If you are planning a holiday in the saddle, then you’ll need to plan your riding wardrobe with care and one that’s relevant to your planned activities. For example, if you are preparing for an intensive dressage or showjumping break, then your choice of boots and breeches is going to be different to that of a ranch holiday.
First things first, take your riding hat with you. You know the history of your hat, and you know it fits. Taking your helmet with you is one less thing to worry about and most helmets these days are incredibly lightweight and can be easily packed in their padded bag and could even be carried as hand luggage on most flights. The newer style helmets also have clever air ventilation to help keep you cool when riding in hot temperatures.
Your base layer choices are also going to be key for keeping cool and comfortable in the saddle. Choose riding specific underwear that will be comfortable for long periods spent in the saddle and technical fabrics which will keep you cool and wick away moisture away from your skin. Long sleeves will help protect your shoulders and arms from the sun, and a great pair of lightweight competition gloves will give you a good grip on the reins and again protect your hands from burning. Ideally, choose a top with a high neck to protect the back of your neck from the sun. A technical competition shirt could be an excellent lightweight choice and more comfortable than cotton in the heat.
If you are choosing a riding holiday where your time is going to be spent trekking, selecting a pair of boots that you can both ride and relax in might be a better option than a long pair of fitted stiff leather riding boots. There are some great styles out there designed for time spent in the saddle, as well as life away from the horse. Consider these as an option as they are going to be far more useful for saving room in your case (you can wear on the plane with jeans to save valuable space) than traditional riding boots or a pair of jodhpur boots and chaps might also offer an easier packing solution as well.
When it comes to your choice of legwear, personal preference, performance and comfort are going to be important in varying degrees dependent on your choice of holiday, so choose wisely with this in mind.
Packing for the weather is also important, so while you might be heading for the sun, don’t forget that they do occasionally get downpours abroad (yes, we know?). A lightweight waterproof jacket is a must, but avoid noisy fabrics and hoods which could flap around in the wind and spook your horse.
Finally, if you are unsure of what to wear or take, ask your holiday company for some advice. With their wealth of experience, they’ll easily be able to guide you on what to pack to ensure you get the most enjoyment in the saddle and (hopefully) in the sun!