Get ready for a one day horse show!


One-day shows and schooling shows are great! No need to stable overnight, good experience for your horse (and you), and often they save you some major dough. Spend some time planning for the best results at a one day horse show. 


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Plan these things for a one day horse show:




  • Give yourself roughly double the time it takes you to get ready at home. You will have distractions, your horse will have distractions. You will be working out of your trailer (likely) so things won’t be in the usual spots.


  • Also, plan for traffic, parking troubles, and a line at the show office.




  • I recommend that you braid or band your horse for all schooling and rated horse shows, clinics, exhibitions, and special events. The more you practice, the better you will be at braiding. Also, your horse will be acclimated to braiding, which will only help you in the future. If it takes 40 minutes to braid at home, it will be longer at a show. Promise.


  • Do you have the option to braid or band the night before a show? Yes! Just be warned that you may wake up to a rubbed-out mess. Rubbing braids also result in broken hair. I suggest doing a test run of your braids, then leaving his alone for a few supervised hours to see what happens. If you think he will make it through the night with his braids intact, I suggest covering them up with some sort of “horse underwear” so they are not poop stained and loaded with bedding or dirt.


You can find braiding tips here:

Braiding tips

Horse braiding tools

Dressage button braids

You can’t practice braiding enough.




  • I highly encourage every horse owner on the planet to know whether their horse loads. Show day is not the time to train this. So let’s assume your horse is a loading and trailering champ. A few thoughts on how to make his ride in the trailer safe and comfy:


  • Use leg protection, even for the shortest distances. I have seen a naked-legged horse deglove himself by slipping off a ramp while unloading.
  • Have bedding in the trailer on mats. Urine and manure will turn your bare trailer floor into an ice skating rink.
  • If your horse is a nervous nelly, trailer with a buddy. If that’s not possible, try hanging a shatterproof mirror so he can be his own buddy.
  • Provide munchies in the form of his regular hay. I suggest wetting it for the trailer ride to minimize dust and debris flying about.
  • Keep the trailer ventilated and use screens on the windows. Screens keep dirt, debris, rocks, asteroids, and other dangers out of your trailer.
  • For you – practice maneuvering the trailer around. Parking at shows is usually equivalent to winding through a mouse maze. In reverse.




Protect. Every single trailer ride.



At the show.


  • Bring a friend, spouse, a child, someone you have dirt on, or your barn buddy to help you if possible.


  • Know stabling options in advance – day stalls, or are your tying your horse to the trailer? This begs the question does your horse tie to the trailer and if so can you or your show buddy watch him all the livelong day?


  • Also have a plan for feeding breakfast, lunch, and dinner! If you use your trailer as a home base, hang a hay net high enough to prevent a hoof from getting caught. You can also use bailing twine to hang a flat-backed bucket.


Going home.


  • Do some care at the show before you pack up and go home. Bathe your horse if need be, clean the tack, and ice his legs and joints. This simulates a multi-day show and is great practice for you and your horse.


  • Wrap those legs up for the home trip.


At home.


  • Treats for everyone, including you.


  • Consider some more ice, a poultice, a liniment for sore muscles, and/or standing wraps to help your horse’s legs and body feel awesome the next day.


  • Unpack and you are done!


***Don’t forget to take your horse’s TPR before you leave home, before you leave the show, and after you get home! Many yucky icky viruses are spread when horses gather at a show and then scatter back home in all different directions.***


A few miscellaneous thoughts!


  • Pack food for you as well as your horse. Some smaller schooling shows and one-day events don’t have a food vendor.
  • Bring water from home if you think your horse may not want to drink “strange” water. This article also has loads of ideas on how to entice your horse to drink.
  • Even though it’s only a one day show, you can use the Ultimate Horse Show Packing List as a checklist for things to pack. Clearly, you won’t need everything on the list, but I’ll bet you didn’t think of a few of the items!
  • Bring a change of clothes for you if you like. I know I would rather wear jeans and a t-shirt than show breeches and a rat catcher.

Have fun, have lots of pictures taken, and send me your tips for having a great one day show!




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Go shopping for all of your horse show need here

Click these links to shop for horse supplies. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which are not a penny more for you. I couldn’t be more grateful for your support!


HandsOn Gloves on horse_.jpg

HandsOn Grooming Gloves – also, use code PEG for some free shipping!


Genuine Cactus Cloth – Natural – 18 X 16-1/2 Standard This is much better for stain removal and spreading natural oils around.

I love Easy Out for touch-up stain removal!


You can also snap up a bottle of the grooming oil I love 


Tiger’s Tongue


The Strip Hair groomer

Hoof picks with brushes are double-duty


A small brush for faces.


A dandy brush

A dandy brush


A finishing brush

Horse hair finishing brush


A hard brush with shorter bristles.

One style of hard brush.


The Wet brush – great for damp or wet hair

I love the WET brand for manes and tails.


JT Tough-1 Fold Up Thinning Knife – my favorite mane blade for making a mane even!

Solocomb By Dh Animal Products – for thinning the mane without pulling.

This is a rake that works similarly.




Handy cloths for all things horse grooming

Larger sponge for bathing and grooming


Tack cleaning sponges


Fiebing’s Liquid Glycerine Saddle Soap for Horse 16 fl oz


Effax Leather Balsam 500 ml

A handy tote for grooming supplies on the go!

The classic wood grooming box.


Tote with stepstool combo!

Magic Sheen, works wonders without all of the added alcohol.


This shampoo, MediCare, has soothing ingredients for sensitive skin.


Everyone’s favorite MTG for all sorts of skin issues.


EquiTone in Black is great for bays and darker horses.


Whitening EquiTone is good for all colors for shine, and whitening for grays. 


Red EquiTone in brightens chestnuts and blood bays.


EquiTone in GOLD works with palomino coloring. 





No. 2 Heavy Oil, just a bit of deeper conditioning for dry winter coats.


ADC Veterinary Thermometer, Dual Scale, Adtemp 422 – For easy temperature taking

3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope, Black Edition Chestpiece, Black Tube, 27 inch, 5803 – For finding heart rate and gut sounds


Wahl Professional Animal Bravura Lithium Clipper – this includes the 5 in 1 blade that goes from a #9 to a #40. Perfect for designs!

Wahl Professional Animal ARCO with 5 in 1 blade


The Chromado, also available in black.


Wahl’s Creativa horse trimmer is also availabe in pink.



The KM10’s are the gold standard for horse body clippers.


The Pro Ion, this is a body clipper that uses 30-15-10 blade system.

The Lister Stars – the best shear-style clippers for horses!


Blades for body clippers, the detachable style.


The 10 Wide blade for body clippers, the detachable style.

A 5 in 1 replacement blade.

Lister Star blades, fine cut.

Uptite Poultice


Sore No More Liniment Bottle – pick your size

Back on Track Limber Up LiniMint Leg and Body Brace



Vetrolin Liniment

Ice Horse Pair of Tendon Leg Wraps for Equine Therapy – Comes with 4 Ice Packs


These ice packs make for easy cooling of your horse’s legs and hooves. They last for hours.

This tall boot can be filled with ice or ice packs to help the horse with laminitis.


These affordable boots can be filled with ice to help your horse.


Fancy quilts


Perri’s Standing Bandages, Pack of 4 – so many colors to choose from


Easy to use Back On Track boots


One style of leg quilts, from Intrepid International


Yet another style of quilt

Back on Track no-bows

Sheepskin fuzzies can help with rubs.

Fleece halter covers

Magic Cushion takes the sting out of hooves


The BEST for winter grooming – a hot water kettle!



This saddle pad has memory foam panels and a contoured topline

A lovely western saddle pad with a contoured topline.

This western saddle pad has a cutout for the withers.

Numnahs also come in contoured shapes.

A basic and affordable contoured saddle pad.

A quilted saddle pad with a contoured topline

Fleece girth cover


This is an evaporative cooling blanket for horses

Another cooling blanket option for horses

Back On Track mesh sheets acts like a warming treatment


Fun colors and fringe for tail bags.


Tail protectors for trailering. 

Scrim sheet


This is a lighter scrim style of cooler


This slow feeder for pellets and grains helps your horse take his time eating. 

Heated bucket


Bucket warmer

Muck tubs can make great waterers

The gold standard in muck tubs, this one.

Small opening hay net

Traditional slow feeder with smaller openings

Vittles Vault 80 lb – many sizes to choose from!


Mattes Liquid MELP – 500ML – for sheepskin goods

Leather Therapy Leather Laundry Solution – for sheepskin, leathers, suede goods


Free laundry detergents may be better for your horse’s stuff



This saddle oil contains fungicides for your horse’s tack.


This fly bonnet is sound dampening.

Turn your horse into a mermaid with this fun fly bonnet.

Ear puffs don’t have to be fuzzy.

Fuzzy ear puffs for horses