The warm weather has finally arrived in New England and it is time to pull out all of your favorite summertime riding staples. From clothing to tack to human needs, the goal is to beat the heat.
Sun shirts are up first on my list. These have recently taken over hunterland within the past two years and are still going strong. The idea with these shirts is to stay cool while being protected from the suns harmful rays. Many brands have come out with their own versions of this “ultimate summer shirt” but my favorites by far are the Tailored Sportsman Ice Fil Shirt and the Noble Outfitters Ashley Performance Shirt (see my review here). Since I am a camp counselor, these are great for preventing a sun burn while chasing kids on ponies for hours on end.
Another way to stay cool while mounted is with a vented helmet. We have all heard the saying that we loose a lot of heat through our head (whether or not that is true is to be determined), well more and more helmet companies are listening and have created riding helmets with incredible ventilation. I used to ride in a Charles Owen GR8 and never realized how hot I got until I got a GPA Speed Air. I can actually feel the breeze on your head and my helmet is much less sweaty after my rides.
Hydration is just as important as sun protection, so a water bottle is a must for summer riding. It can get extremely hot in an outdoor sand arena and while we are all aware of our horse’s hydration level, we often forget about our own. Keeping a water bottle on a jump standard or fence post makes it the perfect height to snag while you’re riding by. I like the Camelbak bottles that only need one hand to flip up and require no tipping, plus Personally Preppy just released the bottles with a monogram option (because monogram everything). Also, the bigger the better. Odds are you will drink the whole bottle if you have it there with you, so go big.
Continuing with hydration idea, we can’t forget about our lips! Prevent them from drying out with some lip balm or chapstick. My new favorite is The Herbal Horse Lip Balm that is organic, all-natural, smells amazing, and leaves your lips feeling silky soft. Seriously, my co-workers have already been stealing some of it during our long camp days.
What are your summer riding essentials?