Show days are exciting, but they can be stressful, too! You’ve got a lot of things to pull together to make sure you’re prepared for your competition. The trick to maintaining your sanity when you’re getting ready is a horse show checklist that includes everything you need to be prepared for your big day. Here’s a horse show survival kit you can use and customize to your specific needs.
If you’ve never been to a horse show before, it’s a great idea to check one out so you can see what it’s like before participating in your first show. Once you know what to expect, you can prepare for your own show more effectively. Here’s a horse show prep timeline to guide you.
A couple of days before your show, look over your truck and horse trailer to ensure everything is working. Clean it out (a great way to burn off extra energy from nerves!) and lay some fresh shavings if you use them. Fill up the gas tank and hook up the truck and trailer, making sure everything is secure.
Then, pull out your clothes and make sure they are in great condition, clean, and well-pressed. Hang them neatly in a garment bag to make sure they stay clean, and pack a backup outfit just in case. Clean and polish your boots and brush your helmet, and put them in a bag or case to keep them clean. Pack your truck and trailer using the checklist shared below.
You’re going to give your horse a special grooming session before the show. So now, when you’re not rushed, is a great time for body clipping and mane pulling.
Give your horse a bath, and don’t forget proper hoof care as well. Spend extra time cleaning your horse, and focus on his mane and tail, brushing them out well. If you will braid your horse’s tail and he will leave it in, do that the day before. Otherwise, take care of it on the morning of your competition.
Clean and polish your bridle and saddle with saddle soap and a leather conditioner, and polish the silver as well. Pack your tack in padded bags and get them loaded onto the trailer.
Fill up the feed bin or hay net in your trailer. Prepare your horse’s wraps, or shipping boots if he wears them, and if you blanket your horse, get that ready as well. Grab some snacks and water for yourself, too. Review the checklist and pack up anything you will need that you won’t use the morning of the show. And that’s all for now. It’s a big stress reliever not to be rushing around doing all of this on show day!
Arrive early to be sure you have plenty of time to get ready. Take some of that time to get familiar with the grounds, turn in your paperwork, and pick up your show number. Since you groomed your horse the previous day, show day should just be touch-ups for your horse and tack. Wipe down your horse with a clean cloth, brush out his tail, and braid his mane if you didn’t do that the night before. Take time dressing, and make sure both you and your horse look your best. You’re ready to go!
Here’s a list of all of the different things you may want to bring. More details about each item are listed below. Be sure to customize this list for what you want or need to bring with you to the show.
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Horse shows are fun, but packing can get overwhelming. Print our Horse Show Checklist to make life easier.
Knowing that you have a plan for your horse show prep will help to calm your nerves and give you confidence that you’re ready for the competition. Be sure to personalize your checklist so you have the things with you that you are most comfortable using.
Horse shows are exciting, and you want to bring your “A-game” to every competition. Make sure to leave yourself ample time to get ready, and thoroughly prepare by using a customized checklist so you don’t have to worry about forgetting a single thing. Good luck, and have fun!
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