Buying the perfect gift for a horse owner is always daunting, whether you’ve got loose change to spend, or a few hundred thousand burning a hole in your pocket.
Bereft of inspiration? Fear no more. Horsetalk has come to the rescue with 11 Christmas cracker stocking fillers. Warning: You may need to have a special stocking made for the horse-themed Rolls-Royce!
It used to be that craftsmen would hand-pick a few pieces of old yew tree or oak and lovingly craft a rocking horse that would last generations. Well folks, the rocking horse enjoyed by countless generations of youngsters is now available in carbon fiber!
These cutting-edge rocking horses are the work of aftermarket automotive specialists Revozport. Their versions comprise carbon fiber sandwiched in honeycomb and cured using vacuum infusion technology. There are a few racy colours from which to choose. Prepare to fork out $US1150 for this cool stocking filler.
It goes without saying a horse is the coolest mode of transport on the planet, but if you’re under pressure and don’t have the time to saddle up your steed, you could do a lot worse than take your very own horse-themed Rolls-Royce instead.
The equine bling added by the British luxury car maker’s Majestic Horse Collection centers around a limited number of bespoke Rolls-Royce Ghosts timed to coincide with the Chinese Zodiac’s Year of the Horse, being celebrated in 2014.
The cars include a traditional Chinese representation of the horse in hand-crafted marquetry on the dash-board, and embroidery to the headrest and cushions. The exterior is finished with a horse motif, hand-applied to the sides of the coachwork. If you’re gifting one of these babies, you’ll have to pop an IOU in your beloved’s stocking. Deliveries to customers are not expected to start until the second quarter of 2014.
Horsetalk has long been a fan of the innovative motorized Shake’n Fork – the pooper scooper that requires batteries! The tines vibrate as you cheerfully go about picking up dung, separating your valuable bedding from the equine exhaust product. No more boring manual shaking!
Manufacturer Berto talks about its rechargeable Li-Ion battery, variable-speed trigger, comfortable handgrip, light fiberglass pole, quiet operation and basket sides. Your kids will be fighting over who gets to pick up the poop!
On every level, this is a very cool piece of equestrian kit. At the time of writing, in a case of forking good timing, the forks were being discounted at $US199, a cool $US100 saving.
Horsetalk has been talking to Santa, and he reckons the innovative inflatable cycle helmet invented by a pair of Swedish women could be available in a form for horse riders in time for next Christmas. The Hövding head protection device is worn like a collar around the neck. In the event of trouble, it inflates in a tenth of a second, providing protection that rated best among a selection of 13 bicycle helmets tested by a Swedish consumer organisation.
The airbag collar is the brainchild of Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, who came up with the concept for their master’s thesis at the Industrial Design at the University of Lund.
We reckon it’s a no-brainer to develop a riding version. This invention is no pie-in-the-sky concept. They’re already for sale in parts of Europe and from the company’s online store at www.hovding.com.
What could be nicer than a lovely set of wheels for your equine friends? For a little inspiration, here’s a horse-truck offering that made headlines mid-year.
The truck cost its Australian owner $A1.1 million. Rivenlee Floats, in West Gosford, New South Wales, produced the three-level semi-trailer for the owner of a northern Queensland cattle property who has an interest in the horse sport of camp drafting. It is believed to be the biggest horse truck made in Australia.
It took 10 months to complete, with an average of five or so staff working on it at any one time. The lower level comprises room for 14 horses, finished in stainless steel, with accommodation for two strappers. Upstairs, the truck boasts two bedrooms and a lounge-kitchen area.The maximum permissible height in Australia for a truck is 4.3 metres, so the entire 48-foot roof of the semi-trailer is built to be able to be lifted by hydraulics a further 1.1 metres to provide full headroom in the upstairs area. It sleeps six.
Just think of the possibilities. If Santa ever gets into trouble, there’s more than enough room to accommodate his reindeer in the long drive to return them to the North Pole. That’s sure to get you on his “nice” list.
Steel or aluminium horseshoes are so last year! Why not treat your horse or pony to a set of custom-made titanium shoes churned out by a three-dimensional printer.
Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has been printing out a few shoes in a trial of the technology. One set has just been pressed into use helping a laminitic pony to recover. The organisation’s scientists have been using 3D modelling software and, from the scans, can design a set of perfect-fitting, lightweight racing-style shoes.
Titanium shoes are said to be half the weight of aluminium racing plates, meaning any equine can trip the light fantastic with these babies fitted! Titanium expert John Barnes says 3D printing in titanium offers endless possibilities. Will giant 3D printers one day be churning out life-size titanium statues of our favorite horses?
Looking for a handy little stocking-filler this Christmas? Nothing says “I have too much money” more than the Hermes Clou De Selle hoofpick, which retails for a cool $US260.
To be fair, it does come in a Morocco goatskin case, which must account for at least half of the price.
Why would you not buy two; you’re bound to lose one, right? The only addition we’d suggest here is tying some hay twine to it to make it easier to find when you do lose it. I am surprised the Hermes designers didn’t think of that.
It’s hard not to go crazy at the Hermes store – we were tempted to add a pair of $US930 breeches to the cart and, for those long sweaty rides, the $US435 rubber reins are a must. Another fab stocking stuffer is the grooming bag – get one for the stables and one for travelling – they’re only $US1575 apiece. It’s a cheapie, so if you really want to splash out, the Fourre-tout de Cavalier bag is $US2475.
I passed on the Talaris saddle, though, which at $US10,000 must come with George Morris included.
We all know there’s no such thing as the equestrian who has everything.
Luckily, this one is not just for kids.
Billed as “the next best thing to sleeping in the barn”, PonyBeds are the ideal gift for the young and not-so-young, and offer a range including regular beds, pull-out trundles, day beds and even doll beds.
With cool names such as The Lexington and The Wellington, these beds range in price up to $US1495 and in sizes from twin to king. You can even send in your own design to be created by the PonyBeds team in Thomasville, Georgia.
You spend at least a third of your life in bed – so it seems a pretty good investment.
“PonyBeds make it possible for riders of all ages to dream of clear rounds and blue ribbons and encourage us to always dream of horses,” the PonyBed team says.
Once the domain of the totally serious running nut and those with very deep pockets, GPS watches have dropped in price somewhat.
The Tom Tom Nike+ SportWatch is being sold at many outlets, but the best price we found in New Zealand was $NZ169 at Noel Leeming.
It’s so cool when you’re working your horse to know how far you’ve gone in training, and even more useful on the likes of an endurance ride or trek. The watch beeps after each kilometer, and tells you distance, time elapsed, pace, and more. And, even cooler, if you join the Nike+ site and download the software on your computer, when you plug the watch in to charge it will bring up a satellite map of your course.
Yes, it’s true. You can have almost any item of jewellery made from your own horse’s hair. From bracelets and bangles, to rings, necklaces, stockpins, and keyfobs, British company Horsehairs do it all. There is even a kit you can get to make a horsehair bracelet yourself.
Horsehairs also make paperweights and picture pieces. Bracelets start at £55 for silver and go up to £175 for the gold version. The horsehair bangle is £320 and matches the ring, which sells from £180.
Another cool piece of jewellery is these earrings, which are made from a favourite horse’s wolf teeth. Made by Anna Clair Thompson in Invercargill, New Zealand, these were only $NZ35 to have made up.
So put aside some horse hair the next time you’re trimming your GG – maybe even mix and match so you have the whole herd! And ask your horse dentist to be gentle on the wold-teeth extraction so they come out intact for future use.
After boiling the jug to heat the horse’s bit up before riding one cool morning, we had a great idea for a new invention. Alas, the bit warmer has already been invented!
Our idea was for something like a hand-warmer, which is self contained. But there are already two options out there.
There’s a plug-in unit from Bit Blanket, which costs $US46, and a microwave rechargeable warmer for $US12 from Sleezy Barb Horsewear.
What more could a horse ask for? Other than not being ridden at all and being left to much grass in its pasture …