At every horse show, there is that inevitable moment when one’s heart skips a beat, and panic sets in upon the realization of a packing list fail. We’ve all been there, and each of us has an embarrassing memory of seeking out a friendly fellow rider to (fingers crossed) lend his or her stirrups, studs, or show coat. Fortunately, there are checklists-a-plenty online for one to keep handy in a trailer, tack trunk, or smartphone. However, at OR we’ve found ourselves in a few precarious situations outside of the standard checklist safety zone, and sometimes you simply can’t prepare for every scenario (equipment mishap, anyone?). Therefore, as a preventative measure, we have a few horse show prep recommendations of our own to share (plus the humorous-now-but-not-at-the-time stories behind them) to help mitigate unforeseen problems, and ultimately reduce those competition jitters.
One of us is notorious for constantly misplacing her show numbers, or simply losing them altogether. We were thrilled when we discovered these quick-change competition numbers that attach easily to a bridle or breastplate. There’s a variation for every discipline, so no excuses!
When we were younger, we’d laugh about the “old folks” having trouble recalling their courses. Well, the joke is on us because now that we’re “more mature,” the struggle is real. Rather than waste paper drawing our way through the competition ring, we think this is an incredibly smart way to memorize a dressage test or jump course, and bring out the inner child in all of us.
For those who prefer a more tech savvy approach, this app is a convenient way to customize and train for any jump course.
Both! Buy two, and use the former for BPA-free hydration between rides, and the latter for toasting your win after the competition, of course.
Pro tip: it also comes in handy for those super frustrating times when you unexpectedly find yourself hanging out with the show’s vet instead of warming up for your class.
This is one to keep in your grooming tote next to your towel and fly spray, because if you need this, it’s surely a very last minute emergency. It’s great to help secure a spur with a broken strap in a pinch, or to skillfully mask the fact that the zipper of your custom-made tall boot failed on the morning of the biggest competition of your life (which actually happened). No glamour, just grit.
Theft can be an issue for unlocked vehicles at horse shows. In an attempt to be vigilant, we’ve lost our keys in the grass car park, had them plucked from arena sand by a friendly competitor before we even knew they were missing, and locked them in the truck while it was still running. For $2, we figure better safe than sorry.
You know why.