Checklist for a Comfortable Riding Vacation

horseback riding holiday checklist, what to bring on a horse riding vacation

By Shawn Hamilton

On any riding vacation, whether it’s camping or glamping, there are a few essentials that I always bring along.

For in the Saddle

  • Riding helmet — I always bring my own for comfort and safety
  • Riding boots — comfortable to ride and walk in, preferably waterproof
  • Riding gloves — leather or waterproof
  • Riding pants — I prefer riding in jodphurs instead of jeans
  • Riding chaps — either full or half or both depending on space and weather
  • Large brim hat for under helmet — or brim that fits onto helmet
  • Scarf or bandana for wind and/or dirt and sand and sometimes sun
  • Snacks — time between meals can be a little longer than I am used to
  • Snap or button-up long-sleeved cotton shirts — easier to open or take off
  • Tank tops for under shirts
  • Vest — an extra layer over a shirt if it’s cold
  • Rain jacket — not too hot or heavy; some outfitters supply them
  • Filter water bottle with clip to attach to saddle, easy to use with one hand
  • Fanny pack for snacks, camera, money, glasses, etc.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Camera with extra batteries, charger, and cards

Optional

  • Sheepskin saddle cover — make sure it fits the saddle you will be using

For After the Ride

  • Hat and gloves for cold nights 
  • Head lamp with extra batteries
  • Comfortable shoes to change into 
  • Flip flops for shower
  • Runners or hiking shoes
  • Enough underwear to change into a fresh pair after riding
  • Bathing suit and small towel
  • Quick dry shirts for swimming, etc.
  • Shammy towel and shampoo
  • Personal items in Ziplock bags in stuff sac
  • Stuff sacs for clothes 
  • Day pack
  • First aid necessities
  • Clothesline
  • Powerful flashlight
  • Bug repellent
  • Journal
  • Binoculars
  • Bandanas or gloves for guide gifts
  • Cash in proper currency for tips

Necessities

  • Patience and a sense of humour
  • Go with the flow — save your drama for your Mama!

Related: How to Choose Your Perfect Horseback Riding Vacation

Shawn Hamilton is a freelance equine photojournalist based in Ontario, Canada. She has operated Clix Photography since 1984, offering a full range of photography services for editorial and commercial use from health to Olympic sports. Her photography can be found on the covers and inside numerous magazines in Canada and the US, including Canadian Horse Journal. Shawn has co-authored four non-fiction children's books published by Scholastic Canada. Her written articles specialize in equestrian travel. www.ClixPhoto.com

Main image composite by Canadian Horse Journal

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