Alright girls, let’s be real for a minute. Jewelry and clothes are nice, so are romantic getaways. But when it comes to gifts, the first (and second, and third, and so on….) item on my wish list is always some coveted piece of tack, or dreamy color pair of breeches, or new tall boots, or… you get where I’m going with this.
Buying horse stuff is easy when I’m doing it myself. But it’s a whole different ball game when I’m trying to relay what a “cob-sized bridle” is or the difference between fits for front and hind boots to my husband when he asks me what I want.
He gets bonus points for even trying to navigate the Dover Saddlery catalog he found on my desk by himself. But more often than not, the boyfriend or husband-bought horse gifts end up returned or exchanged for the proper item and size after the holidays.
So men, this column is for you. Do you want to woo your horse-obsessed girlfriend or wife and impress her with your on-the-mark purchasing prowess at the same time? Well, lucky for you, I’m here to help. Follow these simple steps to wow her this holiday season.
Step One: Recruit help. There’s no shame in admitting when you don’t know what the heck you’re doing. If you’re at the point in your relationship that you’re browsing SmartPakequine.com for gift ideas in your free time, you’ve likely met some of of your significant other’s barn buddies. Ask one of them for help. This advice is bound to help you in two ways: first, this horsey friend of hers will know what size she needs and will steer you away from making a crappy, unnecessary purchase. And two: you’ll probably get brownie points from said friend, who will be impressed with your interest in wanting to buy something horse-related for your girlfriend. You’re welcome.
Step Two: Don’t be cheap. Horse stuff is expensive. Yeah, we know. But if you really want to wow your girlfriend, get her the brand she asked for, not the knock-off one that’s only $50 cheaper and bound to fall apart that much quicker.
Step Three: Use your head. So you know your girlfriend likes horses, but you’re stumped at what you could get her that she really needs or wants? Welcome to every day of the rest of your life, buddy. But let’s think about this for a second. As riders, we like to be color coordinated, no matter our discipline of choice. Your girl’s color is maroon, let’s say, cause it looks nice on her chestnut gelding. Well then, try to buy her stuff in that maroon color scheme. Riders can never have too many saddle pads or polo wraps or ear bonnets or sun shirts.
Step Four: Sentimental is OK too. So maybe you can’t afford that new pair of Equiline Stirrups she’s been oogling over. I get it, they’re expensive. There are other ways to a horsey girl’s heart beyond your wallet. We really like photos of our horses at competitions. Maybe look up the photographer from the last horse show she competed at and surprise her with a couple of professional prints from the show. A barn buddy is helpful here too, so you don’t pick a dud photo. (Pro tip: Timing is important – think knees together over the fence) Or maybe get her a bracelet with her horse’s name engraved (sorry, not yours) on it.
Step Five: Don’t get caught. Gift exchanges don’t have to be all about the surprise, but they tend to be better received when you can pull it off. If you buy something online from one of the many online equestrian retailers out there, be ready to be bombarded with email coupons, discounts and seasonal sale announcements. Keep that stuff air tight from your girlfriend. Any email from “the Tackeria” is a dead giveaway you’re shopping for horse stuff.
Alright guys, there you have it. Good luck out there.