Saddle up for summer: What to pack for your kid's first time at horse riding camp

Saddle up for summer: What to pack for your kid's first time at horse riding camp

So, you’re finally sending your kid off to horse-riding camp? It’s going to be the “mane” event of their summer! But, stressing about what to pack is so not the vibe. So, let’s talk about what they should (and shouldn’t) be bringing along for the ride.

All dressed up

First up, let’s talk clothes. For horse camps, you’ll have to pack a little differently than for a horse show. After all, the kiddos will be spending a lot of time outside the ring. Here are the basics:

Riding Helmet: A correctly fitted horse riding helmet is essential for safety and comfort. If your kid is getting into riding for the first time, we know it’s not always easy to find the best fit. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Sharing a helmet isn’t great for sweaty, germy kids. Even though it’s an investment to get your kid their own helmet when you’re not sure if riding will stick, we highly recommend it to protect them from lice and sweaty scalps.
  • A well-fitted riding helmet covers your kid’s entire skull with no gaps between it and their head. 
  • A helmet that sits low on their eyebrows is too big. If it doesn’t sit right or shows gaps, then it is too small.

We’ve put together a whole blog on making sure a helmet fits flawlessly and we have helmets of all shapes and sizes ready to add to your cart.

Riding shoes: Obviously, your kid is getting ready to spend a lot of time in the saddle. A pair of sturdy, comfortable riding boots with a low heel will make sure that their feet stay happy. Riding boots provide grip in the stirrups and protect your feet from potential injuries.

For shoes, there are two main options:

  • Tall boots: Standard for showing, tall boots are a great option for serious riders.
  • Paddock boots and half-chaps: As your kiddo grows, you may find that half chaps and paddock boots are a better option. They’re a little less expensive and have more wiggle room.

We have so many shoes to choose from. Boot up our website and check out our new-in and discounted pairs.

Long pants: It’ll be hot, but long pants, such as breeches or jodhpurs, allow for ease of movement and prevent chafing without being too baggy. We carry a variety of cute and colorful breeches for young riders from favorite brands like Tailored Sportsman, RJ Classics, and Kerrits.

You can also consider tights as a more casual alternative to breeches at a lower price point.  

Jeans are an okay choice, just keep in mind that the inside seam on denim jeans can cause calf blisters where the seam binds up on English stirrup leathers. If your little rider has their heart set on wearing jeans to camp, you might invest in a pair of half chaps. The half chaps will cover the seam on the jeans and keep most blisters away.

Good, clean fun

Next, let’s talk about what you can bring to make sure your kid stays safe and healthy at camp.

  • Tennis shoes: Stay safe after a ride by bringing at least one pair of comfortable tennis shoes that can handle a little dirt.
  • Water bottle: Long days out in the sun means that your kid will get thirsty faster. A durable, reusable water bottle that can hold an adequate amount of water is essential. Consider using an insulated bottle to keep their water cool, especially during hot summer days.
  • Sun protection: Summer means UV rays are at a high. Spending time outdoors exposes kids to the sun’s harmful rays and pesky insects. Protect their skin by applying sunscreen with a high SPF before heading out for their riding sessions. It’s also a good idea to come prepared with sunglasses and a hat to wear during your free time. Bring long-sleeve shirts or sun shirts for better protection.
  • Bug spray: Horse camp means critters and crawlies. Bring bug spray to keep away mosquitoes, flies, and other annoying bugs that may bother your kid and their horse.

A little something extra

In addition to the essentials, make your horse camp experience even more enjoyable with these bits and bobs.

  • Change of clothes: After a long day in the ring they’ll need some fresh duds, so choose something that helps them show off their personality. We’ve gathered some choices for fun shirts to wear after riding classes are out for the day.
  • Rain gear: We all know about thunderstorms that come standard with summer forecasts. Don’t be caught without a coat! We have rain gear for kids and their rides.
  • Snacks: Skip any chocolate or gummy candies that can melt in the heat, but bring along some cereal, nuts, trail mix, or other favorite snacks that can stand up to warmer temps.

And don’t forget:

  • First-aid kit with painkillers, band-aids, and bruise ointment
  • Documents and wallet with change
  • Phone and charger
  • Flashlight
  • A book, something to write with, and board or card games.

What not to bring:

Many camps won’t let kids bring their equipment, so make sure you check if your kid should leave any saddle pads and horse grooming supplies at home.

Now your kid is all set for the best summer ever. They won’t have to worry about anything except making friends, riding to their heart’s content, and having a ton of fun. Check out the graphic we made for you to check off everything we talked about below!

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