Ever since I rode my first pony, a horse was at the top of my holiday wish list, and every year my parents shot down my idea. Now I am a mother to a horse-crazy kid, and even though I would happily buy her a horse every year for her birthday AND Christmas, my husband is not quite on board with that idea. So, instead, I find horse-themed gifts for her, and she loves them almost as much as a real horse.
For the horse-crazy kid in your life, here are 21 gift ideas to fuel their passion for all-things equestrian.
If owning a horse is not in your family’s budget, riding lessons are a great way for your horse-crazy kid to get a weekly dose of horses. Check Facebook, Craigslist, and local classifieds for qualified riding instructors who are comfortable teaching children.
Take lots of pictures of your child’s riding lessons and put them in a photo album (buy it here) to give them as a gift next holiday season. Even now, at age 35, I have my early riding lesson photos framed in a spot where I can look at them often.
Attend a Horse Event
For my 11th and 12th birthdays, my mom took me to see the Lipizzaner stallions perform. These were great memories for both of us that we still talk about. If a performance is not available in your area, consider taking your child to audit a clinic in a discipline that interests them, or attend a rodeo.
Unfortunately, I cannot spend every minute on a horse, so the next best thing is reading about horses. As a kid, I spent hours reading the Saddle Club (buy it here) and Thoroughbred (buy it here) series books. No matter what age your kid is, a book is a great gift. These are my favorite horse books by age:
Up to age 3: Little Horse Finger Puppet Book
Age 3 to 7: I Wanna Be a Cowgirl
Age 7 to 10: For Horse Crazy Girls Only
Age 10 to 13: Misty of Chincoteague
Age 13 to 18: The Eighty Dollar Champion
Whenever we have a thunderstorm, my daughter loves cuddling under blankets and watching movies. We both love horse movies, and a kid can never have too many in their collection. These are some good, family-friendly options for all ages:
Hooded Horse Blanket
The perfect gift to go with a movie! With cold winter days head, this hooded horse blanket (buy it here) is perfect for keeping the chill away.
Cell Phone Case
If your kid is old enough to have their own cell phone, a new horse-themed cell phone case is a great gift. You can find slim silicone cases (buy it here) or wallet-style ones (buy it here). Add some port protectors (buy it here) and a screen protector (buy it here) for extra protection against dust.
If your kid is always at the barn, get them an OtterBox (buy it here). This is what I use, and it protected my phone even when I dropped it and the horse stepped on it.
Every horse needs to be brushed, and kids are the best grooms. A good grooming kit like this one from Weaver Leather (buy it here) will provide hours of bonding time.
Horse Adventure Dry Erase Board
Two gifts in one! This wall art opens to reveal a hidden dry erase board, perfect for passing along secret messages. Buy it here.
My brothers and I were Monopoly addicts as kids, with games often lasting for days. For the horse-crazy kid, Horse-Opoly (buy it here) gives the classic game a fun equestrian spin.
Jeans and a hoodie are my daughter’s go-to outfit, and a hoodie is even better if it has a horse on it! A hoodie (buy it here) is perfect for school or the barn, and it goes with breeches or jeans.
A T-shirt is another wardrobe staple perfect for horse-crazy kids. ThisWear makes a cute Love Horses long sleeve T-shirt (buy it here) and Carhartt (buy it here) has another super cute “Rise and Ride” option. If short sleeves are better in your climate, Carhartt also has cute short sleeved designs (buy it here). Carhartt clothes last forever in our house and are a great value for the money.
Whether your kid rides regularly or just dreams about life in the saddle, Western boots are a great gift. These are functional and protective no matter where your kid wears them (essential here in rattlesnake country). Unless your kid has very narrow feet, look for a boot with a square or round toe. Durango (buy it here) and Roper (buy it here) have both been very durable for us.
Your western outfit really is not complete until you have the hat. I love this gender-neutral brown felt hat (buy it here).
Journaling is a good habit to start at a young age and has numerous mental health benefits. It reduces stress, helps you know yourself better, clarifies your thoughts, and helps you use both sides of your brain to solve problems. A horse-themed journal (buy it here) and some good pens like Pilot G2 (buy it here) encourages your young equestrian to write regularly.
Want to start a riding journal for yourself? Read How to Achieve your Goals with a Riding Journal.
If your horse lover is age 5 or under, a Hopping Horse (buy it here) is a great way to burn energy and encourage imagination. I wish they made these in adult size!
For my 12th birthday, my dad really tried to find me a watch with a horse on it. Instead he bought me a moon phase watch (buy it here) that I still have and love, but I never stopped wanting a horse watch. In this age of digital technology, kids have lost the basic skill of telling time on an analog clock, so a watch is a great way to reinforce that essential skill.
For little girls, Ravel sells a cute watch, necklace, and bracelet set (buy it here).
For older kids, Timest has a classy mare and foal watch (buy it here).
For responsible teenagers who love brand-name gear, go with Coach. Coach is always classy and will last a lifetime. (Buy it here)
My daughter has loved to put things in bags ever since she was a baby, and I always need another good tote bag. canvas tote bags (buy it here) are perfect for everything from the beach to the library.
If owning a real horse is not in your immediate plans, a Breyer horse is a good substitute. These last a lifetime and give your kid endless hours of pretend play. (Buy it here)
If vet school is in your teenager’s future, get them the Visible Horse (buy it here). I got to put one together in college, and it was a great tool for learning anatomy.
My grandmother gave me jewelry for most of my birthdays and holidays, and now that she is gone I really treasure these little pieces. I wear one almost every day. I have one horse necklace she bought me when I was 12, and even though it does not have great monetary value, it is extremely valuable to me. I love these unique Southwestern style horse necklaces (buy it here) or you could go with a classic horseshoe for good luck (buy it here).
Yes, the most boring of all gifts, but a gift certificate is never the wrong size. For the young horse lover, State Line Tack is my favorite online store for everything horse-related. Click the banner below to get your e-gift certificate.
Give with Love
Whether you are a horse person yourself, or just love a horse-crazy kid, choose a gift for them based on their passions. I was a horse-crazy kid in a non-horse family, and even then I really appreciated any time one of my family members gave me a horse gift. It showed they listened to me and were willing to fuel my passion even though I could not get a real horse. The best gifts are the ones given with love.
What are your horse-crazy kid’s favorite gifts? Let me know in the comments below!
Welcome! I've been a freelance writer since 2002 and have numerous horse-related articles published in print and online publications. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Rocky Mountain College with a major in Equestrian Studies and a minor in Business Management. My current business ventures include High Plains Arena and real estate investing.