The exact items recommended for your Riding Holiday will naturally depend on your destination. Regardless of whether you are going on a safari in Kenya, or a winter ride in Finland, the key factors to remember are comfort and safety.
Essential Packing List
1) Riding Helmet/Hat
It is highly recommended that you take a properly fitting riding hat that meets current EU/British Standards with you on your holiday. Some destinations have hats available for riders to borrow, but this should always be confirmed prior to departure, and remember the fit and quality can't always be guaranteed. If you are riding in a hot climate, a lighter-weight helmet with vented sides is ideal.
2) Riding Footwear
Once again, safe and comfortable footwear is very important on your check list. Short ankle length riding boots are ideal and can be combined with half-chaps if required. Whether you are galloping through Botswanan Delta or trekking through Transylvania, short boots are usually considered more comfortable. They are lighter and easier to pack, and dry out faster if they get wet. There are several makes of footwear on the market that are dual purpose riding/hiking boots. These are fantastic, especially if you are likely to spend time out of the saddle, walking in rough terrain.
3) Riding Trousers
A couple of pairs of riding trousers, jeans or jodhpurs are a must on your list. Ideally take your usual, well-worn riding attire, and combine with half-chaps to help prevent any uncomfortable chaffing. Jeans are great for Western Riding but the thicker inside leg seams can cause problems if you are not familiar with riding in them. Comfort over fashion!
4) Important Extras
Sun Protection: Regardless of climate, take a suitable factor sun-screen or sunblock and a good quality UV lip balm and sunglasses. You will be very exposed to the elements.
Riding Gloves: Even hardened riding hands can become sore after hours of riding. You will be using unfamiliar tack which may cause blistering and your hands may become cold and wet. They also aid grip.
Camera: You will no doubt have many new experiences to capture on film. Don't forget your charger but remember, you may not have access to electricity, so a spare set of batteries is a must!
Binoculars: Particularly if you are on safari!
Toiletries: Check what is provided before you travel. A small pack or wetwipes or similar are an ideal addition.
Insect Repellent: Dependent on destination.
Torch: If you are on a tented safari or a mobile trail ride, a torch is a great add-on.
Drinking Container: If your ride doesn't provide you with one, remember to pack a water bottle.
Medical Kit: This will vary according to destination but a small kit containing any prescription medication, plus antiseptic wipes, plasters, ibuprofen & antihistamines (if advisable) and rehydration sachets plus other medication such as Anti-Malaria tablets as recommended.
Addition items may be required depending on the type of holiday you have chosen. From waterproofs and camping equipment to lightweight safari clothes and swimwear, your hosts will usually be more than happy to advise you of what you should take.