We have all been in this situation, we get to the show and realize we forgot something. Or the opposite? You happen to overpack and you just do not have enough space for all the equipment that horses unfortunately require.
Here are some tips to help packing for shows become less stressful and keep you organized to waste less time and use your space efficiently.
1. Make a list, writing it down can help not forget an important item.
2. Check things off the list only as they make it in the trunk or trailer to be sure it makes it in.
3. Prepare before you start packing. How many days will you be away? What is the weather going to be like? Is there laundry in the area? Plan ahead for shavings, hay and grain to arrive before you get there.
4. Try to pack light! If you are debating how important something is for more then a few minutes… It is probably just taking up space. Remember you are going to a show and all your training should be done at home. Do not bring the whole tack room!!
5. It is best to start out with clean equipment and supplies. Do not send your bridle dirty in case you do not have access to warm water. And don’t forget to bring cleaning supplies and towels with you as well!
6. Learn the schedule and rules for each show. This will allow you to know where and when to school or lunge your horse. This will allow you to not feel rushed and properly prepare your horse. Personally check in for your classes and don’t rely solely on your trainer to tell you when to get ready.
7. Keep your area as neat as possible. This will speed up the time it takes to get ready and also make sure you do not misplace your belongings. Remember, even after long day, taking time to put things away neatly!
8. Bring a lock for your trunk and put all your irreplaceable equipment away at night. Having a trunk big enough may seem a pain to move but once it’s in place, it may save you valuable storage. Otherwise you will be lugging big items, like your saddle, back and forth everyday Sent from my iPhone
9. Bring hooks for bridles and a saddle rack to keep the expensive items off the ground, off the trunk and out of the way. Also, have a wrap holder to keep them clean, out of the dirt and out of the way.
10. Labeling is key. Have your name on ALL of your belongings. Monogramming and name plates may seem an unnecessary expense but if something’s gets turned into the office they will know where to return it.
Keep these in mind while you are preparing for your next show and it will surely go more smoothly!
Marissa Cohen is based out of Cleveland, Ohio, where she is the assistant trainer at Amanda Lyerly’s Madison Hills Farm. She grew up in West Chester, PA riding for her mother’s Low Key Farm. She won the IHSA Cacchione Cup in 2011and is a member of the USHJA Youth Committee.