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Celebrating the Season

Host a holiday party for your barn buddies.

By Kimberly Abbott | December 2010 Extra

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Celebrate the holidays with your best equine friend with some tips from HorseChannel.comFriendly gatherings, and the colorful lights and decorations of the holiday season have a way of brightening spirits and warming up the frigid days of winter. If you want to celebrate the season with your equestrian friends, why not throw a barn party?

Where you host your holiday soiree, how you decorate and what types of food and activities you offer are limited only by your creativity. A warm lounge area at the barn might be the perfect spot for a get-together with your barn pals. You could also rent a banquet room at a restaurant or local country club, or host your party in the relaxing atmosphere of your own home.

Since all of your guests are passionate about horses, don't be afraid to go all out in creating a horse-themed event. Make it a potluck and ask each guest to bring a dish with a named related to horses, riding or any other aspect of equestrian life. Hold a horse-themed ornament exchange or tack swap, play horsey Pictionary or charades, or offer a craft, such as creating a stall sign.

Secret Santas can work really well for boarding stables. Have each participating boarder draw a name, then have everyone bring a small gift to the barn each week, with the final gift and the big reveal at your party. Gifts can be left in tack trunks or brush boxes, or hang stockings with each boarder's name in the tack room or lounge. Set a price limit and specify the frequency of Secret Santa gifts beforehand to make sure no one feels pressured to spend too much.

Click here for horsey, holiday gift ideas.

If you want to include your horses in the holiday fun, set up a stall decorating contest, with prizes such as grooming tools, horse treats or small, inexpensive horse-themed gift items. Just be careful about what types of decorations you use and where you hang them. If your horse can easily stick his head over the door and nibble on the garland and wreath you put up, it's best to hang them on the wall off to the side. Or create your own decorations made of materials that are non-toxic to your horse if he does inadvertently ingest them.

Click here for instructions on how to make an edible carrot wreath for your horse.

When the planning stage is complete, get the word out with horse-themed invitations. There is really no end to the fun you can have in hosting a barn party. These are just a few ideas to get you started. What kind of get-together would you plan for your equestrian pals?

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