Horse Girl Gifting 101

Dec 17, 2015 - 9:46 AM
Cartoon by Jody Lynne Werner

I don’t know a man who doesn’t regard the Christmas holiday with dread. Whether it’s from pressure to find the perfect gift for a significant other or the tendency to wait until 6 p.m. on Dec. 24 to take action, shopping rates right above root-canal-sans-anesthetic on most men’s lists of things they want to do. 

Well, men, if you’re involved with a horse girl, I’ve got great news: We are incredibly easy to buy for.

Shopping for us requires very little imagination. If you’ve known us for more than 10 seconds, you already know what we like. Unless we met at a funeral, we were probably in barn clothes the first time you saw us. We worked horses into the first minute of our conversation. You saw photos of every horse we ever had before you saw pictures of our family.  The first (and probably last) time you rode in our car, you knew what our priorities were.

We love all things equine. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it has a horse on it.  That’s pretty much a slam-dunk no-brainer, no matter how shopping impaired you are. Get us a charm bracelet. A journal. A book about horses. Pajamas (we’ll even wear the ones with feet in them). A poster. Playing cards. A figurine. A plush toy (don’t assume we are too grown up to like stuffed ponies). A Christmas tree ornament. Bookends. A candle. Band Aids. A tee shirt.

Don’t obsess over styles and colors. If you’ve peeked into our closet, you know that fashion sense is not a priority when we’re dressing for the barn. We’ll happily wear an oversized lime horse sweatshirt to the stable. We will take delight in hiding helmet hair under the pink rhinestone “I love horses” beanie. We’ll proudly sport the purple ponies knee socks pulled up over our breeches. Most likely, we’ll wear all of them together.

Here’s more good news: No need to panic if you can’t find anything overtly equestrian. Horse motif or not, you can walk into almost any store and get something a horse person would want or need. Get us an air freshener for our truck from the car wash. Buy us some luxurious hand lotion or lip balm at the kiosk in the mall. Get the teenaged street performer to make a balloon horse.

Buy duct tape at the hardware store (honestly, where can you find another girl who will squeal with delight at a case of duct tape?). Buy a 25-pound bag of carrots or apples from the grocery. The family-sized bottle of ibuprofen makes a great stocking stuffer. So does wine.

Yes, buying for us is remarkably uncomplicated. There is, in fact, only one mistake you can make when getting a horse girl a gift. 

And that is to buy something for our horse.

Like this? Then you’ll love the 
How To Date A Horse Girl: A Primer For Men article 
we ran earlier this year!

You might think picking out something for our horse would be even easier than picking out a gift for us. After all, it’s a horse. Horses don’t have opinions, right? 

Oh, but yes they do. Just ask us. 

Thank you for springing for the extra large bucket of horse treats, but Cosmo only likes the one with the gummy worms on top. No, I can’t just pick the mini-mints off of the cookies; he’ll know that they were there.

The blue Jolly Ball was such a nice thought—you know how Bear loves to play. But he’ll only play with red toys. The blue ball will just sit there until it disintegrates. Yes, I’m serious.

The halter is slightly the wrong shade of green—hunter green goes much better with Bruno’s chest-nuttiness than Kelly green. Yes, it does make a huge difference, especially because the rest of his accessories are hunter green. Wouldn’t he look silly if his halter didn’t go with his polo wraps?  

It was such a nice thought to buy engraved nametags for the horses’ tack, but they really need to be brass with script lettering, not chrome with block print. Except for the grey horse. He does look better with chrome, but he’s just not a block-print type of guy. Oh, no, it’s OK—I’m sure I’ll be able to use the ones you bought for something else (translation: they will adorn the bottom of my tack trunk).

The grooming brushes are very pretty, but Princess has such sensitive skin that I only use brushes made from select hairs of the Anatolian Black Goat. She doesn’t like the coconut-scented shampoo, either; she likes tea rose. It complements the scent of her botanical fly spray and doesn’t overpower the aroma of her tail conditioner. It’s all about layering.

What a lovely plaid wool blanket. It will be perfect if I ever buy a medium pony and live in Iceland. Yes, horse blankets come in different sizes and weights. They also come in different fabrics. And styles and colors. With different types of straps and closures. Why are your eyes glazed over?

Clearly, certain purchases are best left to us. But. What. Ever. You. Do: do not try to be extra-special nice and “take” us shopping at the tack store. You have no idea what kind of fresh hell you will be walking in to.   

You should probably just go outside and download all the Harry Potter books to read right now. Harry will have grown up and had great-grandkids before we can pick out a saddlepad style, trim, piping, braiding, monogram type, and embroidery thread color. 

A new set of grooming tools takes slightly longer, with the many sizes, bristle options, grip selections, and then finding a tote to hold everything. Just picking out the most comfortable ergonomic hoofpick is a project in itself. In the end, if we can’t get the brushes and tote all in the same color, we’re going to scrap the mission and start over looking for something else.

If we decide to look at blankets you may as well have yourself cryogenically frozen.

And remember: no decision is ever final. Depending on the store’s return policy, you may find yourself trapped in a Groundhog-Day-like loop of shopping purgatory. 

The best solution? Give us a gift certificate. Gift certificates provide a rare opportunity for us to shop and not have to hide our purchases from you.

We get pretty much every equestrian and ranch supply catalog on the planet, so take your pick. Even if you wait until one minute before midnight on Dec. 24, you can have a gift certificate delivered to our email inbox before we get up Christmas morning.

We love scouring catalogs and stalking websites for great deals. We’re thrilled when we find more gear to stack up on what used to be your work bench in the garage, and on the shelves where you used to keep your sports equipment (by the way, JuJuBee likes playing with your basketball almost as much as the Jolly Ball, especially since we duct-taped a handle on it).

Following the simple guidelines above will ensure that your horse girl is happy no matter what the gifting occasion. And when your horse girl is happy, everybody is happy.

After years of trying to fit in with corporate America, Jody Lynne Werner decided to pursue her true passion as a career rather than a hobby. So now, she’s an artist, graphic designer, illustrator, cartoonist, web designer, writer and humorist. You can find her work on her Misfit Designs Cafepress site. Jody is one of the winners of the Chronicle’s first writing competition. Her work also appears in the 2013 and 2014 Amateur Issue print editions of The Chronicle of the Horse

Read all of Jody’s humor columns for www.coth.com here.

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