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Christmas Gifts for Horse Lovers


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


Horse people are probably the easiest people on earth to shop for because if your present has a horse on it, or it can be used on a horse, or it can be worn for a horse or by a horse – or the holy grail of gifts, it IS a horse – you are onto a Christmas winner. However, if you still need some inspiration, the MumsHaynet team has you covered...

 

 

HORSE EXPERIENCES

 

Winter Knights.


Why not dress up and giddy up in medieval style in beautiful Warwickshire. From the team at Buy A Gift, their 'Jousting Experience' is a day out to remember with costumes, trusty steeds and a chance to learn skills from days of old, including how to wield a broadsword, unleash longbow arrows and run the Grand Gauntlet Challenge.

For more information, click here.


 

For Race Fans.


Take a behind-the-scenes full-day guided tour for two at Newmarket. Explore the Home of Horseracing with a morning spent at the world-famous Gallops followed by a guided tour of the 500-acre National Stud and a visit to the thoroughbred breeding farm. A visit to Palace House is also included, home of the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art. This fantastic day offers a deep dive into the world of racing.

For more information,click here.


 

Pony Day Care.


Travel to Dorset for an insight into horse ownership. As is only right, the day begins with a safety briefing before the real fun starts. As well as feeding ponies and learning about their dietary needs, you can get your hands muddy with some harsh horse realities such as clearing paddocks, checking fences, and managing manure. For less labour-intensive fun, there are also classes in horse exercises, tack knowledge and a picnic break.

For more information, click here.


 

Groom Mates:


Yes, you can actually enjoy a sleepover with a miniature horse called Basil!

Basil’s Barn is situated in the grounds of a 17th century manor house, surrounded by 60-acres of country loveliness in the heart of rural Nottinghamshire.

The bedroom is directly attached to Basil’s stable. Elsewhere, there are Highland cows, Hebridean sheep, horses, pigs, chickens and Norwegian Forrest cats, all of whom are mostly rescues and kept strictly as pets.

For more information, click here.


 

HORSE-INSPIRED GIFTS

 

Saddle Bags.


If you have a well-loved saddle that happens to be of no use yet you simply can’t bear to part with it, or any old boots or tack for that matter, leatherwork artist Tanya Bradley can turn them into a stylish handbag, among other accessory ideas.

On her website, Tanya says she puts her "heart and soul into every bag," with painstaking attention to detail and quality workmanship. She is also happy to work with buyers on designs and ideas to create the perfect accessory for their needs.

To find out more, click here.


 

Christmas Shoes.


Okay, we’ve missed the postal date for Christmas deliveries, but Horseshoe Hearts have a number of gift ideas to impress the horse lover in your life well into 2024.

The work of a farrier-and-artist team based in Hertfordshire, Horseshoe Hearts creates the most unbelievably beautiful candle holders, ornaments, letter racks, picture frames, boot racks and wall art, among many more keepsakes.

As well as having gifts to go, the team can fashion something amazing from your own horse's shoes.

To find out more, click here.


 

A Mane Attraction.


Alison at Tail End Jewellery has been creating beautiful handmade horsehair accessories from her Derbyshire workshop for more than 20 years. Working with sterling silver and rose gold, she constantly upgrades her designs, offering modern necklaces, bracelets and rings all braided with that magic ingredient – your horse’s hair. Again, the Christmas delivery date has passed, but Alison’s jewellery is ideal for any occasion at any time of the year.

To find out more, click here.


 

Sock It To ‘Em.


It’s winter, we like to wear socks, and some of us like to wear socks that are loud and colourful with ponies on them.

If that sounds like someone you know, check out United Oddsocks Giddy Up Box of 6 Horsey Oddsocks For Girls here


 

This Little Gee-Gee Goes to Market.


One of the easiest ways to tap into the wealth of arts and crafts devoted to all things horse can be found on Etsy, an online market place offering goods by mass producers as well as independent artisans.

From porcelain mugs, to ornaments, art work, needlework, sweatshirts, calendars, personalised bags, sculptures, you name it, you will find it. All you have to do is type in 'horse' and shop ‘til you drop.

For more ideas, click here:


 

 

HORSE BOOKS

 

Coffee Table

Horses: Portraits by Derry Moore 


This is a luscious tribute to the world’s horses, their riders, stables, and the equestrian lifestyle.

Offering a tantalising glimpse into the lives of equestrians we might not ordinarily come across from jockeys and cavalrymen to classical riders and rodeo stars, Moore’s pictures take the reader to paddocks, courses, and stables all over the world, from the UK to India.

"Moore’s work—with a unique eye for character, not just in his portraits of the horses but in the details of their surroundings—is a beautiful tribute to horses, their riders, stables, and the equestrian lifestyle around the world."—Art of the Times. To find out more, click here.


 

Children’s

Fritz and the Beautiful Horses by Jan Brett


Outside the walled city of beautiful horses, lives a pony called Fritz that is neither beautiful nor elegant, but very gentle and kind.

When the bridge to the city breaks in half, it’s up Fritz to save the day and the children stranded on the other side.

A lovely tale with a sweet message about the importance of inner beauty.

"Brett has created magnificent paintings that glorify her simple but engaging story."—Publishers Weekly 

To find out more, click here.


 

Contemporary Fiction

Untethered by Andrea Busfield


In an act of shameless self-publicity, we include the fourth novel of one of the MH team. In our defence, it comes with good reviews!

Cara, Lillian and Emilia are three women of a certain age who have one thing in common - a love of animals. After hearing of appalling animal cruelty on the Mediterranean island they call home, the three friends decide to do something about it. They then find themselves responsible for one of the most intriguing, and in some quarters celebrated, crime sprees in modern Cypriot history. Untethered is more than a tale about animal rescue, it's a story of love, loss and the incredible power of female friendship.

“A macabre, sad but surprisingly funny tale about the power of friendship”—The Sun.

“While the subject of animal cruelty might be distressing, Busfield has a light, witty touch and this novel is ultimately uplifting”—Sunday Mail

To find out more,click here.

 


Educational

BHS Complete Manual of Horse and Stable Management (British Horse Society) (BHS Official Handbook) 


This is billed as a comprehensive guide to the care and management of horses and ponies and though there are some reviews asking for updates, the majority appreciate the information and advice given on modern stable management practices. As well as an interesting source of information for horse owners, the book provides a sound foundation for Horse Knowledge and Care Stages 1 to 4, and the BHS Stable Manager's Certificate. Topics covered include; care of the horse, watering and feeding, saddlery and tack, specialist care for the competition horse, the horse at grass and the stable yard.

To find out more, click here.


 

Horse Care, Riding & Training for Kids age 6 to 11 by Elaine Heney


A kids’ guide to horse riding, equestrian training, care, safety, grooming, horse breeds, ownership, groundwork and horsemanship, this book is based on the philosophy of listening to the horse, promoting kindness, and good horsemanship.

Among the topics covered are some really interesting grown-up choices such as an introduction to horse anatomy, horse's teeth, common illnesses in horses and ways to help a sick horse.

The book also includes a number of fun activities including mazes, word scrambles, crosswords and horse themed puzzles.

To find out more, click here.



CHARITY


Not all horses are lucky enough to have loving owners, and not all loving owners are lucky enough to have the resources to protect their horses. While there are many charities doing amazing work to help horses in need, here are a couple known to the MumsHaynet team.

 

Brooke.

This is an international charity that protects and improves the lives of horses, donkeys and mules that help people in the developing world work their way out of poverty. Brooke has a long reach – having helped more 1.4 million working horses, donkeys and mules across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Their staff include vets, animal welfare experts, and advocacy and development specialists. To find out more, or to make a donation or buy a virtual gift, click here.


Bransby Horses.


Based in Lincolnshire, Bransby Horses cares for close to 1,000 horses, donkeys, ponies and mules. With 300 living on two sites (Bransby, which is open to visitors, and Barlings), and more than 600 in foster homes around the UK, the charity works tirelessly to improve the lives of equines through rescue, rehabilitation, care, advice and learning. To donate, or to shop from their online store or to simply find out more, click here.

 

Redwings.


For Redwings, the story began with the rescue of a single pony called Sheba. Her recovery inspired the formation of a sanctuary in 1984 dedicated to saving horses from a life of fear and neglect. That sanctuary has now grown to become the largest horse welfare charity in the UK.

Redwings cares for more than 1,500 rescued horses and donkeys every day, with 700 more living in guardian homes.

All their work is funded by public donations and you can help them continue this service by either sponsoring a horse in need, buying from their online shop, or making a donation via their website here.



AND FINALLY, HORSES…


Clearly, the best way to buy a horse is through trusted sources and people you know. For the MumsHaynet team, our heads have been turned in recent years by warmbloods and, having bought a couple, we are more than happy to share our own trusted sources:


Gamblethorpe Hanoverians.


Owned and run by Denise and John Mitchell, Gamblethorpe Hanoverians in Yorkshire is building an enviable reputation for spotting equine dressage talent.

Specialising in “highly trainable” Hanoverian warmbloods, Denise and John have secured more than 150 foals in the past 26 years from the elite Verden foal auctions in Germany. Many more have come from trusted private breeders elsewhere in Germany, transforming their home and business into a horse lover’s paradise. Check out their website offering a range of young horses, up to four years old, here.


Martingale Farm.


Bev and Tony Yates own a five-star youngstock livery yard just outside Pontefract. As well as handling young horses to prepare them for the various sights, sounds and demands of the modern world, Martingale Farm imports pink-papered Hanoverian foals from Germany, bred for their jumping prowess.

Among their most recent stars is the handsome fellow pictured right, Cadillac. At only two years old, Cadillac has already passed his stallion grading with flying colours.

To see more of Martingale Farm’s young horses, click here.

 

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