December 2015 - Gift Guide
Written by CRM
Saturday, 28 November 2015 00:47
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Top tack store owners play personal shopper.

Stumped over holiday gifts for the riders on your list? We reached out to top tack stores asking them to play personal shopper for you. Do you have a beginning pony rider on your list? An amateur jumper rider or a dressage trainer? If so, read on!

Personal Shopper: Gina Allman, Bright Star Saddlery in Agoura. Gift Recipient: Beginning Pony Rider

Gina: Helping beginning riders is so fun for me. They usually come in with their parents and they are still in that magical “I just love horses” phase. They’ve shaken down their parents morning and night and the day has finally come when they’ve gone to the barn, had a lesson and been told they need a few things: helmet, paddock boots, riding pants and, sometimes, gloves and/or half chaps.

Helmets: We always recommend helmets with a dial fit for younger kids that are still growing. Troxel’s Liberty is what we normally go with because it has the dial fit and comes in the bright shiny colors kids tend to want. Ovation makes a helmet in toddler sizes and Tipperary is another popular model in the $50 to $75 range, though it does not have the dial fit.

Riding Pants: Often, parents don’t know what “breeches” or “jodphurs” are, so we just call them riding pants.  If the rider is tall and skinny, we usually suggest Kerrits Performance Tights, which start at about $49 and come in a lot of fun colors. If the child is shorter and more curvy, we suggest Tuff Riders, starting at about $30.

Paddock Boots: Millstone, Tuff Rider and EquiStar are our most popular brands and they’re all about $40 to $50. Ninety percent of our clients want zipper style because they’re easier to put on than lace-ups. But if they have a wide foot or high arch, etc., then we introduce the lace-up styles because they have more fitting options.

Half-Chaps: This is where kids get really excited because their outfit “feels official.” Perri’s makes a nice synthetic leather half-chap, in Velcro or zipper style, at about $40 to $50. Tredstep makes a leather half chap for a more experienced rider and those are about $120. Half-chaps are not essential at the beginning, but when we explain how stirrup leathers can rub against the leg, they get it.

Gloves: Noble Equine does a great job with smaller gloves, and so does SSG and Heritage, with fun colors in the smaller sizes.

Miscellaneous: When kids come into our store, they often go straight to the colorful leadlines. And socks are another inexpensive gift. Breyer models are always a hit. We are especially excited about the Elska Icelandic Pony model. This is a limited edition offered only to brick and mortar stores. Also, the new horses in the Best of the British line, the Highland Pony and a Shire stallion that comes with a Corgi dog—those should be very popular.


Personal Shopper: Barbara Biernat, Horse & Rider Boutique. Gift Recipient: Dressage Trainer

Group Gift: I often do a “bridle registry” for trainers. The trainer has one big item on their wish list and clients call me and put an amount towards the big item. Everyone loves it!  For the trainer, it’s better than getting a few smaller items. And the clients love it because they will see the trainer with that gift they contributed to.

I have done full outfits like that, including bigger items like an Equiline show coat and a pair of DeNiro boots.

Another great gift is the new Ceecoach Communication System. It is Bluetooth-based so, no interference at shows. It has a 1,600’ range, rechargeable batteries, talk back option and up to five people can be part of it in a group lesson.

The price is $349, which is for this type of technology very reasonable.

Personal Shopper: Renee Spurge, LA Saddlery. Gift Recipient: Young Amateur jumper rider


Fabulous and Affordable:

Charlotte Equiline Show Coat
Price: $515
Color: Black and White
Sizes: 36-46

Just Fabulous
Fran Equiline Show Coat from their Seasonal Collection
Price: $975
Colors: Grey, Black, Bordeaux
Sizes: 36-46

Fun and Functional:

Joules Homestead Slipper Socks
Price: $39
Sizes: S, M, L
Colors: Various stripes and colors

Lorenzini Titanio Stirrups
Price: $279
Sizes: One size fits all
Colors: Chrome, Grey, Black, White, Brown, Green, Blue, Red, Pink,
Orange, Gold, Purple, Light blue

For the Fashionista:

Atelierbits Morgan Bracelet
Price: $89
Colors: Black, Cognac, Taupe, Grey, Purple

Winston Equestrian Milan V-neck Sweater
Price: $159
Sizes: XS-XXL
Colors: Light Grey, Dark Grey, Beige, Brown, Blue