1. Make a Checklist
The last thing you want to do is arrive at the showgrounds to discover that you’ve forgotten something important, like a girth or a bridle. Begin your packing process by making a checklist well in advance of your event. You can use this same checklist for future shows, saving you some of the work you have to put into planning.
2. Leave Your Trailer Loaded
If you’re lucky enough to own a horse trailer of your own, then you can leave some of your equipment in your trailer until the next show. Items like a manure fork, water buckets, and hay nets can safely be stored in the trailer so you don’t have to pack them again for every show.
3. Start Ahead of Time
The key to packing is to start it well in advance. While you might not be able to pack up your horse’s equipment, you can pack other items, like your own show outfit. This means there will be less to pack at the last minute.
4. Create a Show Kit
To save yourself time, create a basic “show kit” which includes grooming tools, coat polishes, fly spray, hair nets, hoof polish, rags, and safety pins – basically the standard items that you’ll need for a show. Having this kit already packed can lessen your packing stress for the show.
5. Keep Your Papers Ready
If you’ll be going to horse shows regularly, it’s worth the effort to create a file of your horse’s papers. Include your horse’s vaccination records and his Coggins test results, and keep these records in a waterproof envelope. Leave this envelope in your trailer’s dressing room so that it’s ready to go anytime you head to a show.
6. Use Organization to Help
Being well organized can help your packing efforts. Set up your horse trailer tack room so that every item you need has a place. You’re more likely to notice a missing item if your bridle rack is empty or your show coat isn’t hanging where it normally does.
7. Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Mistakes happen and items get forgotten when you rush. Give yourself plenty of time to pack to reduce your stress and ensure that you have everything that you need.