KNOW BE­FORE YOU GO

Horse & Rider - - Saddle Strong -

Here are our top prep tips for a mem­o­rable guest-ranch va­ca­tion in Tucson, Ari­zona. Choose your sea­son. The best times to go are win­ter, spring, and late fall, when tem­per­a­tures aren’t as hot. Sea­son de­ter­mines what you’ll pack and the rate you’ll pay. Do your home­work. Study each ranch to de­cide which one best meets your needs. Find out what per­sonal items are sup­plied in guest rooms. Ask about the liquor pol­icy. If needed, ask whether the ranch ac­com­mo­dates spe­cial di­ets. Find out the weight limit for rid­ing. Check the ranch’s website for sug­ges­tions and re­quire­ments. Pack for desert rid­ing. Layer your rid­ing ap­parel. In the desert, the morn­ings can be quite cool and the af­ter­noons hot. Pack light­weight, long-sleeved shirts and sun­screen. Bring your own West­ern hat or well-ven­ti­lated, brimmed rid­ing hel­met. Rid­ing boots with­out laces are best; smooth leather re­pels cholla cac­tus and desert de­bris. Add a sturdy wa­ter bot­tle to stay hy­drated. Get ready to ride. If you haven’t rid­den in some time or ride ca­su­ally, get in some se­ri­ous sad­dle time be­fore you go so you’re ready for long rides and desert gal­lops. Pack long un­der­wear to cut sad­dle chaf­ing.

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