Are you thinking of doing for a horse riding trip? Then you will find the following tips very uses. They will help you avoid the hassles and pain of making the wrong choices and preparations for a few days of horse riding.
If you are going for any trip, you need to have an idea of the destination and the tour operators available. In most cases, the tour guides will dictate where you are to visit. Whichever the case, you also need to make sure that you are up for the ride. So start with confirming your level of riding skills and knowledge before you delve into the specifics of the trip. In so doing, you will not have to conform to the trip selections the tour operators choose if you are not adequately skilled. The trip is not worth placing you in dangerous situations.
If you are thinking of a wildlife safari in Africa, then do not have a horseback ride along the same lines; are you sure you can handle the horse if it’s spooked by a lion or charging animal? Similarly, the mountain trips on horseback can be frightening, the great heights up the mountain while navigating narrow trails is already scary enough.
When it comes to the equipment you should ask yourself do your carry yours or will the tour guide provide them and what standards should you expect. For instance, hard hats are mandatory gear when on horseback irrespective of the kind of terrain you to traverse. The hats are meant to protect your head from injuries in case you are thrown off the horse to the ground. So, are you willing to take such risks more so because you are to traverse an unfamiliar territory?
Saddlebags are the other essential gear to consider besides the hard hats. You need somewhere to keep your water bottle, camera, and other items. The bags should, therefore, be big enough to carry all your essentials and should be soft-sided duffle bags whether they are to be on a horse or donkey.
Also, inquire if the tour operators provide waterproof boots and chaps or are you expected to buy these things so that you can enjoy the experience a comfy horse ride.
Pick your garments carefully to ensure they are suited for riding. Riding jeans, for instance, may seem like an ideal choice, but your luggage should not comprise of riding attire if your entire trip will not only be about riding.
You can consider replacing jodhpurs with walking trousers with a flat seam, but the pants may ride up your legs causing them to chafe on the stirrup leathers. Most men find it uncomfortable because the leather snaps their leg hairs.
Therefore, invest in a good pair of chaps that offers ample leg covering. You do not have to do the complete cowboy ensemble; you can settle for half-chaps that cover your legs from below the knees to the ankles. Confirm whether you chap are provided for the trip, or you have to buy yours.
Proper riding boots are a must, and they should have a stiff sole and a notable heel. Walking boots can also be a suitable alternative but ensure they can fit the stirrup to avoid the risk of having your foot caught in the event of an accident.
Take Riding Lessons
Some refresher lessons are essential if it has been quite some time since you last rode a horse. The lessons are equally valuable if you are a newbie or not a seasoned horse rider. The lessons will help you avoid getting saddle sore by lengthening your leg muscles to condition them for the horse riding pose for several hours.
It the trip will see you go up and down different terrains, then you will need to know how to shift your weight to help the horse maintain its balance. Trotting is a common thing when on horseback, and thus you should learn how to bring your weight off and back onto the saddle gently. You and the horse will be uncomfortable from the continuous up and down banging.
Let the length of the trip govern our preparations as you take into account the terrain, your experience, and how long you will spend riding each day. For instance, riding 2 or 3 times a week 1 -2 hours each is beneficial if your trek is 5 – 7 days. Such a schedule will help you avoid saddle soreness and give the horse ample resting time.
Taking the riding lesson will build your confidence when on horseback in an unknown territory and will improve your balance and response to situations. You at least should be able to remain comfortable when trotting or walking the horse depending on the trek’s schedule or requirements. The same applies when you have to do jumps, cantering, or when galloping.
Camera – A Must Or Not?
In as much as taking photos on your trip will be something necessary for you, you should take time to consider the logistics of such an arrangement. How will you hold a big DSLR camera while riding or let along when the horse is stationary? The camera bouncing on your chest are you ride will also not be a comfortable experience.
If you really do feel that a camera is a must, then pick a suitable one and ensure that the saddlebag has a section provided for keeping your camera secure and within reach. You can as well opt to use your phone’s camera to capture those fun moments. Just make sure you take pictures one-handed so that your other hand is gripping the reins.
Check Your Travel Insurance
Make sure that your insurance will cover you for any mishaps that may occur while on your horse ride trip. You may have to inform your insurer that you will spend several days on a horse riding adventure. Such activities may not be included in your cover, but you should still check and confirm what is there since horse riding can quickly turn into a risky activity. If you are bringing your own horse ensure that your horsebox has horsebox insurance.
The 5% off Wanderlust Travel Insurance or the 10% for a magazine subscriber may be worth considering if you are thinking of getting a travel insurance.
Have A Blast!
Remember that you are out to have fun, to just relax and enjoy the experience. Let it be a time to bond with an animal as you take in the best of what nature has to offer.