Mail holiday cards. Bake cookies. Arrange travel plans. Hang lights. Clean the house for company. Sound familiar? Add in finding time to shop for gifts and brave the cold to ride and it might seem like the next time your head stops spinning will be sometime into the new year. Whether you’re shopping for your favorite dressage enthusiast or compiling your own wish list (horse husbands, take note!) the editors of Dressage Today have found gifts that are sure to bring smiles—so you can get some shopping out of the way and spend more time enjoying your family and your horses.
This snaffle bit belt, designed and handmade by Clever with Leather, adds a touch of equestrian elegance to your wardrobe whether you’re in the irons or on your way to a business meeting. The belt features a genuine stainless-steel snaffle bit slung between 1 ¼–inch, stitched bridle leather and is adjustable on either side. Clever with Leather is an American-based company but has its origins in the United Kingdom, as owner and master saddler Claire Painter spent more than a decade training in England and Scotland before moving to the United States in 1992. The belt is available in black, dark brown, medium brown and tan. Sizes XS–XL. The belt retails for $85. Visit cleverwithleather.com.
The Talk of the Toast
Ever grow tired of having to explain “dressage” to your friends? Let these coasters made by family-owned, Chicago-based Dishique do the talking at your next cocktail or holiday party. Each four-inch round sandstone coaster is backed in cork and depicts an essential piece of riding equipment: a dressage saddle, bit, bridle and horseshoe. The illustrations are complete with anatomical descriptions and labels of each piece of equipment. An easy hostess gift for the dressage rider, the coasters come in a four-coaster bundle for $42. Visit dishiqueboutique.com.
Words from the Wise
Anne Gribbons, former U.S. Olympic coach and world-renowned judge, discusses the past, present and future of American dressage in her latest book Collective Remarks. Although she is a native of Sweden, Gribbons has been active on the American dressage scene since 1972 and has observed its evolution throughout the years. Gribbons includes commentary from her personal experiences not only as a rider and as a coach but also as a judge, owner, competitor and sponsor. The book includes everything from historical information to anecdotes to discussion of controversies and predictions for the future. Paperback. 376 pages. The book retails for $27.95.
For a Horse-Inspired Home
Bring a reminder of your horse into your home in a new way with a customized pillow from Equuleus Designs. The company, named from the Latin word for “foal” and also the constellation found next to Pegasus, produces custom clothing, accessories and décor based on a provided image, whether it be of your horse or your farm’s logo. The images are digitally printed on 100–percent heavy cotton twill or the alternative Eco-canvas, a durable polyester fabric made from recycled content. Fully customized pillows range from $105 to $195. Visit www.eq-designs.com.
Shiny Stocking Stuffer
Hand-polished and personalized with your name or initials, these stainless–steel spurs will stand apart from any others in your barn. Each spur from Signature Spurs is made from high-grade stainless steel and comes with a lifetime guarantee against rust and a pair of black leather, 18-inch spur straps with silver buckles and double keepers for a neat and tidy look. The set makes an elegant gift and comes packaged in a navy-blue velvet pouch for a luxurious touch. Available in four sizes, from ¼ to 1 inch. The set retails for $89.95. Visit signaturespurs.com.
We know that curb chains can be functional, but who knew they could also be, dare we say, pretty? This curb chain bracelet, designed by Michel McNabb, is made from brass that is plated in rhodium, the same material used to plate white gold. A sterling silver/rhodium-plated stirrup and crop toggle adds a feminine equestrian detail. The bracelet retails for $70. Visit michelmcnabb.com to locate a retailer.
The Burghley Tote by Rebecca Ray Designs is handcrafted by harness makers and features cotton–web rein straps with leather stops, giving it an authentically equestrian feel. The bag is lightweight and roomy, made with a cotton–duck exterior and cotton lining interior, and includes equestrian–grade nickel hardware. Keep all of your belongings tucked away neatly inside with its interior pocket and zippered top. The bag retails for $225. Visit rebeccaraydesign.com.
Personalize virtually any piece of riding equipment with a monogram from Personally Preppy. This new business began when riders, sisters and college students, Tate and Kir Tegtmeier, wanted a way to label their tack and equipment with a classy, personal touch. The result of their creative problem-solving is a collection of vinyl and heat-transfer monograms that can be applied to everything from breeches and helmets to boots and gloves. These monograms are available in various colors and patterns and make for fabulous stocking stuffers. Prices start around $5. Visit personallypreppy.com.