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


  • 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


  • 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

Check out more Holidays on Horseback.

Read more by Shawn Hamilton

Main image composite by Canadian Horse Journal


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Equine Studies Online — with Equine Guelph and the University of Guelph Open Ed

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