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View Full Version : Presents for trainer spinoff....what to give clients????



trooper345
Dec. 13, 2010, 10:53 AM
Was just wondering if clients expect a gift from their trainer? I'm sure it depends on the relationship but what does everyone see as appropriate? Bottle of wine? Kind of what I was considering since it is easy to choose a nice case or two of wine and hand out to everyone...thoughts??

atlatl
Dec. 13, 2010, 11:31 AM
I don't expect a gift from anyone. My farrier gave me some nice organic soaps yesterday. Horse treats are always appreciated.

A nice bottle of wine would be nice, but I'm really picky in that arena and wouldn't expect my trainer to spend that kind of money. The last time someone gave me wine, it was "two buck chuck". And this was someone who had been to my house and seen the big vinotemp. :confused:

I think of wine as a pretty personal thing and tend not to gift wine unless I know the person's tastes really well. Call me a wine snob.

Velvet
Dec. 13, 2010, 11:51 AM
A holiday card.

Carol O
Dec. 13, 2010, 12:37 PM
Agree with Velvet. A card.

ACP
Dec. 13, 2010, 01:19 PM
A card, but with a personal message.

You could say that you enjoy having s/he as a client. You could remember a lesson where there was a breakthrough that you both really felt inspired by. Or the first time they every did something special to them - cantered or jumped or showed. How much you appreciate the fact that they are * insert adjectives and adverbs of choice * when dealing with you or the horse or the other boarders.

People will remember the warm words longer than a bottle of wine or something like that.

shawneeAcres
Dec. 13, 2010, 01:31 PM
One thing I think is nice is to frame a nice photo of the student riding. I tend to take lots of pics at shows and in lessons of my students so can make them nice in photoshop and print out and frame them. I also, last year did a COOL calendar of pics thru webshots and gave them of my students it was a real hit!

mzm farm
Dec. 13, 2010, 01:55 PM
I think a nice card and some horse treats are nice and appropriate.

Perhaps something small and useful? I have developed a love of funny socks over the years, and I know a few others who like them as gifts. You can find whatever theme you want, they are useful and you don't have to think of where to put yet another knik nak in the house and then dust it, ...:)

I have gotten really lovely gifts from my trainers in the past, but we had more of a personal relationship and really knew what each other needed/wanted. For example, I got dressage letters for my arena and side reins, I gave extra large bell boots and some collectible glass - not the standard fare, but we were both really happy.

trooper345
Dec. 13, 2010, 02:51 PM
Thanks all, I appreciate the input. I am a bit of wine snob myself and had thought about the different tastes that some people may have. Don't need to break the bank on that! I thought about framed pictures but unfortunately we haven't taken any pictures ourselves and would have to pay for the professional pics from shows (~$50 a piece!) that was a little steep too especially considering some of the clients have multiple horses! I think I might go with a stocking full of horse treats and a personal card.

BetterOffRed
Dec. 13, 2010, 03:30 PM
I don't think clients expect gifts from their trainers. But if you have special relationships with your clients and you want to give and can afford to give- there is nothing holding you back.

I think a little stocking stuffer of horse treats and a card would be a nice touch. You may want to consider something like a ball cap, a saddle pad, or polo shirt that you can embroider or imprint with your business name. I am sure that your clients would be as proud to wear the items as you would be to give them to your clients.

Lusoluv
Dec. 13, 2010, 03:34 PM
Over the years I've given students:

-riding socks
-bran mash mix
-horse treats
-lead ropes
-himalayan salt block (this year)

Usually you can find a deal if you buy quantity and wait until a couple weeks before Christmas to purchase.

horsg
Dec. 13, 2010, 04:26 PM
My wonderful trainer gives incredible gifts! Last year we all got director's chairs monogramed with our names and the farm logo. This year everyone got matching stable sheets monogramed with the farm logo. This is the only trainer I have ever had that has given ME a gift. Usually it has been the other way around. I am very grateful for my barn family!

ACP
Dec. 13, 2010, 04:42 PM
another thought - brass nameplate for the leather stable halter, or bridle, or saddle?

Velvet
Dec. 13, 2010, 05:08 PM
I did have one coach who gave me a brand new pair of full seat breeches she'd bought in Germany (real leather, not the fake stuff we see nowadays--that for some reason we pay leather prices for).

Then again, she had more money than me. :eek:

Puddin Pie
Dec. 13, 2010, 05:49 PM
My trainer this year gave me a polo shirt with the farm name embroidered on it. I was really touched. I felt that I really was part of the "team". She certainly did not have to do anything and I was by no means expecting it.

Inspire
Dec. 13, 2010, 06:03 PM
I would never expect anything at all from my trainer. Like many, she doesn't have money to throw around.

But I believe she's already given me the greatest gift of all. Many, many experiences that I would never be able to afford and a wealth of knowledge. That's the best gift I could ask for. :)

netg
Dec. 13, 2010, 06:30 PM
I definitely don't expect anything from my trainer!

Honestly, nothing could compare with her ability to see how I ride and realize what a great match I would be with my horse who she had fallen in love with when she got to ride him the previous year. He is absolutely the perfect match for me, and her ability to tell how well we'd match was worth more than anything she could spend money on.

That said, a round pen session when I can't make it out, or blanket for me one extra cold night/unblanket one morning (my horse isn't clipped, so I'm not part of the regular crew who gets done) would be fabulous. Any kind of horse treats would as well, as I clearly enjoy spoiling my horse.


Also? Hi, I'm a sap.

cyberbay
Dec. 13, 2010, 07:44 PM
I plan to give my students a nice photo of themselves (I hope I have one!:eek:)

Noctis
Dec. 13, 2010, 07:53 PM
I usually try to do something small for my students, last year was gloves and treats, this year its handmade monogrammed scarves. Nothing big or expensive, just something to let them know that I appreciate them!

onelanerode
Dec. 13, 2010, 08:14 PM
I never expected anything from my trainers, though occasionally some of them would give us something small (more common when I was younger and at a barn with a bunch of barn rats).

One year when I was about 10 or so my trainer and her only boarder got together to give both me and the other young barn rat handmade, unfinished wooden brush boxes. They were nothing fancy, but to my 10-year-old eyes, I could not have gotten anything better! I still have that almost 20 years later.

MelantheLLC
Dec. 13, 2010, 08:29 PM
As a client, I've gotten various pieces of equipment and tack, which were much appreciated, but TBH, I would really love to get a card which really said something appreciative and specific about my horses. "I really love to work with Dobbin because he tries so hard. And his trot extensions have improved amazingly since June!"

A trainer who took the time to think about each horse and/or client, and come up with a special, specific, compliment, would really make an impact and certainly raise the holiday spirit! I'd keep a card like that in my memento box for years, whereas the tack, socks and wine would be lost to time.

ACP
Dec. 13, 2010, 10:36 PM
As a client, I've gotten various pieces of equipment and tack, which were much appreciated, but TBH, I would really love to get a card which really said something appreciative and specific about my horses. "I really love to work with Dobbin because he tries so hard. And his trot extensions have improved amazingly since June!"

A trainer who took the time to think about each horse and/or client, and come up with a special, specific, compliment, would really make an impact and certainly raise the holiday spirit! I'd keep a card like that in my memento box for years, whereas the tack, socks and wine would be lost to time.

What I was trying to say. Give them words, which can mean so much!

*Trinity*
Dec. 14, 2010, 12:53 AM
I'm giving my boarders, who are also dedicated students, a tote bag monogrammed with the farm logo and their name. It's a perfect size for a show tote and I got them for an incredible price here: www.queensboro.com

Let me know if you order from them - if I send you an 'invite' as a new client, you'll get $25 off your purchase. They're always having fabulous sales and have the best prices around. Their stuff is nice, too!

eponacowgirl
Dec. 14, 2010, 10:27 AM
I'm in the process of attending all my kidlets holiday recitals... it means more to them than anything in the world.

Now, watching a Jr. High/Elementary string ensemble is NOT the most pleasurable experience in the world, but the kids love dragging me around afterward to meet their friends, their teachers, show me their classroom and locker and art projects. Plus, its free and I get to meet their cute music teachers!

atlatl
Dec. 14, 2010, 10:41 AM
Thought of other things I received from a trainer; she had a photographer come out and take portraits of all the horses. We got tote bags with our horse's picture on them one year, another year we got prints. She also gave ornaments with the horse's name on them.

Note this was a pretty big AQHA barn that charged premium prices ...

Zevida
Dec. 14, 2010, 11:07 AM
I would honestly prefer no gift over a generic gift that is the same as what is given to everyone. Though of course I would be gracious and thankful for any gift.

A handwritten note of appreciation would mean a lot more.

Valentina_32926
Dec. 14, 2010, 12:05 PM
As a client I do not expect a gift but have received - chocolate covered potato chips, chocolate covered nutty apple, candied apple, T-shirt with trainers web site on it, ball cap with trainers logo, etc...

Something inexpensive that says I'm happy to know you - like homemade cookies (or store bought if they're good). :D

AppendixQHLover
Dec. 14, 2010, 01:56 PM
I expect nothing from the trainer at all. She provides my horse in my absence with the care that I haven't been able to find elsewhere. I never worry about him when I have to work long days and can't get out there. Today i sent her a text about where his blanket is and I am going to order him a light weight one (He is an overgrown pony with his coat) for the rainy days and at night. She put one of hers on him. That type of stuff means more to me than something she can buy.

Now I do really LOVE her artwork so a piece of that would be awesome.

kayandallie
Dec. 14, 2010, 07:52 PM
We never expected anything but one year our trainer (hunter) gave my daughter a jump! She had a piece of plyboard cut in half and attached it to a 1x4 or whatever and then painted it to look like a stone wall! I still have it and use it to keep the dogs off the deck, but it is a lovely jump. Other years she made cookies and they were good also.
She's the only trainer who ever gave us anything and we reciprocated, of course. But she was like a best friend; I guess all of her students felt that way.
I wouldn't expect anything if I still rode and had a trainer.

johnnysauntie
Dec. 14, 2010, 09:24 PM
This, exactly:


A card, but with a personal message.

You could say that you enjoy having s/he as a client. You could remember a lesson where there was a breakthrough that you both really felt inspired by. Or the first time they every did something special to them - cantered or jumped or showed. How much you appreciate the fact that they are * insert adjectives and adverbs of choice * when dealing with you or the horse or the other boarders.

People will remember the warm words longer than a bottle of wine or something like that.

My trainer in the past has given me a book of gymnastic exercises, and a framed photo of me and my gelding from a show. I loved both. But nothing is expected, at all, in the least.

ridingarts
Dec. 14, 2010, 11:30 PM
I usually do ltd. edition "Painted Ponies" ornaments each year for each of my students, in a gift bag along with some nice chocolates and a personal card. For my students who are _really_ on the path of learning, I try to also find a dressage-related book which is a really good fit for them to coincide with where they might be on their own personal path.

I also do client gifts for my "other" business. To me, my students and my other clients have made significant financial investments, in addition to their time and attention investments - so I try to honor that at least in a small way.

Oddly enough, those are actually the only people I give Christmas gifts to! My close friends and family know that we don't really "do" gifts at Christmas otherwise...

narcisco
Dec. 15, 2010, 08:35 AM
In big barns, I often did a "Christmas stocking" for their horses. Just a little sock, peppermint candy canes, some horse cookies and an apple or carrot. Then everyone got the same gift, and the horses were happy.

Pely
Dec. 15, 2010, 09:15 AM
I guess I am the exception to the rule.
I give gifts to my students every year. Some years as many as 20. Full training students get a nicer gift than the once a week people, unless that once a week person has been with me for years and rarely miss a lesson.

I am also slightly crafty, and can sew, so some of the gifts are hand made. I just finished 5 polar fleece scarfs, very easy, and 4 rice-filled heating pads (microwavable). In the past I have made bandage boxes, bridle and boot bags, totes with a handpainted picture of their horse, and other stuff that I don't remember.

I have also given socks, candies, ornaments, gloves, a nice calendar. I fill little baskets nice hand lotions and lip balms, or other foody things. I never buy the pre-made baskets. I buy almost everything on sale, including polar fleece shirts and other warm stuff.

I rarely give anything with my logo or farm name. While it is nice to have all students advertising for me, I think it is slightly tacky. It would be free advertising for me in the guise of a gift.

Cowgirl
Dec. 15, 2010, 03:33 PM
Trainers throw a fab holiday party for all their students with fantastic food and drink. It's really fun.

Big_Grey_hunter
Dec. 15, 2010, 08:26 PM
Our trainer does yearly gifts, usually embroidered with her farm logo or her farm colors. Things like matching barn lead ropes, show pads (with log) show bags, etc.

Haltatx17
Dec. 16, 2010, 01:28 PM
As a client, I don't expect to get a gift from my trainer. However, I was particularly close to one trainer when I was younger, and she gave me a memorable gift one Christmas... it was a journal that had horses on the cover. In the inside of the page, she wrote a very nice note to me with a quote under it (it said "Live to Ride... Ride to Live...")

The journal was great for writing my riding progress down, or heck, even for a scrap piece of paper. It was the message written inside that was the best gift of all (cheesy, I know, but true).