I am, of course, lusting after things in the SmartPak catalogue anyway. So what am I hoping I find under the tree (knowing full well that my family really doesn't give me horse stuff, with a handful of exceptions)?
1. IRH XR9 Helmet, $176.95 at SmartPak
My current helmet is an IRH Equilite. It's three years old and hasn't had any knocks on it; I replaced it after taking a dive at Scarlet Hill while schooling XC a few years ago. It is practical and sturdy and ugly as hell. The concept of something non-plastic that doesn't give me bubble-head makes my heart go pitter-patter.
2. SmartPak Winter Overpants, $84.95 at SmartPak
Yes, I have plenty of lined breeches and jeans and other warm layers for barn work. I do not currently own a pair of ski pants, though, and the idea of waterproof, windproof thick pants that I can wear while riding bareback this winter is tremendously appealing.
3. Polar Equine Inzone, $119.95 at SmartPak
I love me some stats, and the idea of a heart monitor I can wear on my wrist and use to check Tristan's fitness as we're going along? Droooooooool. It's actually not too terribly expensive for what it promises, either. Yes, I can darn well use a stethoscope and get a pulse when I hop off. You're missing the point. (Also, Tristan is legitimately difficult to pulse; even the barn manager had trouble doing it this summer.)
4. EquiFit Shoulders Back Lite, $46.95 at SmartPak
My posture is the actual worst. I promise it's worse than yours. I have Tall Girl Slumping Syndrome and I sit at a computer all day - not even a real computer, a laptop, because I move so frequently between offices. I've heard good things about these and I'd love to give it a try.
5. Baker Irish Weave Anti-Sweat, $104.95 at SmartPak
I borrow the barn's on a regular basis. There's nothing quite like 'em for wicking sweat. In cold weather, I put this as a bottom layer and then throw a wool sheet on over it. The very best for baths when it's a bit chilly, or when you'd just like to go home and stop walking your sweaty horse in circles, already. Again, there are plenty for me to borrow but sigh.