My BO prefer absentee boarders because they give them less trouble. As the only boarder who actually rides my horse, I am considered a "nuisance", but they pretty much tolerate my presence. When I first started boarding there 10 years ago, they'd leave stockings on the door with treats and little freebie type gifts, which I wholly appreciated. Tapered off the past few years to nothing, which is ok.
They take care of my horse all year long and often advise me when I need help. I enjoy giving them a year end thank you gift, sometimes as small as leather gloves or a beaded horsey cel phone purse and last year an original framed Disney horse movie poster. They know I appreciate them, they do their best.
Barn owners where the retirees are gave the horses a stocking full of cookies and gave me a tin of people cookies that were great. Show barn gave framed pictures of of the horses from a great photographer. Both gifts were great.
Our BO has gotten gifts for all the boarders in the whole eleven years she's been open. It's fairly amazing to me actually. We've gotten t-shirts, hats, personalized halters, and LOTS of fleece things to keep us warm over the years. This year was a lovely red windblock fleece jacket -- all w/barn name on the left chest of course.
This is in addition to excellent care and a lovely facility. It's not wihtout it's little dramas from time to time, but overall I am VERY blessed and tell her so frequently
The barn where I board my retired horse always does something nice for us. This year she sent homemade cookies and embroidered handtowels. The barn where I board my gelding didn't do anything, not for me anyway, but maybe for the boarders who train with her. We did have a potluck Xmas party organized by the boarders which was nice. Both of my horses get fantastic care 24/7, 365 which is the best gift of all!
If I wanted to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, I'd put shoes on my cats.
We have in years past, given barn logo items such as shirts and tote bags and saddle,pads, but due to the economy and price of hay and bedding, we couldn't do that this year so we opted for small personal gifts to each owner and a GC for a free lesson to the couple of lesson kids we have. Our barn is small so it wasn't a big expense. We have a potluck barn party with a gift grab bag that is always a lot of fun.
The BO doesn't give out anything. It would be nice if they did give something to the customers as w/o us, he'd have no business. But oh well. Such is life. They are pretty hands off.
But my BM/Trainer does. She throws a party at her house before Christmas which also includes a Secret Santa exchange. She owns her own farm along w/ being the BM and one of the Trainers (there are 3) at the farm I am at (all the trainers go to both farms). So the party attendees are a combo of both barns. But since we combo on alot of things (going to shows, clinics, etc) we all know each other, pretty much. She gives out little gifts to everyone at the party (this year it was candy and a picture frame ornament w/ our picture in it.... they "get" you before the party and take a pic of you w/ your horse with a santa hat on). Last year it was candy and one of those picture/magnet x-mas cards. But I also get a personal card in the mail each year from her and one of the other trainers whom I take Dressage lessons from. I'm sure they send cards out to everyone, but at least they personalize them. The party is good fun.
The BO were my retired mare lives gave me a gift card and a scented candle. I usally get her GC to the feed store, but this year I got her some shavings instead. She'd been having a tough time keeping the bin full so I just had it filled for her It was a great surprize.
The other barn I ride at has a Christmas party that we do a Yankee swap. We all pitch in and get the BO somthing nice. This year it was a custom wine rack for the house. She gave me a farm sweat shirt with a palomino paint on it. Made me feel like I'm part of the club now
Each year, we have a Christmas party and give out awards such as; most improved rider, most improved horse, sportsmanship, real estate (best fall), team spirit, outstanding parent, and moment of the year.
As far as presents, two years, I purchased show team jackets for each of my clients with our farm logo embroidered on the back and their name embroidered on the front left chest.
Last year, each of my clients received a Quillins leather halter with their horse's name engraved on the brass cheek piece.
This year...oh, wait. I haven't had a chance to give out all the presents, so I can't post about that yet. It's pretty neat though!