Show season is in full swing and, whether you’re traveling across country or staying local, there’s a lot involved with readying yourself and your horse for these events. No matter how much you prep, no matter how much you’re on the road, no matter how many thousands of shows you go to, there will inevitably be that one thing pop up you never knew you needed.
Everyone has it; that one, oddball thing they never leave home without. Everyone else looks at you like you’re crazy…until they need it. Now who’s crazy?! Mine? Mine is a corkscrew. That made the list after a very difficult, but successful attempt to open a bottle of wine with a lag screw and now everyone thinks I’m a genius.
There are plenty of places that offer a general checklist of the things you need to hit the show circuit or trail this year. These lists are great places to start but often don’t take into account the individual lessons other riders have learned the hard way. So, below is a list of items, in no particular order, you won’t typically find on your run-of-the-mill pack lists. We hope you find this helpful for your next adventure!
- Tire Pressure Gauge:
Hmm...that tire looks a little low. Maybe it's just because the trailer is loaded? Or how it's sitting on the hill a bit? I bet you wish you had a pressure gauge to check!
- Trash Bags:
Whether you bring full out, heavy duty garbage bags or just the extra Walmart sacks cluttering the area below your kitchen sink, we've all been in a situation where a plastic bag would come in handy.
It's true. We're in the modern age of electronics and it seems everyone has the ability to swipe a card these days, right? But what about the kids holding the ring side bake sale? I'm betting they aren't likely to have a credit card processor...
- Toilet Paper:
Let's face it. Some TP is just cheap. Or, you find yourself in a spot without a restroom. Or, someone spills something in your truck. Best to come prepared!
A good folding chair is nothing to shake a stick at. Hard bleacher seats or standing all day is certainly not
- Lint Roller:
If you're like us, your dogs are your co-pilots and, no matter how religious you are about vacuuming your upholstery, there will inevitably be stray hairs. Stray hairs that will attach themselves to your brand new, navy blue, pinstriped show coat.
- Extra Wraps & Polos:
- Wheel Chock:
If you're staying several days at a show, you'll no doubt want to unhook your trailer at some point and having the trailer stay in one spot while you're gone is always a good thing. Check out these easy to use wheel chocks!
- Zip Ties:
If you've ever had the pleasure of using zip ties, you know just how handy they truly are. Use them to hang water buckets, fix buckles, straps and clips, replace a missing button in a flash, add extra security to a stall door housing a naughty pony, etc.
- Boot Laces:
Another one learned firsthand. Field boot laces are flimsy by nature and will snap on you, almost vindictively, when you’re late to the ring.
- Trailer Jack:
If you spend enough time on the road, you’re going to have to change a tire or two (unless you’re fortunate enough to have AAA or USRider) and these handy little jacks can make your life SO much easier!
- Duct Tape:
Fixes everything. Enough said.
- Extra Reins:
I can’t stress this one enough. Unforeseen things happen every day when you’re working with horses and having an extra set of reins handy can be your saving grace.
- Tool Box:
Now, this doesn’t have to be fit for Tim “The Toolman” Taylor but there are few things it’s always good to have available; screwdrivers (Phillips and flathead), hammer, nails, screws, pushpins, sharpie, twine, wire, scissors, pocket knife, wire cutters, multi-tool, pliers, etc.
- Small Folding Table:
Whether you use it for holding snacks, gear or displaying your winnings, I’ve found that having a small table like this can be priceless.
- Extra Halter & Lead Rope:
Horses do silly things and breaking halters and lead ropes is one of them. Having an extra or two in your trailer can save yourself or someone else a lot of headaches.
- Flashlight or Headlamp:
Personally, I prefer a headlamp because I like my hands free but, to each their own. It should go without saying here but I’ll say it anyway…pack extra batteries!
- Extra Shoes:
The fact of the matter is, most show boots aren’t comfortable and, if you’re hitting the trail and step in a river, you’ll be quite happy to have a dry pair of shoes available when you return to the trailer.
As previously mentioned, a lag screw is NOT a suitable alternative to a corkscrew.
Our horses work hard and, if you’ve ever ridden in a trailer, you know there are more comfortable ways to travel. A good liniment can save a lot of pain when traveling and showing!