Attending equestrian summer camp is a dream come true for most children. Summer is a time made even more special with the addition of snapping on riding helmets before mounting a thoroughbred in a new pair of children's riding breeches and paddock boots. It just makes a child feel like they can accomplish anything. This magical experience can also teach many important life skills in addition to providing a great way to get in shape.

It is important to make sure your child has high quality riding equipment to ensure a positive and safe experience at riding camp. Although a cowboy hat and jeans may work just fine for a simple trail ride, children attending equestrian summer riding camps will need riding helmets specifically designed for English riding along with children's riding breeches and paddock boots for hunt seat and dressage.

What You'll Need

After enrolling your child in an equestrian summer riding camp, you should receive a list of required standard equipment along with suggested equipment recommendations. You'll usually find children's riding breeches, paddock boots, and a riding helmet on the list of required items. By sticking with dependable name brands like Equine Couture and Tuffrider for apparel and LAS and International Riding Helmet for helmets, you are sure to purchase safer, high quality products at affordable prices.

Children's riding breeches offer a classic, tailored appearance while allowing your child freedom of movement so they have the feel needed to ride well. Good breeches will protect your child's legs, but they also work to help your child maintain contact with the saddle and the horse. By seeking a well-known brand, you will find the quality needed for safety and performance. Riding helmets made from new lightweight materials with sun visors are popular for equestrian summer camps. Seek a retailer that offers plenty of resources for making the best choice in addition to clear sizing information by manufacturer, as fit can often differ between manufacturers.

Extra Details To Consider

Extra details can make your child's equestrian summer camp experience even better than just basic equipment. Just imagine your child arriving at camp with a professional looking riding shirt, pair of riding gloves, a crop, and an equipment bag. While one pair of paddock boots and one riding helmet will do, you should consider purchasing an extra pair of children's riding breeches. You never know when your child might spill on them, tear them, or even lose them. In addition, horses are messy and providing your child with a second pair of children's riding breeches just makes good sense.

Other extra details to consider include a water bottle, towel, and horse grooming equipment. This will make your child feel more professional and he or she may enjoy the grooming process even more when they have their own equipment. Since most equestrian riding summer camps end with a show, you might also consider purchasing a show coat for your child. Just imagine how great your child will feel and look in the ring with well-tailored children's riding breeches, polished paddock boots, a professional riding shirt, and a show coat along with riding gloves and a nice riding helmet. Not only will your child enjoy the show even more, but he or she will also look the part and will ride better and safer as they show off their new equestrian skills in the ring.

Size Is Important

When you're new to horseback riding, you won't usually have the expertise to know what details to look out for when fitting your child for apparel and equipment. The most important aspect is sizing. Don't buy riding apparel and equipment too large for your child thinking he or she will grow into it. Loose fitting products are dangerous. Always invest in safety by purchasing children's riding breeches, paddock boots, and riding helmets that fit well.

Children's riding breeches should fit snugly and feature soft, breathable fabric, knee and seat grips, a full seat, and a wide, low-rise waistband. Riding helmets are not only a part of your child's riding attire, they are a piece of safety equipment that should fit properly and be ASTM approved. In fact, wearing riding helmets that don't fit is worse than not wearing a riding helmet at all. Remember that paddock boots protect your child's feet from 1,000 pound horses, so make sure they fit well and aren't too big so your child's foot flops around inside.

Your child will learn much more than how to ride a horse at equestrian summer camp. Physical fitness, alertness, cool-headedness, leadership, attention skills, responsibility, compassion, and more are all parts of the equestrian summer camp experience. The right equipment will keep your child safe and will offer them the most positive riding experience possible.

Throughout history, equestrian apparel has been worn by riders in their effort to master these proud beasts. These clothes date back to earlier times, and have continued to evolve to the clothing used by riders today.

The art of horseback riding dates to ancient times, and historians still debate the exact time of when horses were first domesticated. The best estimates say that the first horseback ride by man happened around 4,500 B.C., and horses have been integral in human history ever since. People have used horses for transportation as well as for agriculture.

It was later on that horses were used to draw chariots or mounted as people waged war. They became a situation changer in many of history's important battles, with soldiers wearing heavy armor on mounted horses to combine speed and power.

It was not until the 17th and 18th century that horse-mounted soldiers did away with wearing heavy armor. The use of gunpowder demanded that horse riders be quick and stable, otherwise they would be decimated by gunfire. Riding apparel had to adjust to this change in the landscape of the battlefield as well. Riders had to wear breeches and jodhpurs, giving the rider better balance and a modicum of protection as he rode.

Another important development to equestrian apparel was how it became very form-fitting, cut very close to the person's body. This is because the rider comes into very close contact with the horse, and one's steed may be sensitive to sudden moves by the rider. Clothes that flail or wave as the ride progresses can distract the horse, and might cause the rider to lose control. Loose fabric is also a liability when riding at high speeds, since clothes can easily be snagged by a rider's surroundings.

Resource Box:

The Equestrian Corner has been at the center of stylish and sophisticated for years on end. They offer great prices for horse riding equipment and clothing for men, women and children alike. Browse through their fine products at , or call 1-800-518-0997.

There is practically no limit where horse lovers can go on vacation these days. What was once limited to the grassy knolls of Ireland, stony estates in England, and wine tasting excursions in California's Napa Valley has now expanded around the globe to include locations such as Patagonia, the Great Wall of China, Spain, Tanzania, Kenya, Morocco, and pretty much any other place riders could think to go. There are equestrian vacations geared toward beginners, professionals, and everything in between. An equestrian vacation can be a cattle drive at a dude ranch, classical dressage training, casual trails, or an extreme sports experience in the mountains of Costa Rica!

Preparing for an equestrian vacation takes careful consideration of the duration of the trip, the expected weather, and the terrain to be covered. Like all trips, there are some basic supplies and apparel that simply have to be brought, but this is not the sort of trip in which an extra suitcase or two can be handled or even allowed. Packing as lightly as possible while ensuring you bring everything you need is much easier with a checklist and some prior planning.

Your Horse Or Theirs?

One major factor is planning this holiday experience is to decide whether or not to use their mount or your own. Bringing your four-legged friend requires extra transportation, planning, and expense. It also means that the two of you will have shared experiences unlike any other. Of course, clinics and training sessions generally require that riders bring their own mount and horse riding equipment, whereas most dude ranches forbid the use of anything but their own animals.

Basic Horse Riding Equipment

Most equestrian travel companies provide a list of required and recommended horse riding equipment that should be brought. The most basic items that riders must bring include one or two halters, lead lines, saddle pads, a saddle, a bridle, a stable blanket and/or sheet, and a cooler. Trailering supplies will also be needed. Obviously, this is not the time or place for horse riding equipment that is worn, shabby, or likely to break. Riders should invest in whatever replacement pieces they need prior to packing for an equestrian vacation.

A sturdy blanket or cooler will help your mount recover from their strenuous day more easily each evening, and a nice lightweight fly sheet can help keep biting insects away. With all of the hours in the saddle each day, the saddle pad must be of the highest quality. Most riders prefer a saddle pad with extra foam and moisture-wicking properties or one with built-in pockets.

Packing For People

Packing lightly for an equestrian vacation means sticking to the basics for people as well as animals. Most of the gear must be carried by the rider or packed in a suitcase, depending upon the type of vacation that has been selected. Most companies provide lodging and food, but some require that riders bring their own sleeping bag.

Riders need to make room for clothing other than their equestrian apparel as well as rain gear, a camera, sunglasses, bug spray, basic toiletries, a towel, a washcloth, and sunscreen. Sealable plastic bags, wet wipes, and extra batteries for the camera are good to bring. A passport bag or money belt is an excellent way to carry valuables close to your body and separate from luggage.

Equestrian Apparel

Packing all of your riding apparel takes some planning. Many quality brands have stylish new travel bags for luggage as well as horse riding equipment, making identifying your property at baggage claim all that much easier as well as making you stand out in a crowd. Riders need to bring an ASTM/SEI-approved helmet, gloves, and paddock boots. Plenty of thick socks are a good idea, and comfortable breeches or jodhpurs are mandatory.

Breeches with a low-rise waist made with stretchy fabric are the best choice. A lightweight jacket that can adapt to changing conditions is extremely helpful. Make sure you choose one with the features you'll need, such as an outer shell, a removable inner fleece, and a hood that can be concealed or removed.

Taking the time to select the bare minimum of riding apparel and horse riding equipment for an equestrian riding vacation will free up your time and your hands to enjoy an adventure you will remember for the rest of your life as being a truly magical experience, and one that you will want to repeat again and again!

Many believe that horse riding helmets are among the most important pieces of riding equipment that an enthusiast can have. However a helmet only really works properly when certain guidelines are followed.

First of all, a helmet is not just a fashion statement. When purchasing a helmet, make sure that its design has been certified by the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) or that it holds approval from both ASTM and the SEI (Safety Equipment Institute). It will be worth getting a certified helmet over a more stylish or cheaper uncertified helmet if an accident actually occurs.

Second, more expensive does not always mean more protected. Equipment testers often assess using a pass or fail method. Any passing helmet is good enough for riding. What makes some horse riding helmets more expensive often has to do with the materials used. Various leathers, straps and aesthetically pleasing materials can add to the cost. Similarly, the use of lighter yet sturdy materials can also make horse riding helmets more expensive. Obviously, lighter materials are not usually as sturdy as heavier ones. However, technological advances have helped bring weight and strength closer to each other - at a certain cost, of course.

Third, treat your helmet well. Rest assured that the certification organizations have done their jobs. There is no need to test a helmet for impact and risk hairline damages before using it regularly. Following the same logic, don't toss or kick it around.

Fourth, make sure your helmet fits properly. There are not only different sizes of horse riding helmets, but variations in the sizes between different brands as well. Make sure to test the actual size and model of the helmet that you wish to purchase before doing so. If you're buying online, you can even go to a traditional shop first, just to try it on.

Finally, make sure that you wear your helmet properly. The strap should be snug, and the helmet should cover your forehead, right above your eyebrows.

Resource Box:

TheEquestrianCorner.com is an online retailer for all things equestrian. They have horse-related products for men, women, young riders, horses and even other pets. Among their various products are certified safe horseback riding equipment such as . For more information about their products and how to purchase online, visit or call 1-866-908-1082.