Desirai Schild

Schild

Horse tack may seem identical and interchangeable to the non-horse person, but such items are indeed some of the most personal a horse owner selects.

Saddles, bridles and bits may seem pretty generic and interchangeable to the outside observer but horse owners know better. Saddles are not one size fits all and specific bits enhance the horse’s performance — or damage it.

Even treats and supplements tend to be carefully chosen to address the specific needs of a beloved equine. Some goodies contain joint supplements for older horses or low carb for hefty horses. Some add coat shine and others are just the horse’s preferred taste. The important thing to remember is that these things are very personal to horse and owner.

One gift I’ve always appreciated is the equine first aid kit. It runs about $50 and offers items that every horse owner really needs. They are great to take on trail rides and wonderful for the tack room at home or in the trailer.

The kit should come with a comprehensive first aid book, antiseptics, various wraps, a tourniquet, thermometer, scissors, gauzes, cold pack, syringe and gloves. The kits are readily available at all major tack stores and online.

Also, I don’t know a single horse owner who would not be delighted with a gift card for their favorite tack store. My husband once worried that a gift card was too impersonal. I was able to demonstrate with my day after Christmas run to my favorite store that the gift card was better than perfect.

Giving a gift card from a favorite shopping spot is not impersonal. It shows that you know where the recipient shops and care enough about their judgment to let them select their own items. They probably have some treasure there they’ve been longing for but didn’t have the funds…until receipt of your perfect gift.

There is NEVER something a horse owner doesn’t want from a tack store.

Riding arena passes also are a great way to demonstrate your understanding and support for their favorite pass time. Idaho winters make outdoor riding nearly impossible on a regular or planned basis. That’s why many riders move their activities inside for the cold months.

Most arenas offer riding pass deals that give a certain number of riding hours at a discounted rate for buying a full set at a time. Many riders are already visiting the arena of their choice so it’s easy to know where they want to go. This is important because particular arenas tend to attract certain styles of riders. Some appeal more to western style riders while others are more attractive to English or dressage riders. Some mix very well together but it’s vital to know your rider’s choice of location before buying.

Horse lovers are always seeking more information about equine related care. If there is a magazine your horse lover often buys, a subscription might be just the thing. A book gift card also might be very welcome. Every horse owner has favorite authors and clinicians. Financial aid to get information from them would be treasured.

You absolutely know if you live with a horse lover. Honor their passion this year and you will give a double gift — the item and your support. We horsey folks love that.

Desirai Schild has been involved in raising, breeding and showing gaited horses in eastern Idaho for more than 20 years. She may be reached at freditor@postregister.com.