When I was still in the initial bonding phase with Clay (which drug on foreeeeever. Ponies love to play hard-to-get, I'm telling you), I was really jealous of how much Clay seemed to love Callae.
It made sense–I was the person who came around to work his little butt, and she was the person who came around with DELICIOUS YUMMIES twice a day. I even thought about bringing him home to my house because I wanted so badly to be the one to feed him and consequentially be his most favoritest.
Over time, though, he grew to love me–and I didn't even have to buy his love with food! Ha! And how lucky for him that he gets to have TWO ladies who he loves and who love him! In Clay's eyes, Callae's charms lie in her religious feeding of his hungry pony belly but in my eyes she is so much more. I feel so lucky every day to board at a barn where the owner is so on-top of it, compassionate, generous and knowledgeable. She make me feel that my horse is in great hands and she truly wants what's best for him, and that is a really priceless feeling.
What to do for such an important person for the holidays? Here are some ideas.
1. A really good pair of insulated muck boots (bonus points–they double as riding boots!), because she spends her days ankle-deep in mud and manure.
2. The calendar idea from this gift guide, to hang in the barn tack-room.
3. A gift-certificate for a massage, a dinner at her favorite restaurant, a pedicure, or something else you know she'd love but wouldn't do for herself.
4. A sporty cellphone arm-band (it also attaches to a belt or can hang around the neck), so she can take it along on trail-rides.
5. A subscription to a through-the-mail snack service, or a basket full of healthy (homemade, if you're good like that) snacks to keep on hand–because she loves good food and needs to keep her energy up all day long, but manages to somehow live mostly off of total junk (Combos and Pepsi for breakfast???)
6. A keepsake or ornament made with her horse's hair.
7. A beautiful custom stall-plate for her competition horse, to take with to shows.
8. A custom (monogrammed, perhaps) saddle cover, because she is still searching all over the barn for the one she lost a year ago...
9. A heart-felt note thanking her for all she does every day for you and your horse.