Having been on a couple of very different Ranch holidays I have learnt, the hard way, what to take!
This list is good regardless of climate or time of year; just add or remove layers as required.
Let's start at the bottom and work our way up!
A good quality pair of riding boots, which means they need to have high shaft approx 10/11 inch. This will protect your legs from any brush you may ride through. A western boot is definitely best if going on a Western Riding holiday - don't be shy!
No! your M&S, Diesel, other high street jean won't cut it. Whether you are going to Dude ranch or a full on working ranch you will be spending a significant amount of time in the saddle. Your high street jeans are going to make you miserable.
You are looking for a pair of riding jeans, they will be higher in the back to prevent gapping, they will have extra belt loops (also to prevent gapping), they will be a little longer than regular jeans so that they don't ride up your leg when riding. Most importantly they will have a soft inseam so that they don't rub. Yes, many years ago Wrangler cornered the market with the flat/invisible inseam but the world has moved on! You can have a visible inseam and ladies this is desirable as it makes your legs look longer. Modern jeans will use soft stitching and sew the seam flatter to make you you look good while being comfortable.
Shirts & Tops:
Have some fun and get into the spirit of your riding adventure, here you can buy from the high street... that said a 'proper' western shirt will have some features that you won't get from the high street. They are longer in the body so that they stay tucked in, the arms are a little bit longer so they stay at your wrists when riding and some have great tech especially for riding, such as SPF protection and tailoring that ensures freedom of movement.
Even in hot climates long sleeves are a good idea, they'll give you extra protection from the sun and from biting bugs.
Check your insurance and the with the holiday provider, many will require you to wear a safety hat; in fact your own sense of self preservation may require you to wear a safety hat. If you do choose a hat that is not a safety one, then make sure it fits well and won't come off in the wind or when your galloping through inspiring landscapes, hats that come off can be a real drag.
- Good quality gloves, these aren't just for cold climates rope burn hurts!
- Long socks, that stay up!
- Warm clothing to wear under shirts in cold climates.
That's it, you are all set.
Let us know what other essentials you take on riding holidays in the comments?