Welcome back to yet another post in helping you to get ready for your first horse show! And now that we have our show clothes ready to go, our tack is on point, now it is time to officially go to the show! How exciting right? Your first show?!?!?! But before we go to the show, we need to be ready and prepared. I am a HUGE planner. I like to plan everything. And something as important as going to a show, well, that takes a lot of planning.
And yes, I know, show season is pretty much over for many of us. But that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start planning for next year right? And hopefully by going through these posts, you will be even more prepared for your next show season, or your first! So now that you have some helpful information about getting you and your horse ready, let’s talk about what you need to actually bring to the show.
What To Bring To The Horse Show
I am sure you know of the main things that you are going to be taking to your show.:
- Your Horse
- Your Tack, and everything else
But how you go about planning to get everything there can set you up for show ring success. And a good place to start is with a horse show checklist.
Did you know if you do a google search for ‘horse show checklist’ it will give you over 9 million results? Yeah, that is a lot of checklists to search through! Which is why I have decided not to give you yet another checklist. There are many good ones to choose from if you like to plan this way.
But what I do want to do is talk to you about why you need these things, and how to make it easier on yourself come show day.
Going To Your First Horse Show – What To Bring
Of course you will need to get yourself to the horse show, and preferably early! Whether you are taking your horse yourself, or meeting them at the show grounds, plan on getting yourself to the showgrounds early. The worst feeling is the feeling of being rushed on top of feeling nervous. So if you can plan on being to the showgrounds at least an hour before your first class.
This way you have time for your horse to acclimate to the show grounds, you can groom and tack up without having to rush through it, and you can relax (sort of) a little bit before your first class.
If you can pack everything into your car, or trailer the night before, this will be one less thing you will have to do the morning of the show.
This is what I did before the horse show I went to a few weeks ago with my friend Vickie. Please excuse the mess of the backseat of my car. But hey, I’m real. And I like showing the real, not perfection for the perfect Instagram worthy photo. #REAL
But back to my story, Vickie was nice enough to let me ride her horse Shylo in a show, so I was only responsible for getting myself there. I packed everything into the back seat of my car the day before. That way all I had to do was get up, have my coffee, and then drive to the show grounds.
Talk about easy!
And once I was there, I just had to get Shylo groomed, and tacked up. So I am a big proponent for having a plan. Especially if you want to have a good day.
Getting Your Horse To The Show
If you are fortunate enough to have a trainer, or friend who is bringing your horse, this is easy. If you are responsible for getting your horse there yourself, well this is where you need to plan ahead.
Make sure your horse is familiar with getting in, as well as out of the trailer. Practice this well ahead of the show.
The more you practice, the better your horse will be at it. This is even true if in the past your horse has had a bad trailering experience. It can be done with lots of work, patience and love. Ok, maybe not the love part, but I think you get the idea.
Let me give you an example. My horse Plezant was in a serious trailer accident a long time ago. If you look at his face, you can see a reminder of this. One side of his face is caved in and he has scars across the bottom of his face. It’s hardly noticeable now. This is from a trailer accident. It happened way before he came to live with me. But he is horrible to get into a trailer. This is something we are working on. And even with his history, he will get into the trailer – it just takes him awhile. So if I plan on bringing him to the horse show, which I do, I have to help him to be ok with getting in.
Getting off is no problem for him, he just doesn’t like getting in. But he has done it, so I know it can be done. We just have to work, and work, and work at it until it is just like everything else he does, no big deal.
But the practice and planning for this is not the morning before a horse show. So until your horse will eagerly jump into the trailer, it’s probably not a good idea to plan on going until this obstacle can be overcome.
And speaking of trailers, if you are trailering yourself, make sure you trailer is ready to go! The tags need to be up to date and your trailer serviceable and in good repair BEFORE putting your horse inside. Make sure the tires are good, the floor is sound, and it is clean. Be sure your hitch and all of the lights work. Trust me, this is not something you want to be doing at 0 dark thirty the morning of your horse show!
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Packing The Horse Trailer
Ideally, you want to have your trailer packed the day before, just like you would pack your car if you are just getting yourself to the show. So prepare the trailer the day before. Pack your tack trunk, and everything you will need to ride and show. And it wouldn’t hurt to have extra’s too. Bring an extra bridle, saddle pad (or two), girth, halter and any other tack you may need.
And then plan on what your horse will be eating while on the showgrounds. Hay nets or hay bags packed with hay, his feed, buckets, treats, electrolytes, and if possible, bring your own water. They make awesome water tanks that fit into trailer tack rooms, and double as a saddle stand. They hold about 30 gallons of water. Plenty of water to bring with you to a horse show for the day.
Pretty handy to have in your trailer, wouldn’t you agree? Then you don’t have to search for a water spicket at the show grounds, or worry that your horse won’t drink the strange water. Which can happen. Sometimes horses don’t like ‘different’ water than what they are used too. By bringing their water from home, you will be giving yourself an insurance policy that your horse will be more inclined to drink ‘his’ own water. Just remember to bring some buckets too!
Going To Your First Horse Show – What To Bring
Alright, I think that just about covers what you should plan on bringing to your first show. Hopefully this is helpful for you. Hopefully I gave a little more insight than just providing a list of things to be sure to bring. And hopefully this will help you to have a very successful, and enjoyable time showing your horse.
You never know, your preparation could help you to achieve the ultimate pay off with some beautiful ribbons for you to bring home to help you remember your very first show!
Happy horse showing!