Whether it is your first time traveling with your horse or you consider yourself a seasoned veteran, preparing can be stressful. The last thing you want to be doing is scrambling around the morning of the event to gather last minute items. I’ve decided to make my life a little easier by making a checklist. This list contains everything and anything you will need to get you through your show.
The Day Before
Save yourself the stress and get ready the day before you leave – do not wait until the last minute or the night before! Make sure everything is packed up and the trailer is hitched up before it gets dark. If you feel comfortable, ride your horse at home, clip, bathe and band/braid him there (if necessary). These are all things you then won’t have to do when you get there – you can relax when you arrive!
The best way to do this is to keep a binder of these items in either your horse trailer or truck. Don’t forget to update it before every show.
- Coggins – you MUST have this to transport your horse anywhere. I like to have a copy in my truck, car, horse trailer and purse – just in case!
- Registration Papers – depending on the type of event you are going to, you maybe have to show your registration papers before checking in and signing up
- Health Papers – depending on which state you are traveling in, you may have to provide health papers upon arrival
- Paper and pencils – this will come in handy when copying down patterns or other things you may need
- Association membership card
- Leg wraps
- Halter and lead rope
- Tail wrap – if your horse rubs his tail in the trailer, this is a handy tool
Since most people have limited space in their trailer, you don’t want to over pack. Make sure you have an appropriate amount of feed, bedding, etc. for the length of time you will be away from home.
- Water bucket
- Electrolytes / Gatorade – I bring this just in case my horse doesn’t like the taste of the water at the show facility (my horse will not drink well water). Adding a little Gatorade to his water makes it sweeter which makes him more willing to drink.
- Grain bucket
- Hooks for buckets (2)
- Hay bag
- Pitch fork
- Small/folding wheelbarrow
- Bedding – this could be provided by the show, make sure you find out ahead of time
- Clippers with batteries and sharp blades
- Grooming tote
- Fly spray
- Sheet – Weather permitting, you may want to cover your horse up at night just in case he wants to lie down. If it is too hot, however, you may want to skip this and be prepared to spot wash in the morning.
- Sleazy (mane tamer)
- Bands / Yarn
- Hoof pick
- Curry comb
- Mane and tail brush
- Dandy brush
- Body brush
- Grooming towels – bring more than one
- Tail bag
- Sponge / brush
- Sweat scraper
- Hose – you might need this depending on the facility
- Small bucket for bathing supplies
- Lunge line
- Splint boots
- Saddle rack
- Saddle pad
- Bridle rack
- Bit – bring an extra
- Chicago screws – this is mainly directed at the western riders
- Screw driver
- Phenylbutazone (bute) / Banamine paste – I never thought I’d have to use this but when I did, I was so happy I had it! You will need to get this from your vet.
- Antibiotic ointment
- Bandaging tape
- Vet wrap
- Clothes – make sure you have an idea of what you are going to wear for each class. If you’ve grown up or out since the last show, be sure to try them on ahead of time.
- Hat / helmet
- Gloves / Pins – if necessary
- Spurs / Spur straps
- Safety pins / yarn – for your back number
- Hair net / bobby pins / pony tail holder / hair brush – if necessary
- Folding chairs
This may seem like a long list but don’t let it scare you! If you run through this list before you leave for your show, it will make your life a lot easier. Nothing is better than being able to relax and enjoy yourself at the show – that’s what you came there for, right?