If you’re like me and view Thoroughbreds as poetry on four hooves, you are a prime candidate for this gift guide for the Thoroughbred lover. And if you’re not completely bonkers over Thoroughbreds but you have a friend whose heart beats OTTB, you’re in the right place. (Many of the items here would be sought after by any horse lover, just sayin’.)
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OTTB Fly Veil from Retired Racehorse Project. Equestrians love fly veils (aka ear bonnets) and can never have enough. A special OTTB one in barn colors will bring a smile to your (or your friend’s) face.
Pretty Leather Halter. Nothing is smarter than the look of a new halter with a shiny brass nameplate. Your Thoroughbred lover will dig it. Even if she already has a leather halter, a new one will be a welcome addition to her tack room. If your friend has a traditional looking leather halter and you want to step it up a notch, you can click here to read about my favorite fancy halter. I was astounded this halter survived the fire. It was in my tack trunk that burned, but it seems okay.
Back On Track Sheet. Equestrians from all corners rave about the benefits of the Back on Track products which help your horse stay looser with more relaxed muscles. And if you own a Thoroughbred like my horse Knight, you know how much fun it is when they are relaxed.
(If you’re on a tight budget this year, see my previous post Gift Ideas for Horse Lovers $40 and Under.)
All I Care About Is My Thoroughbred. . . Mug. A perfect (and kinda snarky) mug to sip your pre or post-barn cup o’ Joe. Or if you’re not into coffee, you can put it on your desk and use it to store pencils, scissors, highlighters, etc.
Raised to Race, Retired to Fly 3/4 Sleeve Tee. Resembles a baseball T-shirt. Gray and white, made of cotton. Cute for the barn or knocking around town.
American Thoroughbred Hoodie by One Horse Threads. I have this in the T-shirt version, but new for the season is this sweatshirt. Really, T-shirt or hoodie, you can’t go wrong.
OTTB Saddle Pad. This all purpose pad comes in various colors and displays the distinctive logo which will tell the story of racehorse turned riding horse. Ride with ex-race horse pride!
The Jockey Club’s Illustrated History of Horse Racing in America One can never have too many beautiful coffee table books with a horse theme! Display your TB love in your house for all to see.
If you want more ideas on books for horse lovers, check out this post from last year 9 Horse Books for Holiday Gifting.
Vintage C.W. Anderson Thoroughbreds book with illustrations. Vintage books with an equestrian theme will be a welcome addition to any horse lover’s library. C.W. Anderson illustrated horse books from the late 1940s until the early 1970s. He did the popular Blaze series which was before my time, but my mom has spoken highly of.
PBS Documentary Thoroughbred: Born to Run. I was going to recommend Seabiscuit, but my guess is most hardcore Thoroughbred lovers already own that makes-me-verklempt-every-time film, so instead I opted for a lesser-known documentary. But if you have it on good authority your Thoroughbred lover does NOT own Seabiscuit, you need to buy that for sure. And you could throw in the Secretariat DVD while you’re at it.
Mrs. Pastures Cookies for Horses. Knight LOVES these and so does every other horse I’ve offered them to.
Vintage Thoroughbred Print Cosmetic Bag. This smart bag could also be used for braiding supplies and stay in your tack trunk.
Modern Race Horse Painting. From vintage in the previous listing to modern, bold colors in this original piece by Kasia Bukowska. (I have known the artist since she was in middle school and can attest to her talent and work ethic–I was her teacher!) Take a look at her entire etsy shop, because Kasia’s equestrian paintings have a unique, beautiful style.
Majyk Equipe Protective Boots (for the horse). Not only are these boots designed to protect your horse’s precious legs, but the company itself is awesome! The owner donated boots to my trainer who lost so much during Canyon Fire 2. (You can read about our wildfire experience here.) Shop and support this small business with a big heart!
Tickets to See Retired Racehorse Project’s annual Thoroughbred Makeover in Lexington. The 2018 dates are set and it falls on my birthday weekend (hope you’re reading this, hubby!). And while you’re there, take a tour of a Thoroughbred breeding farm like WinStar, where I got to visit Knight’s famous sire and then a visit to Old Friends Farm.
Off-Track, New Tack print by Hunt Seat Paper Co. I bought this and framed it in a simple black frame that I got on sale from Michael’s and it looks great. You could also pair it with this OTTB Resilient drink koozie.
Slow Feed Hay Bag by SmartPak My Thoroughbred Knight has this haynet and said he fully endorses it. He said it’s particularly good for his comrades who struggle with gastric ulcers. (Disclosure: my Thoroughbred doesn’t really talk, but if he did, he would recommend it.)
Aloe Vera Pellets Calming an anxious stomach is something we Thoroughbred owners and lovers are no stranger to. This product is a win because–no refrigeration required!
Ulcergard Speaking of anxious stomachs, since Thoroughbreds tend to have delicate constitutions, it is important to prevent gastric ulcers (If the topic of ulcers interests you, click here for my 20 Questions About Gastric Ulcers interview with a veterinarian). If your Thoroughbred friend is going to compete in a show or have some other lifestyle change (move barns, new neighbors, etc.) an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Having a few tubes of Ulcergard on hand is helpful.
Package of Lessons, Training, or Riding Clinic Contact your Thoroughbred friend’s trainer or a clinician you know they’d love to ride with and arrange to pay for one or several sessions. You can create a fun certificate by using a Google Slides template and personalize it with the training details.
Race Photos of OTTB. This gift is going to take some time and sleuthing. I was able to track down race photos from my horse Knight’s early days. And I was thrilled to see him in the Winner’s Circle at Santa Anita with this Triple Crown winning jockey. However, you will have to figure out what tracks your fav OTTB ran at and if he or she won a race. If the horse did, you can then find contact info on the track photographer and hopefully that person will still have images from the time your special horse ran. (If you want help on how to do this, shoot me an email at Susan at SaddleSeeksHorse dot com and I am happy to walk you through the process of what I did to find Knight’s pictures.)
Professional Photo Session If you are in Southern California, I recommend the exquisite photography of Vanessa Hughes, aka Lady Photographic. She has taken several shots of Knight and me and they are outstanding. If you are in the Chicago area I recommend Kerri Weiss. Kerri and I used to ride together and she took amazing photos of my previous horse DC. If you are outside of the areas I mentioned and have no leads on a photographer, send me an email and I’ll see if I can find someone who knows of a photographer for you. It’s amazing how small the equestrian word really is.
Black Background Edit of Horse Photo. If you already have access to a gorgeous photo of your friend’s (or your own) favorite Thoroughbred, you can send it to Lady Photographic who will do the black background in Photoshop for you. A framed photo of of a horse portrait with a black background will be a stunning piece to display at home, work, or barn. (See black background image of Knight in the halter photo above).
Beautiful fine art photos with a Kentucky vibe like this shot of Keeneland. You could consider creating a three-photo vignette with the Keeneland shot, this one of a beautiful breeding farm, and this one of Thoroughbreds frolicking in the snow. (You really need to click through one of these links and check out all the amazing photos of Thoroughbreds in Kentucky. You’ll definitely find something that you love.)
Fine Art Drawing Mini-Commission. A unique gift idea for your equestrian friend is to purchase a mini-commission sketch of their horse. While a traditional commission can run in the thousands of dollars range, a mini-commission can be had for around a couple of hundred. You can create a fun certificate for your friend to unwrap this holiday season that shows she is entitled to one commission of her favorite horse.
OTTB Identity Shirt Wear your heart on your sleeve–literally! Show the world your horse’s Jockey Club name and or tattoo number.
Haas Soft Face Brush As you well know, Thoroughbreds tend to be a little more on the sensitive side. And in order to enhance their noble, beautiful faces, a Haas soft face brush really is an excellent tool.
Hand Painted Thoroughbred Christmas Ornament. The ornament can be personalized with color, markings and name. You can also get one created of your friend’s dog too. That would be a fun set: if someone got me ornaments of my horse, Doberman and Golden Retriever, I would be delighted.
Conclusion: If you or your friend have every item on this list, there is one last recommendation–actually two–I guarantee will come in handy for owning a Thoroughbred: Bubblewrap. Lots and lots of Bubblewrap. Or how about a gift certificate for the veterinarian? Am I right?
Your Turn: What has been the best horsey gift you’ve ever received? Which recommendation here wrapped up with a big bow would make your heart sing?
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