The holiday season is quickly approaching! You'll soon get to spend time with family, friends, and other loved ones. But don't forget about your ho-ho-horses. Here are some fun ways to incorporate them into the holiday festivities.
1. Carol on Horseback
I used to do this every year around Christmas. A group of riders and I would go around a neighborhood. We would braid red and green ribbons in the horse’s hair to look festive. One of us, usually the one with the smallest/calmest horse, would ring the doorbell. Then, they would run back to the herd. Once the door was opened, we would organize ourselves and sing a tune with our what I'm sure are subpar voices. It brought holiday cheer to everyone though. Adults always got a kick out of our carols and children were elated to pet Christmas horses. Personally, I loved laughing and singing with the group. It’s a great way to desensitize a horse on a trail as well.
2. Ugly Sweater Competition
Ugly sweater competitions have taken the world by storm. It’s hard to walk into any given department store and not see a cheery eyesore. It's great fun to get riders together for this small activity. You can have them parade around in an arena while a few judges vote on the ugliest sweater and you can even offer prizes for different categories. For example, you can give a prize for “Looks Most Like a Reindeer” or “Has Most the Holiday Spirit”. The options are endless!
3. Dress the Horses Up
This can coincide with the Ugly Sweater Competition and caroling. There are so many ways to dress up your horse for the holidays! Here are a few ways you can transform your furry friend:
- You can buy Christmas hats made especially for horses. They fit over one ear and attach to a halter or bridle. And trust me when I say, they are just too cute.
- You can paint glitter on to their hoofs. Many companies sell hoof polish with glitter in it. There are many colors to choose from and it goes on just like nail polish.
- You can braid ribbon/tinsel into their mane or tail. I think this one makes your horse really pop. It is easy to attach a ribbon to a strand of hair and plait away.
4. Deck the Stalls
If you can find a way to decorate the barn, do it! Here are a few ideas on how to create your own western winter wonderland:
- Hang lights on the barn roof. Make sure they are not easily broken, so they can not cause a fire.
- Decorate a wreath and hang it above the doorway. I would make it horse themed to fit the area.
- Cut snowflakes out of paper and hang them on the walls.
- While you're at it, find a place for a very small Christmas tree. They are adorable!
5. Have a Barn Christmas party
Who doesn’t love parties? I know I love seeing everyone enjoy the holidays together. It might be fun to throw a barn party. Here are some ideas to make your Christmas event awesome:
- Try to spice up the get together with holiday candies and hot chocolate!
- Ask attendees to bring a yummy dish.
- Pay some classic Christmas tunes. Let the dancing—and subpar singing—begin!
- If there is snow, everyone can go sledding.
- Have attendees go on a winter trail ride together. This would be a great time to pursue the caroling idea.
- Schedule a small Christmas competition. Make sure you have candy or horse-themed prizes on hand!
- Have Party-goers bring a Secret Santa a gift. This one requires you to assign people to each other.
6. Give your Horse a Present
This gift just keeps on giving because you get something too. Your horse is your best friend year-round. It’s time to show your appreciation with a bag of treats or a pretty new halter.
Happy Holidays! We hope everyone is staying warm and cozy this winter.