Horsey Finds on Etsy
Leslie Potter |
December 4, 2013
It's December, and if you celebrate Christmas, you've got less than three weeks to do all your shopping, wrapping, fretting, and otherwise stressing out for this year's holiday. I try not to get swept up in the madness—you'll never catch me at a black Friday sale—but gift-giving is always stressful. I want to pick out something thoughtful and unique for everyone rather than just buying a gift for a gift's sake and contributing to the future clutter of my friends and family. But it's not easy.
I lamented my lack of gift-giving skills to a friend recently, and she replied that she'd gotten her shopping done early thanks in large part to Etsy. If you're not familiar, Etsy is an online marketplace of sorts for all types of crafters. You'll find unique works of art, handmade apparel and unusual antiques. Some of them are incredibly creative and beautiful. Some are, well, different. But that's the glory of a site like Etsy. You never know what you'll find.
Following in my friend's footsteps, I visited the site to attempt to find awesome Christmas presents for everyone on my list, and was immediately distracted by the horse stuff. No one in my family rides or owns horses, so I really have no excuse for this sidetrip through the virtual craft fair, except to share my finds with you, the HorseChannel.com audience. You're welcome.
There are a lot of sellers offering up these wall decals designed to adorn the walls of some lucky child's bedroom. Some are just a horse, others are a horse with the child's name, then there are ones like the one pictured: a horse with a pithy quote attached. I think I would have gone nuts for this when I was a kid (or, you know, now.) Supposedly they are removable.
I really like these hand painted horse brushes, which the artist can paint to order with barn colors and the horse's name. I can't imagine parting with the asking price of $95 for a set of four brushes, and if I did, I would never want to take them to the barn and risk ruining the artistry. But they are available in singles for as low as 30 bucks (20 for a small face brush), and for that price it might be a cute year-end award trophy or something. My brushes all have "SNOOPY" scrawled on them in Sharpie, and that fades over time. This is a much classier option.
If you're pretty crafty yourself and just need some inspiration, here's a downloadable crochet pattern for a horse hat. That is, a hat that looks like a horse, not a hat for your horse (although…) Select your colors and you can have a dignified chestnut or go all out and make it into a rainbow unicorn. I also ran across the finished product in another Etsy shop, so if you like the hat but hate to crochet, fear not.
Here's an idea I wish I'd thought of back when Snoopy still wore shoes. When they get worn out and your farrier can't reuse them, sell them on Etsy as "lucky horseshoes." Come to think of it, I still come across wayward shoes out in the pasture sometimes. Maybe I should start collecting them and make my millions. To be fair, this person is only selling them for $3.84, so it's not like anyone's getting hosed here. In fact, since barns are churning out old horseshoes all the time, and there are plenty of people who don't have horses but do love western/rustic décor, this is a pretty good idea.
Okay, so, you probably don't want to give your loved ones a plain old rusty horseshoe for Christmas, but if you make something out of them, they go from trash to art. There are countless ways that skilled craftspeople put horseshoes to use as something more. Here's a sampling:
I love this one from Blacksmith Creations. They take old horseshoes and make them into tie rings, basically recycling barn trash into a barn tool.
I'm not sure what to make of this carved horse skull. It's an amazing work of art done, apparently, by artists in Indonesia. The result is beautiful and also somewhat alarming. I guess people decorate their western-themed rooms with old cow skulls, but I don't know. It's impressive to look at, but I'm not sure that I'd want to have it in my house. But maybe someone on your Christmas list would.
If you believe everything you see on TV, jewelry is always the perfect gift for the women in your life. Maybe it's also the perfect gift for your mare. One Etsy shop is selling equine jewelery, including mane ornaments, necklaces and bracelets. There's something appealing about decorating one's horse with fabulous accessories, but I'm just not sure what the appropriate occasion for such accoutrements would be. A parade, maybe? Group trail ride with friends?
George Morris clinic?
This is only a small sampling of the equestrian items on Etsy. If you are fortunate enough to have some horsey types on your list, it's worth taking a look. If you find something good, tell us about it in the comments section below.
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Horsey Finds on Etsy