What You Really Need for Summer Trail Riding
Summer trail riding is a blast! It’s wonderful to get out and explore nature during the beautiful weather. Our horses often enjoy the change of scenery and sense of adventure, too. With this adventure can come the unexpected. You’ll encounter things and possible issues on the trail that you would never see in the arena. Here are the top ways to be prepared for summer trail riding.
Pick the Right Attire
Summer in most areas tends to be quite hot. Picking the right attire can keep you cool and comfortable on the trail. While it can be very tempting to throw on a pair of shorts in the heat, this type of clothing does not provide any protection for your legs while in the saddle. You’ll notice the general trend for the recommended items - moisture wicking and breathable material. This is what you should look for when picking out summer riding gear.
Cool Breeches: There are many breeches now available with cool technology to help wick moisture and keep you cool. These can come in full seat or knee patch versions depending on your personal preference.
Cool Shirts: Cool shirts not only feature cool technology, but also UV protection to prevent sunburn. These shirts come in short and long-sleeve depending on the type of areas you will be riding in.
Breathable Riding Boots or Sneakers: Riding sneakers were originally designed for endurance riders, but they work great for summer trail riding. They are more breathable and dry faster than a traditional tall boot.
Mesh Gloves: Select gloves with mesh backs to allow airflow to your hands. Cool technology gloves are another great option for keeping your hands cool and protected.
Ventilated Helmet: If you don’t already have a vented helmet, the summer heat is a great reason to invest in one. Vented helmets allow more airflow to reach your head and cool you down. You can also add a sun visor to some helmets if you need a bit more shade during your ride.
Sunscreen: Apply your sunscreen prior to the ride and pack the bottle if you are going on a longer ride. Bonus tip: If your horse has a white nose, you can apply the same sunscreen on their nose.
Fly Spray: Flies can be terribly annoying for both you and your horse on the trail. Use a combination of fly spray, Swat, and ear nets to keep your horse comfortable on the trail.
Water Bottle & Carrier: Make sure to pack plenty of water while on the trail. There are several water bottle carriers that will clip right to your belt or saddle for convenience.
In general, you don’t need summer specific tack items for your horse. All of your normal tack is fine to use during the summer. However, if you use a heavy blanket or pad under your saddle you might want to consider switching out for a lighter version. This will keep your horse a bit cooler and dry faster.