SmartPak Holiday Traditions
From the SmartPak family to yours, we hope you’ve had a great holiday season!
Our team gathered their favorite memories and photos from this year and holidays past to share with you. Do you have any holiday traditions with your four-legged family? Whether it’s lighting candles or decking the stalls, we want to hear about them.
“My daughter and I have an annual tradition of foxhunting together – we have been foxhunting for several seasons in Southern California. It is a BLAST!”
“My favorite holiday memory with my horse, Tiger, was going Christmas caroling through the local neighborhoods with some of my barn friends. We dressed the horses up in tinsel and bows and rode up and down the streets singing some holiday classics. It was a blast having people come outside to watch and a great way to enjoy the Christmas season with our horses!”
“I love dressing my horses up for festive holiday photos to put on my Christmas cards. My barn also has this awesome tradition that we call secret snowman where we decorate each other’s cubbies and leave little surprise gifts. It’s so fun and really helps to get into the holiday spirit. This year my barn is also bringing back a Christmas challenge, which I have never participated in before, so I am very excited. It’s a surprise what the challenge is but rumor is it has something to do with a jump that has flashing lights. I can’t wait!”
“My traditional Christmas Eve or Christmas morning addition which is warm sugar-free beet pulp, some cinnamon, apples, carrots, and peppermints. The horses love getting their special “Christmas Soup” and we love listening to them slurping it up 😊 It’s a little heavy on sugary treats, so our metabolic friends get a version with just the warm beet pulp and cinnamon ❤ This tradition was one my mom had with her own horse growing up and she passed it on to me and my sister when we celebrated our first Christmas with our own horse at home 20 years ago. We’ve been fortunate to not have a Christmas without horses since then and we do it every year in our own barns.”
“Before he was retired, I rode my Arabian in the annual Christmas parade, usually wearing antlers, themed saddle pad and blanket, and of course glitter on his hooves. He always seemed to enjoy the attention even if the pace of the parade was a bit slow for him. Stopping for peppermints from the crowd seemed to help. At my old camp and lesson barn, we held a stall decorating contest with the kids, who would bring wrapping paper and all sorts of decorations to festoon their favorite horse’s stall. These days, we still hang stockings on the stalls and on Christmas day, we bake something sweet for the horses and enjoy handing it out with their breakfast.”
I love the holidays because I dress my three hounds in matching clothing and force them to take festive photos! Here are Sage, Sawyer and Sevy wearing their Horseware Newmarket Fleece Dog Coats that they absolutely love for the cooler months. We have a lot of fun playing out in the snow!
“Before I had kids, I brought my mini, Studley, to our shopping mall to get his picture taken with Santa! It was such a fun evening- all of the barn kids came, his picture appeared in a local newspaper and the mall’s website! He was a local celebrity that Christmas!”
Growing up, I asked for a pony every year for Christmas. So of course, when I bought one for myself at 22, the poor guy had to fulfill years of childhood dreams and get decked out in festive attire for our first Christmas together. It turned into an annual tradition, and over the past 5 years Enzo, my now 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, has worn everything from Santa hats to jingly reindeer antlers to wreaths. Luckily, he is a very good sport and happily poses for holiday photos in exchange for cookies (Dimples are his favorite!).
“My favorite holiday tradition with my horses is to decorate their stall. You’re never too old to add Christmas lights, a stocking, and a giant bow on their stall.”