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Advice needed- what to give?

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  • Advice needed- what to give?

    OK, I have just started riding a *really* nice horse for a lady who does not have enough time to ride him. She still rides him some, but I will be riding several days a week. This is a great situation because I am horseless and poor, could not afford to lease, etc. She does not have time and the horse is a handful without enough work. My hope is that this will be a win-win situation for us all. This is a no-money exchange situation.

    My question: I would like to get her something for xmas/ holiday time to show my appreciation. I don't have much to spend, but I want her to know how I appreciate her trust in me, and the opportunity to ride such a nice horse. She's not the sentimental type, so something mushy won't work.

    So any suggestions for me? I'm horrible at gift -giving.

  • #2
    I think she sounds like the type that might just appreciate a short, sincere note from the hear and a nice bottle of wine. If you want to be more practical, think of something that the horse has that he has worn our (halter? brushes?), or something that she might use like a nice, fresh pair of winter riding gloves. No matter what I would include the note. Even if she isn't "mushy" I am sure that she will appreciate hearing how much joy riding her boy gives you!
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant


    • #3
      A gift certificate to someplace nice to eat is always welcome.


      • #4
        A gift certificate to the feed/tack store is usually appreciated by horse people. Or if you know if she gets her hair done or her nails a gift certificate there. Her favorite store? A really nice photo of her horse, perhaps a competition shot?
        A heartfelt not of thanks goes a long way too.
        "I am a sand dancer... just here for the jumps!" - Schrammo


        • #5
          If she's practical, I'd suggest something that will appeal to that: cleaning stalls. Washing and grooming the horse. Braiding for shows. Washing her car/trailer.

          You could simply give her a nice note and a hand-made coupon.

          All of these would cost you little/nothing, and I know she'd appreciate them.
          --Becky in TX
          Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
          She who throws dirt is losing ground.


          • #6
            a framed photo or ornament of said horse, perhaps with something "Christmas'y".

            One of the barn kids did this for everyone 17yrs ago - I STILL have the photo and will get teary-eyed this year when I unpack it, since it will be my first Christmas without JayKay in 17years.


            • #7
              The best horse-related gifts I have ever gotten were lovely photo portraits of my horses (one for each of 3 years) from a friend who is a very good amateur photographer. I LOVE these pictures....oh, and the oil painting (!!!) another friend did of a pic of me riding.

              These may not be within your talent set but I agree something personal about the horse would be great. A gift cert is always welcome but if you are on a budget it is a harder gift for you to give.
              The big man -- my lost prince

              The little brother, now my main man


              • Original Poster

                Those are great ideas folks! Thanks so much!
                I was thinking about a note and some token... that sounds pretty good. The ornament idea is great too.
                Thanks! Any more ideas are welcome too!


                • #9
                  I would give her a note with a delicious bakery item - from a top bakery ~ always appreciated during this busy time of year. Coffee cake, pie or even better ~ individual morning pastries ~
                  Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                  • #10
                    A nice note with a gift certificate for a popular restaurant (Outback, Olive Garden, etc) .


                    • #11
                      How about putting together a horsey treat basket, maybe with some nice "goodies" for the owner. Shows respect for both.


                      • #12
                        If you have the skills, maybe a super, super "spa job" for the horse (mane pull, trim, deep grooming 'til he gleams) and mega tack-cleaning, bucket-scrubbing, and stall-spiffing fest. Sounds like money is the currency you lack, and time is the currency SHE lacks. Invest some of your time to make up for the time she lacks to do things around the barn.

                        I know when I have leased/loaned horses, it has always made me very, very happy to see my horse getting a little bit of "above and beyond" type of care. That doesn't mean stuffing them with treats (just teaches bad manners, I'm not a big treat-giver) but keeping the tack clean, the horse clean, the bit washed off after riding, everything ship-shape.
                        Click here before you buy.


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks Deltawave, and others for the cleaning/ spiffing ideas.
                          I was going to offer to clip him, if she wants him clipped this year, which would save her some $$. I also do try to keep him and his stuff as clean as possible- I sort of feel like that is the least I can do.


                          • #14
                            Offering to clip (assuming you clip well) is a lovely thing to do, but I wouldn't ignore the value of a card or a framed photo of him or a nice bottle of wine. It's much more about the gesture than about the amount. The best present I ever got from someone who rode my horse was a pastel drawing of him - I have it framed in my house and adore it.

                            Having had horses that others rode before (and being lucky enough to have the ride on someone else's horse), the biggest thing is that you adore him, take good care of him, and speak well of him. Biggest turnoff in a lease is a lessee who treats your horse badly or badmouths him; contrariwise, someone who raves about him and is thrilled to get to ride will make your day.


                            • #15
                              I gave away boot polishings when I was broke last year and people LOVED them. (I am crazy about polishing boots).


                              • #16
                                I received one of those photo frames with room for multiple photos. It included a couple of my leasee with my horse, with instructions that the remaining slots for when I started riding her! (She was a young horse and my leasee was putting miles on her for me). I added pictures of the stallion and mare (she was a home bred). I still have it several years later.


                                • #17
                                  A framed photo of the horse sounds like a gift I'd like. In the past, when I leased my horse, my lessor usually arranged for him to have a professional massage. I thought that was a great gift. Otherwise, a gift certificate to a tack shop would also be nice.
                                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                  • #18
                                    Tack cleaning

                                    If she is short on time, offering to clean her tack will give her more time ride when it is feasible for her, ditto trailer, saddle pads, etc,, of course a bang up grooming job is a wonderful present!


                                    • #19
                                      Some good suggestions here, but mainly from the tone of your post you are enthusiastic about using her horse - and to have the right person taking care of my horse would mean the world to me. You obviously show your appreciation every time you leave the horse clean and well taken care of and by your commitment to him. So it would be the thoughtfulness, not the cost, that she would appeciate. A note/card and some of your extra time or take her out for a meal (or have her home) depending on the situation.
                                      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique