Finding the Perfect Horse Lovers Gift Have You Stumped ?
Mind Mapping to the Rescue!

Using Mind Mapping to find the perfect horse lovers gift can give you some interesting (and sometimes wierd) results...

Here's a little process to try, especially if you really have no idea of what to get for your horse lover. It's a brainstorming tool used by large corporations searching for ideas to increase productivity, gain a competitive edge, or just to stay in business.

The process? Mind Mapping and it works like this.

Mind Map

  • Draw a circle in the middle of a blank sheet of paper (8 1/2 x 11 is fine) and write Horse inside the circle.
    Some suggest a picture (of a horse in this case)works best but just the word will work fine.

  • Draw half-a-dozen or so "spokes" out from your circle, each a couple of inches in length.

  • Think of several horse-related (one or two word) subjects. Write one subject at the end of each spoke.
    Let your mind roam free, put down what comes to mind.

  • For each of these subjects, think of some related items. These may be actual gift ideas but don't have to be.
    Again, let your mind roam free.

  • By now you may have between 20 or more subjects listed.
    You can carry it a level or two further if you want for one or more of the items on your sheet of paper - or ten levels ( but you will need wall space for that).

Eventually you'll hit on one or more ideas for a
"You Did GOOD" horse lovers gift!

An Example

To see where Mind Mapping can take you, say your first group of ideas were horseback, horse head, equestrian, horse feathers, horse care, and horse shoes.

Lets pick the latter. For horse shoes you might come up with old horse shoes, horse shoe book ends, farriers, home decor items (made from horse shoes), etc.. Maybe your gift idea is a coat rack or TP holder made from horseshoes. Look at "old horse shoes" and think of what you could do with one as a gift idea (maybe paint it for hanging on the barn door or over the front door).

The ideas go on and on. Horse head leads to to bridles, halters, hats, and sculpture, horsefeathers to blankets, pillows and other items of home decor.

About 80% of the subjects you come up with will likely lead nowhere, another 15% or so will show some promise, and in the remaining 5% you might find one or two ideas that are gems. In the mind mapping process, "useless and dumb" are OK; no one is testing you and the secret to success is really quantity of ideas rather than quality. Often the "dumb" idea triggers the though process leading to the "gem".

You sometimes have to sift through quite a bit of sand and gravel before finding a nugget.

What you finally come up with might be a very typical idea for a horse gift, nothing at all wrong with that, or you may end up with something totally-off the wall yet practical, fun, or beautiful.

Other Uses

Of course you can use mind mapping for other than horse lovers gift ideas. Just ask, "what is a passion of the intended recipient?" and go from there. It won't always be easy, but it usually does work. For a gift for a "marine biologist" the path might be: marine - seawater- starfish: the result - necktie with starfish design.

Oops! bad example.

Happy Mind Mapping!

P. S. If you would like to pursue the topic of mind mapping , for a horse lovers gift or for any other reason, , the folks at James Cook University from Down Under have put together some excellent how-to articles on the subject.

Copyright © 2006 W. Savage. All Rights Reserved.

William "Bill" Savage, a retired, engineer lives on the Goose Bay Ranch in Montana where he spends time with family, horses, and his web site -

Back to Top of Page

Back to Your Guide to Gifts for Horse Lovers Home Page