Everyone stresses out before their first horseback riding lesson, it just isn’t possible to stay calm. You want everything to be perfect so you can start your equestrian life right away. You might find yourself up at 3:00 am going through a mental checklist of all the things you will need to bring and then rushing to your laptop because you don’t know what is necessary. Here is a checklist of everything you will need to succeed at your first ever riding lesson along with a few optional items.
1. Drawstring bag or backpack
A drawstring bag or backpack is essential for your first time at a stable. They are perfect to keep all your necessities in so that you don’t lose or misplace anything. Stables are often busy and crowded and you will be surprised at how many water bottles you will lose during your time as an equestrian.
2. Metal Water Bottle
Bringing a metal water bottle is probably the most important thing you will need at your lesson. No matter where you live, it is important to stay hydrated during your ride. You will find yourself chugging down water at the end of the lesson, regardless of whether you’re sweating or not.
3. Helmet and pair of boots
In order to stay safe at your lesson, you will need a riding helmet and boots. Depending on your stable rules, you may also need a pair of breeches/jodhpurs, however, every stable requires a riding helmet and boots.
4. Extra hair ties
The wind is whipping, your hair is blowing, and you can’t see anything because your hair tie snapped. Even though you may think that one hair tie is enough, bringing extras is necessary. Trust me, you will find yourself in a situation where you don’t have any extra hair ties and then have to borrow someone’s hair tie with stray hairs caught in it.
5. Chapstick or Vaseline
Lots of times during riding, your lips will get chapped or severely sunburnt. Keeping a chapstick or Vaseline on hand at all times can ensure a comfortable ride.
Just like chapstick and vaseline, sunscreen is very important. Your riding helmet visor only protects so much and wearing sunscreen will help reduce your chance of getting sunburnt.
Having a snack on hand is a great thing to do. You can find yourself becoming hungry or even getting lightheaded during your ride and nothing is better than being able to enjoy a light snack in the car. Make sure your snack isn’t crumbly so nothing non edible to horses falls on the ground.
8. Jacket or sweater
Depending on the weather you may want to bring a jacket or sweater. Nothing is worse than being freezing cold when you are riding. A light sweater or warm jacket will have you riding at your best.
I know a lot of riders who love horses but also love staying clean. Wipes really come in handy after you put in a bit or decide to clean some tack.
This one may be an extra to you, but lots of riders bring disposable gloves when they ride. Kind of like wipes, using gloves can prevent spit and other things on horses you may find uncomfortable. It is never a bad idea to bring a pair, just in case you have to do something you don’t want to do that will get you dirty.
11. “Cool-down Bandana”
A “Cool-down Bandana” is a great way to make sure you are staying cool during your lesson. Here’s how to make one.
First get a bandana and fold it up in an accordion fold. Soak it in some cold water and put it on a plate in the freezer overnight. Take it out when you leave. During your lesson wear it like you would normally wear a bandana. The coldness of the cloth will make sure you don’t overheat.
This is a great checklist to use for your first riding lesson. Some of these things you may have never thought of bringing but once you get to your stable you might think differently. Plus, staying prepared and organized can ensure success.
Hay there! My name is Sierra. I love everything equine and can be found in the late hours of the night on youtube browsing horse videos. I have a blog thedesertrider.com where I enjoy posting content for horse lovers like me. You can also find me on Pinterest, where I love to post horse edits and everything equestrian. When I am not riding, I enjoy ice skating and visiting all the beautiful towns of AZ. While I may not own my own horse now, I am determined to become an equine owner in the future.