The survival guide for riding holidays

  • When heading off for any horse riding holidays it’s vital that you are prepared and make sure you bring the right kit with you. There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable when you are riding across the range or on safari.

    Riding clothing is vitally important and comfortable jodhpur boots and half chaps are ideal. If you can travel with a spare pair of jodhpur boots so much the better. Three pairs of jodhpurs should sufficient for a week, and if you are holidaying in hot climates they must be made of cotton or a fabric which breathes.

    If you are not used to riding long distances tights will protect the knees, as will elasticated knee supports. The purchase of endurance jodhpurs, which are padded at the knees, crotch and backside, may also prove a worthwhile investment.

    Long-sleeved shirts will help prevent sunburn, and a useful tip is to carry a neckerchief, which can be damped down to keep you cool. A riding hat with air vents will help keep your head cool in the sun. Check whether riding Western style with a soft hat will invalidate your insurance before going down that route.

    The temperature can plummet overnight, especially if you are camping out under the stars, so it is important to be prepared for this. T-shirts, pullovers, quilted waistcoats and warm coats are vital, but don’t pack your smartest clothes as you will just wreck them.

    Your travel operator will always send you a list of essential items and travelling light is the way to go but ALWAYS take a towel, a torch and spare batteries, Imodium (two packets), painkillers, sticking plasters, a knife, piece of string for emergency repairs, photocopy of your passport and any other important documents (and carry them separately), some of your favourite sweets, your own soap and shampoo, small binoculars, and a digital camera.

    Finally, don’t build up the holiday too much in your mind. Be realistic and remember, camping is great fun but it does involve changing your mind-set and readjusting to a basic way of living. Just take it one day at a time and get as much out of every hour as you possibly can. The time will fly by and it is impossible to take in all the wonderful scenery and experiences in one go. You need to take time out to savour the moment.

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