Planning a riding holiday this summer? Whether its here in the UK or further afield, we know as experts in equestrian PR that packing the correct riding garments will ensure you enjoy your time in the saddle in the sunshine. The Equestrian PR Team share their top tips for packing with potential!
Think about the activities you will be doing during your horse holiday. If you are planning a ranch holiday or an intensive course of dressage lessons, your choice of riding clothing is going to be different (after all, that crystal embellished top you love to wear in your dressage training possibly won’t bring sparkle to your enjoyment for other activities on horseback) Look for practicality above garments that just look good.
Thinking A Head
Always pack your riding hat. You know it fits and is looked after. Taking your helmet on holiday is a sensible decision. Also, modern riding helmets are also very lightweight and along with a padded bag can be packed away in your luggage. As experts in equestrian PR we know that padded hat bags you get these days could even be carried onto the plane as hand luggage on most flights (but always check with your airline). The newer style helmets also have clever air ventilation to help keep you fresh when riding in hot temperatures so you won’t feel the heat or end up with a sweaty head.
The trend for technical riding wear means that riders can finally enjoy the same types of fabrics we find in other sports clothing. From riding leggings to technical base layers, choosing clothing that keeps you cool in the saddle and comfortable will ensure that you enjoy your riding holiday so much more. Padded riding specific underwear will help you cope with long periods spent in the saddle (if you are pony trekking) and technical fabrics which will keep you cool and wick away moisture away from your skin.
Don’t forget to protect your skin in the sun: Long sleeves will help protect your shoulders and arms from the sun and also the back of your neck, and a great pair of lightweight gloves not only ensure that however hot or sweaty your hands get, you will always retain a good grip. Wearing gloves will also protect your hands from burning in the sun. Ideally, choose a top with a high neck to protect the back of your neck from the sun. On exposed skin, apply plenty of waterproof high factor suncream or block.
We know as experts in equestrian PR that packing your favourite pair of boots will also help you feel more at home in the saddle abroad. However, if you are spending hours in the seat enjoying the incredible scenery, a pair of short boots and chaps might be a better choice than your tall leather riding boots. And if you are taking your tall boots think about wearing them on the plane with a pair of skinny jeans. We know as experts in equestrian PR that equestrian style is back for autumn, and you’ll be saving space in your suitcase too!
Whatever The Weather
You’ll want to enjoy your horsey holiday, so ensure you take clothing that you can wear in the rain or sunshine. A lightweight waterproof jacket is worth packing along with lightweight layers but avoid fabrics which rustle and any hoods which could flap around in the wind and spook the horse.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
Finally, we asked Holly Anthony, Director of Far & Ride Horse Riding Holidays for her advice on booking a riding holiday:
“When it comes to choosing a riding holiday, it depends on whether people are looking to book directly with a stables or via an agency.” Explains Holly,
“If booking with an agency then customers can check for ABTA/ABTOT/ATOL membership as that is a good indicator of a reputable company – customers booking directly with a stables will not have the added financial protection which comes with an agency booking. Customers can also search for reviews or also check out their social media accounts for the agency or the stables themselves. Activity on social media, including searching relevant hashtags, is a good way to see how active the company/establishment is and also to find photographs showing the horses – people can then get an idea of the condition and care of the horses and perhaps find some posts from actual customers as well.”
And what about riding abroad?
“If researching a stables abroad then they don’t need to be discounted because they don’t have formal accreditation (such as being BHS members) but customers should still check that the proprietor has the appropriate insurances and is using experienced guides. It can also be useful to know how long the establishment has been up and running.”
With the internet being most riders’ first search option, what else should they look out for?
“If searching on the internet then check what packages include before you try and direct comparison – riding holiday packages vary wildly from self-catering trips to trail programmes or luxury safaris for which absolutely everything is included. Some agencies offer flights and some don’t so be sure to clarify what you are getting for your money! Also be sure to select packages which are suitable for your level of experience – question the stables or agency if you are in any doubt, so as to not endanger yourself, the horses or fellow riders (an agency will be able to guide you towards suitable programmes if you are in any doubt). Keep an eye on the type of saddle they use too as it can be hard to relax and adjust to tack if it’s not what you are used to. ”