Show Essentials

Horse showing can be stressful and it's easy to forget some essential item. Here are some ideas for making up a list of items you'll need to lessen the chance that something gets left behind.
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Horse showing can be stressful and it's easy to forget some essential item. Here are some ideas for making up a list of items you'll need to lessen the chance that something gets left behind.

It's probably happened to us all at least once (and possibly more often than we care to admit). We get to a horse show to discover we have left behind some essential piece of equipment or supplies. In my case, it was my girth, which was resting comfortably on the hook where I had hung it to dry the night before! If not for the kind and willing donation of a loaner girth, I would not have entered the arena that day.

Groom carrying grooming box with supplies while leading horse at horse show.

Horse showing is quite stressful for many riders. They've got a lot on their minds and often have show nerves to deal with as well. So how do you remember all those myriad items that you'll definitely need, as well as the ones you hope you won't need, but should have with you anyway?

The first thing to do is to make a list of all the items you think you'll need. Review the list several times, adding items as necessary. Eventually, you'll have a list that you can take with you to every horse show.

It's a good idea, once you have finalized your list, to have it laminated, so you can attach it either to the inside of your tack trunk, or inside the door of the tack compartment of your trailer. That way you can mark items off with an erasable marker as you load them. You'll be able to wipe it clean with a damp cloth in readiness for the next show.

You'll find that there are many items that appear on your list that can be made up into a special "show kit" that remains packed and on board your trailer, or in a handy place in the tack room to be loaded up at one go.

For example, rather than digging through your first aid kit and packing items each time to take to shows, why not make up a special first aid kit especially for shows? Likewise, it makes sense to have a show grooming kit, with braiding equipment, hoof polish, rags, baby wipes etc. all in one place.

These items can be packed in sealable plastic containers to keep them clean. Small items can be packed in plastic sealable bags to keep them from getting lost.

Each person's list will vary, according to the type of showing they do, and the events they'll enter. On the next page, you'll find some lists of items, separated into categories, that you may want to put on your Show Essentials list.

Click here to find a sample show packing list.