Holiday Gift Etiquette for Trainers

What do you get the person who made you put your Mean Girl Pants on this year? What do you get the person who made you put your Mean Girl Pants on this year?

Ah, the holiday season. I’m a known procrastinator, so I will be honest with you and tell you that I have barely begun shopping for the people on my list this year. Yes, I am aware that it is a week before Christmas. I will be the one at the mall on Christmas Eve scrambling to find gifts in the shortest amount of time possible.

One of the more difficult people on my list to shop for has always been my trainers over the years. What do you get the person who has seen you at your worst moments and who has coached you through every one? I’ve been privileged to benefit from the expertise of several trainers throughout my life, and I have come to realize that practicality is usually the way to go in this situation. So, I’ve decided to pass on a few tips for holiday shopping for your trainer:

1. Think necessity. 

In the midwest, the winters can get pretty nasty. One of my trainers hated being cold. She would bundle up in so many layers during winter lessons that I could barely recognize her. So one year, my barnmates and I decided to look into purchasing a fancy thermal coat for her so that she could actually move around while still staying warm. Another year, we helped purchase some items that she needed to put up at horse shows, such as director chairs and a banner with her logo on it. It is a good idea to think practical when you are shopping for your trainer. I’m sure they will thank you for being thoughtful enough to buy them something they need or could use in their everyday activities.

2. Should you tip?

I’m a big fan of tipping over the holidays. Maybe it’s because I worked in the service industry for so long that I just got used to the holiday generosity. So my hair dresser, doorman and pet sitter all get some sort of tip around this time of year. This can also carry over to your horse’s helpers: farriers, vets, chiropractors and even trainers. As horse people, we know that extra cash is hard to come by, so a tip always goes a long way when it comes to holiday gifts. All of the people who help us keep our equine partners happy and healthy are invaluable, and a token of appreciation will not go unnoticed.

3. Show your appreciation.

I am forever grateful for the training I have received over the years. A client-trainer relationship is a special one, and above all else, showing your appreciation for the hard work and dedication that your trainer puts into your training is the most important part of the holiday season. However you decide to show it, your trainer will certainly be grateful to have such caring clients who help them enjoy their jobs so much.

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