Have you ever been to a show and opened your tack box and realized you forgot to pack something? Packing the right essentials in your tack box can make or break your experience when traveling with your horse. It's important to have items that will stay in your tack box at all times to make sure that you are the most prepared for any situation that may come up.
It may be hectic trying to pack your tack box with everything that your horse needs to succeed. In the process, do not forget about your own essential items! The truth is that some situations come up that you didn’t anticipate so, always prepare for the unexpected. Did your hairnet rip? Packing several hairnets as backups would be helpful. Make sure you have enough hair ties as well. Purchase a new pack specifically for shows. A spare pair of gloves never hurts and if you have specific riding gloves for shows, storing them separately can ensure that they will not be forgotten. Bring your leather items like your crop, as well as your saddle soap and conditioner to keep your leather smooth and shiny. Don't forget your items of convenience either, like a sharpie pen to write on your blue ribbon.
Your Health Essentials
Shows can be very long, and you know as well as we do, you are going to get hungry. Pack some granola bars so that you can keep your energy in check. If you don't already have a first aid kit, buy one at your local pharmacy that includes Neosporin, band-aids, Advil, etc. Don't let a paper cut ruin your day!
These events typically have a lot of people and their horses, which means there are a lot of germs all around you. Pack hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes so that you can keep yourself and others safe around you. Riding season falls in the warmer, hotter months, and with summer heat comes harmful UV rays. No one likes to get sunburned, so keep a bottle of sunscreen with you. In addition to this, it's easy to get dehydrated as well. Buy a reusable water bottle that you can refill throughout the day. When you finally think you have everything you need, and if you’re a woman, throw in some personal paper products, just in case!
Your Horse’s Essentials
If you are someone who does your grooming at shows, here is a list of grooming supplies that can help you and your horse look as good as you feel. When packing your horse’s grooming kit, first separate all of your brushes to make certain that you have all of your staple supplies. You’ll need a hard brush to remove dry surface dust from your horse's coat. A soft brush is good to use for removing dust and grease from all of your horse's sensitive areas like their heads. A metal curry comb is helpful when cleaning all of the dust and dirt build-up from the hard brush. The last brush that you should always make sure is in your horse’s grooming kit is a mane/tail brush to comb through their hair quickly and easily.
After you’ve sorted all of your grooming brushes, move on to packing a hoof pick, hoof polish, a sponge, at least one towel, fly spray, show sheen, and rubbing alcohol. Hoof picks are useful for removing stones that can be packed into the underside of your horse’s hooves. Sponges are necessary for keeping your horse’s nose, eyes, and dock clean. Show sheen is just a simple detangler to make your horse look shiny and refreshed. If you are braiding your horse’s mane or tail, consider buying a tail wrap and hoodie to protect the braids while traveling.
Remember that your horse is an athlete and they need just as much sprucing up and TLC as you do. Bring some kind of supplement or medication that will be helpful to your horse if they start to swell or are feeling muscle soreness. Your horse also needs to stay energized, so pack some snacks and treats to keep them going and motivated.
Equine Medical & Surgical Associates
One of the most stressful aspects of preparing for a show is packing your tack box. The easiest way to make sure that you remember all of your essentials is to refer to a checklist. At Equine Medical and Surgical Associates we aim to guide you the best we can to always take the safety and comfort of your horse into account. Check out some of our new products and supplements on our website, and contact us for more information.