While horse shows are exciting, they also come with their fair share of stress. Over the years I developed a routine for preparing for shows which includes prepping my horse show emergency kit which has come in handy more times than I can count. My emergency kit also includes items to help deal with the weather. There's always one unbearable show during the season and it's important to do whatever we can to keep ourselves and our horses cool. We've put together some tips for staying sane and cool a horse shows:
- We have to start off with HYDRATE. Make sure you're staying hydrated throughout the day. If you're drinking sports drinks, watch the sugar content. Drinks high in sugar will only dehydrate you faster. Balance any sports-type drink with good old-fashioned water. - I Heart Horses
- Know when to sit it out. There's no sense in making yourself miserable. Use your own judgment when it comes to the weather. There will always be another show.
- We swear by freezing wet hand-towels or bandanas. Place damp hand-towels or bandanas in a baggie and bury them under the ice in your cooler. After your classes, take them out and wrap around your neck. Your horse won't complain if you get a bath towel-sized "bandana" for them too.
- Label, label, label! There's nothing worse than having to waste time digging for something you could have sworn was "right there." Duct tape and sharpies might not be the fanciest - but they get the job done. - Pro Equine Groom
- Organize several smaller containers or tubs rather than shoving everything into one or two larger ones. Small, clear containers work best. Group similar items (brushes, first aid kit, wraps, etc.) into smaller containers for the easiest and quickest access to what you need. - Pro Equine Groom
- Give yourself double the amount of time it takes at home. Shows have distractions and with all the nerves, even little things can seem like a big deal. Don't add more stress by having to rush around.
- Make a packing list! Pro Equine Groom has an extensive horse show packing list that we all wish we would have found sooner.
At the end of the day, we do this to ourselves because we love our horses
and love what we do. Even if nothing goes as planned and you forget your course or your horse decides he's never seen a jump
before, take a deep breath and tell yourself you'll get 'em next time.