Staying Organized at the Barn and at Shows

BY AMBASSADOR CALLIE HILDENBRAND

It is a commonly known fact that organization is beneficial, or maybe even essential, to productivity. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Whether it be applied in the office, at school, or at the barn, having a routine and keeping things in order simply cannot be a bad thing. Especially given how hectic horse shows can be, it’s advantageous to put some effort into organization. If this skill comes easily to you, you’re one of the lucky ones. If you find organization to be more difficult (and sometimes downright painful!), here are some tips, tricks, and products that can make the task a little simpler.

The first thing you can organize fairly easily is your tack trunk. Think of it like an office desk in the sense that keeping it nice and neat can bring you some peace of mind. Believe me, it will be much easier to find things if they’re not completely buried under a tangle of spare reins, polo wraps, and spurs. It will also take less time to pack for shows if you know where everything is and there is already some extra space in your trunk.

I keep my trunk organized with a Noble Outfitters Mini Grooming Tote for brushes and such, and a plastic bucket for bathing supplies. Remember, containers are key! Photo courtesy Callie Hildenbrand

The secret to tack box organization is having compartments. They don’t have to be fancy, some buckets and plastic containers will do just fine. Everyone has their own method that works best for them, but for starters you could keep all of your bathing products in a bucket, brushes in a grooming tote, and gloves, spurs, and tack cleaner on the top sliding tray.

Another area of riding that can be organized is just that, your riding. Keeping track of progress, struggles, victories, and even failures is a great method to aid in overall productivity. This can be done through keeping a simple journal with a summary written after each ride/show. If you find this system to be helpful, maybe consider investing in a View Halloo Equestrian Competition Journal which is designed specifically for the competitive equestrian. Recording even a quick recap of each lesson can truly go a long way in your and your horse’s progress.

Kristyna Lukacova boosts her productivity by documenting her rides in her View Halloo Equestrian Competition Journal. Photo courtesy of Kristyna Lukacova

Perhaps the most important time to stay organized is going to shows; they’re either a drive or a flight away from home, so it is crucial to make sure everything is in order. One easy way to do this is to label your personal belongings with your name or initials. Unfortunately, it is common for items to get lost or stolen at shows, so having your name on everything is key to preventing that. Another way to avoid lost possessions is to always keep personal items in your own trunk or backpack so they won’t get misplaced.

Someone at the WEC show in February had the right idea of carrying around her possessions in a bag with her name on it! Pictured is the oh-so chic and very popular Maelort Ring Backpack. Photo courtesy of Erica O’Neil

It is also very important to have a barn-wide system for transportation, set-up, and packing up to leave the show. This can be as simple as labeled or colored bins with different purposes for the tack stall, but make sure that everyone is informed about the system. This could greatly cut down your team’s set-up and pack-up time, making the whole process of transportation much less stressful for everyone involved.

This perfectly neat display by Our Day Farm at WEF likely could not have been set up without a repeatable system by the crew. Photo courtesy of Emy Lucibello

Staying organized at the barn and at shows is a great way to set yourself up for success!