11 ways to be organized at a horse show!
The most stressful time at a horse show? When you can’t find what you need and you are already behind. Or about to be behind. So, with a few organizational tips, you can help your horse show experience be one to remember in a GOOD way. Tackle organizing your time, and tackle organizing your horse’s stuff.
For time-related matters at a horse show… it’s all about the planning.
- Use a whiteboard or calendar app or piece of paper to literally write down when you should be doing stuff. Even stuff like eating lunch, cleaning tack, and tossing hay.
- Take your ring time and work backward – including travel to/from the warm-up and main ring. This really only matters in huge shows, but you get the idea. Then calculate the tacking up and grooming time. Add time if your horse is wiggly at a show or you are a bit nervous.
- Don’t set yourself up for failure by thinking that you will finally all of a sudden be able to braid, groom, tack up, and get yourself dressed in the same amount of time it takes at home. You should still practice all of these things at home, but add some time in.
- Add extra time when you arrive to really let your horse settle in. Lots of ways to do this – graze, walk, munch on some hay. More ideas here.
- Keep your horse’s schedule as close to his home schedule as possible. The internal clock of a horse is not only tuned to the second but can hold a grudge for quite a while.
- Add in more time for things that you need to mimic at a show. For example, he won’t be getting turned out at a show, so add in a hand walk.
- Same goes for stall cleaning. The horse on 12 hours of turnout is going to have a lot less poop to clean up than the horse at a show. Plan accordingly.
Allow extra time for braiding at a show.
For keeping all of the horse stuff together at horse shows…here are some tips.
- Label, label, label. If you think it might not need a label, you should put a label on anyway. Use a sharpie, a label maker, big letters from the mailbox and address section of a hardware store.
- Have plenty of tools to hang things from. If it’s all getting shoved into trunks and bags, you will be wasting time and also letting dirty stuff touch clean stuff which is basically the cardinal sin of horse showing. Not really.
- Have a way to separate the laundry. A bag is great, this makes things easy to get out of the way. You can even take the laundry to the trailer at the end of the day.
- Keep all of the similar items together. This is why I love buckets with labels! You can also use compartments or smaller storage containers to tidy things up.
How do you stay organized at a horse show?
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Tough 1 4-Prong Portable Tack Rack – as shown above.