THREE WEEKS TO CHRISTMAS! OH CRAP!
Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas in your personal life, studies show that 73% of American horse-owners take pictures of their horse wearing a humiliating piece of headwear (including, but not limited to, Santa hats, elf hats, or reindeer antlers) and a whopping 97% of American horse-owners buy their horses Christmas presents. What studies? STUDIES, STUDIES! I don’t have to source my material, this is a blog.
Anyway, as you would know if you were sitting in my apartment and had observed my undecorated pine tree that has been sitting next to my desk for five days (nothing to see here, just a random pine tree in an apartment), I celebrate a very merry secular Christmas and I have been lamenting the loss of my hang-over-one-ear equine Santa Claus stocking cap for about a week now. I need another one. Where in New York City does one acquire horse hats?
In keeping with the collision of the spirit of the season and the spirit of horsemanship, horse presents are more important than people presents. Horses get their presents first, just like horses get their breakfast first. Break out the organic carrots! Unwrap the sweet-feed-cupcakes! Hang the sleigh bells from the stall door that will annoy everyone else in the barn every time you open it! It’s Christmas in the barn!
Discriminating Thoroughbreds, now, won’t stand for just any kind of gift. These are blood horses, people. They are descended from royalty. Their pedigrees go back further than yours, that’s for sure. What are you going to buy to impress that special retired racehorse in your life?
Here are three recommendations your Thoroughbred wanted me to tell you about. These are just things I like: I didn’t get paid or get a free sample (but my ears are pricked if anyone is looking for a celebrity spokeswoman).
A Quillins Halter
The Quillins halter is The Thoroughbred halter. The track halter is a triple-stitched work of art, but the turn-out halter is beautiful, economical, and great for around the farm, as well. I only use leather halters, and I only use leather halters with brass nameplates, and I only buy them from Quillins. One of my favorite things? The distinctive Roman font on the nameplates. You can always tell a Quillins halter.
The Tapestry Neck Strap from Spursuader
You know what looks great on your horse? YOU! So fall off less with a neck strap. We’ve discussed the magic and mystery of neck straps here at Retired Racehorse before: they are like the safety bars in roller coasters (that’s the magic) and they’re impossible to find in any retail store (that’s the mystery). Stirrup leathers… well, you can use a stirrup leather, but it’s awfully wide and hard to grip.
The Tapestry Neck Strap is purpose-made, has elastic insets for a little extra give (which could come in handy if it might otherwise get wrenched from your grasp!) and comes with a d-ring for braiding it into the mane, if that’s your bag.
The OTTB Designs Saddle Pad
File this under: Things You Should Already Have. The OTTB Designs saddle pad is the perfect answer to all those confused people asking you “What sort of amazingly beautiful horse IS this?” Instead, they will ask you, “What the hell does OTTB mean?” And you can educate them. Because you’re an ambassador of Thoroughbred goodness, bringing the good news to the masses: OTTBs rock the party.