Getting ready for the first horse show of the season is usually a highly anticipated event done weeks in advance. But after the first one, we tend to get more and more relaxed about the packing and that’s when things start to be forgotten. The best way to avoid running all over the show looking for a girth or bell boots to borrow is to pack efficiently, organized and consistently every time.
1) Separate grooming tools, sprays, and bathing supplies
I have a separate set of grooming supplies that only leaves the trailer if it is going to a grooming stall at a show. Having all your grooming supplies in one transportable container will keep you from having to run back and forth. While the ole feed bucket seems like an easy option, anyone who has had to lead an unruly horse around a show knows those plastic buckets become very awkward very quickly. The Noble Outfitters EquinEssential Tote is a must-have. The mesh bottom and easy-to-clean water-repellent material mean that it won’t store dirt and its super easy to clean. No more scrubbing spilled baby oil from the bottom of your grooming box. Use the tote for brushes and sprays or shampoo and sponges, or for better organization, get two of them!
2) Pack your trunk with care
When packing your tack trunk, pack with consideration to what equipment you’ll need first. I divide my box in two, with my grooming kit and first aid kit on one side and soft things on the other. One the soft side I start with wraps since they are usually needed at the end of the day, then coolers or scrims, and leave saddle pads for last. I put boots on top of the first aid kid and put the grooming kit on top of any spare equipment or braiding kit. Whips are slid down the front face so that they’re always in the same place. Do the same organization to your trailer. If stabling then stall equipment is the first thing you grab so that it can be set up quickly.
3) Color coordinate
Make sure that all your equipment is labeled so it doesn’t get grabbed by someone else while you’re unpacking. Easy fix for this is getting the Wave Fork. Being able to change the colors around means that you can personalize to the point of being completely unique and recognizable, and the same goes for the rest of your tack. Use one of the barn hacks and customize your tack with a matching Duct Tape.
4) Group your equipment
Grouping your equipment is the best way to avoid forgetting anything. Keep girths with saddles and head/neck equipment together. Having a bridle bag or two with labels of which bridles should be in them makes it easy to assess what needs to be packed with just a glance. The Bits ‘n Pieces Bridle Bag is perfect for this because not only does it have two heavy duty buckles for holding bridles in place but also has additional storage perfect for spare curb chains, rein stoppers, and keepers as well as heavy duty top hanger to hang the bag from tack stall or trailer.
5) Put everything back
This is such an easy one, but it is also so easy to be in a rush and toss things willy-nilly thinking you’ll organize it later than never do. Take the extra second to put anything you pick up back where it lives. Putting scissors back into the grooming bag is a much better move than on the ledge of the stall wall, where they will inevitably fall behind your tack trunk for the remainder of the show.
Do you have your own tips on how to stay organized? Share them in comments below!