Friday, 12 October 2012

What to take on a horse safari ~



Sun glasses  with a retaining strap
Barbour or thorn-proof raincoat you can tie over the saddle. You can always use this as a ground sheet even if it never rains. Take a light rain jacket if rain is unlikely.
Old riding clothes in earth colours (not red)
Light-weight long-sleeved shirt. Do bring old shirts that you can wear then give away at the end of the trip.
Short-sleeved shirts or 'polo-shirts' (Shirts with collars are better than t-shirts unless you are totally immune to sunburn).
A sweatshirt or fleece. Ones that zip up the front are best.  
Comfortable old riding breeches or trousers with a belt.
Shorts.
Trainers for walking. Sandals or flip-flops. You are not going to need high heeled shoes. 
Short riding boots with thick rubber soles & half-chaps for riding. Only take black rubber boots if riding in the Okavango or other wetlands. You only really need full chaps for thornbush country.
Good socks. Lined walking socks are best.
Two pairs of riding gloves. I cut the tops off some of the fingers so I can undo buckles. 
Riding helmet or Hard hat. I have a hot weather one but need to take a shower cap to put over it in case it rains. I've fitted a wide-brimmed tennis visor to the rim with velcro.
A wide-brimmed sun hat that stays on in an open vehicle. 
Cotton bandana/scarf.
Water bottle. You can always use this as a hot-water bottle at night. I take proper a hot-water bottle for some climates. My own thermos cup.
Small bumbag with Lipsalve, Sun protection cream factor 30 or higher.
I have a small camera case with a wide belt that proved useful once when my girth broke. 
Camera with extra memory sticks and camera batteries/charger. Take one you can easily ride with.
Swimming costume, Sarong, Night clothes, Underwear, Elasticated body wraps if you need them.
Wash bag, tissues, Wet wipes for every different part of the body.
A torch. A good book. Diary/sketch book, pens. Binoculars. I take my flute.
Passport, Air ticket, Health insurance documents.
Driving License, credit card, UK cheque book.
(Remember not to take a penknife or scissors in your hand-luggage).
You must be in possession of a passport with at least one blank page that is valid for at least six months after your return date. Visa. You also need travel and health insurance that allows you to ride without ridiculous exclusions. Make sure your Tetanus inoculation is up to date.
Money. You can usually use cash point machines banks now. Take cash but not travellers cheques.
Travel in your riding clothes if there is any chance that the airline might lose your luggage.
If you ring the airline in advance they may give you permission to take sports equipment as extra luggage, but they will aks to see it at the luggage check-in desk. However, try to keep your personal baggage down to 10kgs. Horse safari companies usually supply all the equipment. Sometimes you need your own sleeping bag.

If it's not going to be hot:
Puffa jacket/padded waistcoat. This can always double up as a pillow if you are camping.
Woolly hat to keep warm at night.
Hotwaterbottle

Off you go.


Having said all that, here I am, wearing leather walking boots, shorts and long chaps, no gloves (regretted that in later life) and no helmet. (Regretted that too.)  The cotton thick Australian shirt lasted well.

My little horse Sam was so good in the bush. I never shod him. He'd find game, and was good at avoiding holes. Sadly we poisoned his brain by racing him and he became difficult to stop but he was always a great ride.  

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