The time has finally come: my finals are all finished, my fate has been sealed. It’s time to forget about school, throw the textbooks to the wind, and dive head first into a summer full of riding, showing, and learning. This is by far my favorite time of year. All of the kids will soon be getting out of school and summer camps will start. There will be horse show after horse show after horse show, filled with sunshine and blue ribbons. Can you tell that I’m excited?

But every season has its cons, and riding during the summer in South Carolina can be pretty rough. If you don’t believe me, keep in mind that Columbia’s official slogan is “Famously Hot”. Yup. So as the mercury starts to hike its way up to the 80’s, 90’s, 100’s…I have compiled my list of the Top 10 Southern Summer Must-Haves for the rider.

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1. Romfh Penelope Show Shirt. Showing in the summer is brutal, but this show shirt from Romfh Equestrian Apparel is the perfect way to beat the heat and stay traditional and comfortable. The Penelope is one of the newest shirts out by Romfh, and it features new seams and design for a super flattering look. It has light, stretchy fabric with Romfh’s own Chillfactor and Powerfresh features to keep you cool, dry, and comfy all day.

2. Kathryn Lily ShowTech Jacket. Again, showing in the heat is awful. But I’m not often willing to show without a jacket to complete the traditional look. This jacket from Kathryn Lily is the answer to all of my southern equestrian prayers. The material is indescribably light…think athletic t-shirt material. I chose this jacket because I’ve been a JustWorld International Ambassador for going on 7 years and the jackets were finally being made by a company I could afford. When I received it, I was blown away by the comfort. The first time I wore it was a rainy weekend, and I had it underneath my raincoat and literally didn’t realize I was still wearing it until I got home 5 hours later.

3. Bluetooth speaker. Being at the barn all day and spending a lot of time in the ring is made much more fun by music. A Beats Pill is shown here, but any bluetooth speaker does the job. I love riding to music to help improve timing, focus, and rhythm, and it helps me to keep a general idea of how long I’ve been riding.

4. Equivisor. I am a professional. I work outside an ungodly number of hours a day. I don’t want to look like a handbag when I’m 40. Thus, I do what I can to protect my skin! Aside from using a facial sunscreen every single day, I also use an Equivisor on my helmet while I ride to keep the sun off my face. It works wonderfully, is light, and you get used to it really quickly. Disclaimer: don’t use on super windy days!

5. Rodan+Fields Lip Balm. Nothing worse than sunburned, chapped lips! I always keep a lip balm on me during horse shows, and I apply a lip balm with sunscreen every morning before heading out. Then I used this balm from Rodan+Fields and was super impressed with the results!

6. Roeckl Solar Gloves. Okay there is one thing worse than sunburned lips and that’s a glove tan. Bad, bad, bad. I purchased the Roeckl Solar Gloves a couple summers ago and have been in love with them ever since. The back of the hand is made of a very fine mesh with nearly no hem at the wrist, allowing you to ride gloved without the heinous tanlines! One important thing to keep in mind: the mesh is extremely fine and rips easily, so be careful when putting them on.

7. Lettia Union Hill Socks. It’s important to have good boot socks, ones that are comfy and not too holy, and in the summer they have to be light! I typically wear Zocks with regular ankle socks underneath, but I recently received a pair of Lettia Union Hill socks and I’m hooked. They’re comfortable, thin but not slippery, and keep my feet feeling fresh all day. I will definitely be buying more!

8. Sun-N-Sand Packable Visor. Again, protect the face! This visor from Sun-N-Sand is cute, comfy, and insanely practical: it spirals in on itself and has an elastic loop to secure itself into a little roll for easy packing. They come in a ton of colors and are totally adjustable for the perfect fit.

9. Romfh ChillFactor Sun Shirt. I’m all about staying cool while preventing bad tanlines as much as possible. I own probably 5 or 6 of these sun shirts from Romfh and I have to say they’re my favorite brand of sun shirt. They come in a ton of cute color combos (Periwinkle/Rose is shown), feature ChillFactor and PowerFresh, and aren’t clingy like some other brands that actually make you feel hotter.

10. Romfh Sarafina Breeches. Hands down, without a doubt, 100% the best breeches on the market. I have 5 pairs of Sarafinas and they are my absolute favorite breeches. The fit is beyond flattering, they come in a ton of cute colors, they’re stretchy in all the right places without sagging or stretching, and they’re light enough to wear in the summer! There’s nothing I’d rather ride in.

So there you have it, the Top 10 Must-Have items of the summer to keep you cool and comfortable while you spend a crazy amount of time out enjoying your horse! Have anything you think needs to be on this list? Comment below!

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