Tis the season for reflecting on the past 12 months! Christmas Pony agrees!

 Christmas Pony

The gift giving season is rapidly approaching.  I’m at a new barn this year and for the first time in forever so I’m feeling a little worried about what to do for ALL the people involved in making me and my horse the happy little barn rats we are.

Where do I start?

First I have the Barn Manager. He is a nice man that lives with his sons a few miles away. He oversees everything and has held my horse for trimmings, vets and help me with a ton of other things.

Then there is the couple that lives in the apartment over the barn. They watch over my mare and all the horses 24/7. They turn out and bring in, feed and clean some stalls.

Then there are the young men that I see cleaning the stalls on the weekends and doing some odd chores around the barn.

Then I have my trainer and her daughter. OH MY!!! I know I’m missing someone. At my previous barn, the same person did it all; one gift and it was done.

What is the etiquette?

Yep!! You can Google it and get a ton of guides

Holiday Tipping Guide

Tipping Etiquette

Emily Post: Tip vs Gift

At the barn where my son works, boarders are asked to not tip. Instead, the staff is asked to post on the bulletin board a wish list of items they each might need. A few years ago my son needed a new leather halter so a few boarders chipped in and purchased that for him. It sounds like a nice enough idea but my son says making a list and posting it makes him feel very uncomfortable.  Last year he refused and much to his surprise he was showered with thoughtful and wonderful gifts.

In the past I tried to do a general barn gift like a hot water tank for the shower stall or new coffee maker for the viewing room and then do something homemade/baked and something to do with booze for the barn owner/trainer. One year I made a batch of spiced butter cubes, packaged them up and gave them with a nice bottle of rum for quick and easy hot buttered rums. Another year I gave my services for a week of cleaning and caring for the horses so the owner could go on vacation.

It was easier at the old barn since I had had a longer relationship, having been there for years. I’ve only have been at the new barn a couple of months and I dont know anyone too well.

So not to drive myself crazy or to the poor house, I’m hoping to come up with some meaningful and creative ideas.  Anyone have any great suggestions?

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