not gift someone a personalised ProCush Event Whip from Old Mill Saddlery? It can be done in their XC Colours, and you can have their initials put on it!
Out of the Saddle
I live in my Mark Todd Ear Warmer – I have the brown one but you can also get them in Navy or Black.
I have been lusting after the LeMieux Pom Pom Hats too! LeMieux recently confirmed that they have switched suppliers for the pom poms to ensure that they are faux fur.
Improve your skills
Ultimate Dressage Experience, from €75
I am a big fan of Sandra Blake Farrell’s teaching (you can read more about that here), and more than anything love the feeling of riding her advanced schoolmasters – experiencing advanced dressage movements as they should be executed, and learning how to tweak my own position and aids to make simple movements more effective on my own horses in future. I’ve written a detailed review of the Ultimate Dressage Experience here and would highly recommend this as a fabulous gift to make Christmas extra special.
Beyond the Saddle
I purchased a Leroy and Bongo 2017 planner last year and couldn’t be without it now. It has everything from health records, to event planning, and weekly goal trackers, as well as daily logs for your horses. Having two horses makes it even more useful, and being able to write in when I made changes to a horse’s diet or exercise regime makes it super simple to analyse the cause of any potential changes in behaviour or way of going.
I personally believe that everyone should have a Leroy and Bongo diary for 2018!
Art by Suzie, from €35-€55
Art By Suzie is a personalised tote bag with a design of your choice, in a range of sizes. I received a beautiful gift of one of these bags from a friend last Christmas which I use as a grooming bag – you can see what I got below. Again, a beautiful and personal gift to give to someone! Message Suzie directly on the Facebook page directly linked above.
My Horse Box, £34.99 per month
My Horse Box is the Glossybox/Birchbox of the Equestrian world! For a monthly fee you receive five full sized (yes, you read that right, full sized!) items that follow a theme. To see past boxes, click here, and you can read my review of the June box here.
Horse and Rider Magazine, £3.50 per month
I subscribe to H&R magazine on the Pocketmags app for just £3.50 per month. Every issue is loaded with great training, horse care and management tips, and it’s great to have it delivered direct to my phone to read on my morning commute, or before bed.
Horse & Country TV, £34.95 annually or £3.99 per month
I also subscribe to H&C TV for the great masterclasses they host, as well as the Blue Chip All Star Academy which runs during the summer. I don’t have Sky so don’t have the channel, but even if you do, the app is great as they host a back catalogue of all their old episodes, and I use the masterclasses for schooling ideas.
A lovely little stocking filler for the Irish Eventers, this calendar has some lovely images from events throughout the year, as well as provisional Eventing Ireland competition dates. Great way to plan out your year visually, and keep track of lessons and events as the year goes on!
101 Exercises Books, from £11
I have all of these! Dressage, Schooling and Jumping exercises. So worth it over the long winter months when you lose motivation, if you’re not competing much and need some ideas for schooling at home, or if you have a specific issue you’re trying to work through and can’t think of exercises to solve the issue. Highly recommend getting these!
… And that’s it!
I hope you liked the gift guide, and that you now have some good ideas of what to get a loved one for Christmas, or what to add to your own wish list! So what are you asking for this Christmas? Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments below!