You’ve perfected your horse show packing list. You’re a pro. But horse show packing goes way beyond remembering all your tack and brushes. Take these extras with you to your next horse show and you’ll be ready for any eventuality.
Personal Medicine Kit: Of course you have every medication your horse could ever need stashed in your trailer, plus bandages of every description. Don’t forget about you — you’re working pretty hard, too! Make sure you have a human first aid kid with band-aids, burn cream, cortisone (for bug bites and allergic reactions which leave you itchy), antiseptic ointment, an assortment of your favorite painkillers (Tylenol, Aleve, whatever cures your aches), and something for upset stomachs. Because whether it’s nerves or horse show food, at some point you’re going to need an antacid.
Extra boots: Extra boots? Yes, even if they’re your old ratty schooling boots you should have thrown away five years ago, bring your extra boots. Put a little polish on them while you’re at it. Why? Because with the rise of zippered field and dress boots, we’re all a little bit closer to the calamity of a broken zipper at the worst possible moment. Unless you are literally waiting for the excuse to drop five hundred bucks on new boots at the mobile tack shop (and we know some of you are, and we are not judging you), bring your old standbys just in case. Just. In. Case.
Folding chairs: Repeat after me: buckets are not chairs. You are a hardworking human and you deserve someplace to sit down. Unless you’re setting up for a long horse show and bringing all the comforts of home, you’re probably neglecting to give yourself a place to just sit down and relax for a moment. We’ve all perched on the wheel-well of the trailer, or on the running board of the truck, to pull on our boots or try to catch our breath. Just be nice to yourself and get some folding chairs. You’re worth it.
Stall entertainment: Is your horse cooped up in a stall all horse show weekend when he’s used to turn-out? Like any toddler stuck inside while everyone else is outside playing, your pony needs a new toy. Try a stall toy that your horse doesn’t have at home to keep him occupied during the empty hours between showing and eating. I wrote about some options in a prior post, www.equinefacilitydesign.com/equine-care/4-horse-toys-bored-horse.htm.
If your horse isn’t a big stall-toy fan, experiment with the treat-feeders that use sweet treats to encourage play-time. You can work off the extra sugar in the show-ring.
Muck Bucket Cart: Or something similar, but just get something compact with wheels. Maybe your massive wheelbarrow isn’t going to fit in your trailer, or it’s still needed at home. You don’t want to have to drag everything around the show-grounds, from manure to hay bales, with your own brute force (although we believe in you and know you can do it, because you have big horseman muscles). Muck bucket carts are an ideal small size that can help you get heavy things moved — feed bags, hay bales, actual muck — without taking up valuable storage space in your trailer. They’re also easier to store in cramped temporary stabling aisles.
What do you recommend for horse shows? Add your own favorite horse show essentials in the comments!