We all know what it's like being given a new grooming kit for christmas... when there's nothing wrong with the one you've got and you get stuck with the new embarrassing pink sparkly one for the rest of the season. So how about this year you give something that people genuinely like - it might not be a traditional christmas present but aren't the things that we use everyday most dear to us? It may seem at times that I'm perilously close to suggesting you give a chopping board or a saucepan to your sister but I reckon I've got some ideas up my sleeve!
Over the winter most eventers will end up showjumping quite a bit and chances are it'll be in their xc hat with a black silk stuck on. Now there's nothing wrong with that but cool peaked hats with vents and the rest of the gizmos are a lot slicker than a chunky skull cap. Plus, when the eventing season comes you'll look a lot better out showjumping. It's also worth noting that you can't wear a beagler for the dressage at BE100 or below so you do need a "hard" hat. A peaked one looks a lot better going down the centre line. Check out Equishopping's selection of peaked hats here.
The next thing is probably equivalent to buying a loved one a new set of kitchen knives but a DECENT shavings fork for example cannot fail to go down well. BIN the old one and replace it. It might not go down so well compared to a diamond but in freezing cold January when mucking out is at it's height you'll suddenly become very popular!
The next idea is more unusual. A new stock pin. Buy a decent quality one but please no blingy ones and sharpen the point. When your recipient comes round to doing their stock up next they'll be pleasantly surprised that there's no battle of the Titans to put the pin through the stock. You'll definitely get a smile for this one. One warning though - sharpening a stock pin is actually quite tricky so it's definitely a case of 'it's the thought that counts'.
Another piece of advice. Under no circumstances should you buy riders XC colours. Riders are phenomenally picky in a kind of hypersensitive way about their XC colours so this is an impossible gift to buy. Give them some money instead and point them our way!
One final idea. Buy some good quality saddle covers. Lot's of yards have saddle covers but a set of quality ones will make you very popular. Plus, they look a lot neater.