Horse shows are events that all equestrians look forward to. What’s not to love? A whole weekend spent with your horse, trainer, and barn buddies! With so many shows to choose from and countless levels of competition, the options for horse shows are endless. Once you and your trainer have selected a horse show, it is important to start your horse show checklist. Think of it as going on a vacation and you need to remember what to pack. There is a lot involved in a horse show, and the more prepared you are, the better! Enjoy these helpful lists of what to remember to pack for yourself and your horse for a hunter class!Started at the top, now we're here.
The easiest way to start your checklist for yourself is to go from top to bottom. First thing: the helmet. Show helmets are typically black and attract everything from dust to dog hair. Make sure your show helmet is clean.hey can sure get dirty! If your helmet is particularly dusty, use a vacuum. Yes you read that right. If you put the crevice tool on your vacuum, it sucks the dirt out, no problem. Don’t forget your hairnets (pack at least two!), and make sure your hairnets match the color of your hair.
Working down, the next thing you need to pack is your clean show shirt and show coat. Show shirts come in many colors, with fun details on the insides of the sleeves and collars for extra flair. Show coats come in a wide variety of colors, with countless different types of trim, piping, and lining. If you want the classic equestrian look, the Huntley Equestrian Navy Blue Hunter TechLite Show Jacket is a perfect fit. It is a beautiful navy blue with subtle pink lining for a pop of color.
Store your show coat and shirt in the Huntley Equestrian garment bag. The Huntley Equestrian garment bag boasts a nylon exterior for durability and protection, a fully lined interior to protect your show clothes, lots of zipper pockets, and a folding feature for easy travel.
In the hunters, tan or rust breeches are prefered. Make sure your breeches are clean. It’s a challenge considering the show environment is often dirty. If you show later in the day, consider wearing different pants to the show and changing, or wearing pajama pants over your breeches to keep them clean.
A show belt is also necessary for a horse show. There are so many belts to choose from, but for the hunters, match your belt to your boots. Your belt’s width should be the same width as your pants. Your gloves should also be clean, ready to use, and match your belt and boots.
Tall boots should be clean and polished. If your tall boots are new, consider wearing them out to the barn a few times before your horse show so they break in. Think of what socks you need to pack to be comfortable in your show boots. Your boots may be a tight fit, for that, pack your thin socks. Your boots may fit just right, in that case, pack your regular socks.The Polished Pony...
Now onto packing for your horse or pony! You will need all your tack that you usually ride in. Your bridle and bit should be clean and free of dirt and grime. If you clean your bridle and bit before you leave for the show you will save yourself the stress of scrubbing once you get to the show. If your bridle is clean from the start, you will only have to wipe it down once you are finished with warm ups or classes. At Huntley Equestrian, we LOVE the Huntley Fancy Stitched Raised English Bridle (and you will, too!).
It even comes with reins. This bridle is made from the finest imported English leather and is durable and beautiful. This high quality bridle comes in sizes full, cob, medium pony, and small pony to suit all your horse size needs.
Your martingale should also be clean and ready to go. Just like your bridle, if you clean your martingale before the show you will be able to wipe it down after your classes. Our favorite martingale is the Huntley Fancy Stitched Raised English Standing Martingale. The martingale is made from the same imported English leather as the bridle and boasts the same fancy stitching and square raised design.
When it comes to your saddle, the same basic rules apply. Your saddle should be clean, but be selective on the cleaner you use right before a horse show. Lederbalsam or oil may be too heavy to use on the seat or knee rolls of your saddle; they may lead to staining your breeches in the seat and knee area. A good saddle soap is a better alternative, and once you finish riding, you only need to wipe down your saddle so it is free of dust.
Don’t forget to pack your show girth. Same as the rest of your tack, it should be clean. Girths are notorious for being dirty, covered in dried horse sweat and dirt. All of your tack (bridle, girth, martingale, saddle) should match in color as closely as possible.
Hunter saddle pads should be white or something similar to white. Depending on what your trainer prefers, pick a fitted saddle pad or half pad. Half pads are usually made of sheepskin and while fitted pads are a wool blend. Make sure your pad is clean and properly fitted to your saddle. When buying your show saddle pad, consider asking a salesperson for help; they may know what pad will fit your saddle best!
Good luck and have fun!
One of the best and easiest ways to enjoy yourself at a horse show is to be prepared! Know your course, remember to check your diagonals, and make sure to pack all of your equipment. If your equipment is in order, you can use your spare time to go up and learn your course early or check ring times. Use your horse show checklist as a packing tool, once everything is checked off, you are ready to go! Good luck and have fun!
Photos courtesy of Captured Moment Photography, Rick Osteen, and Huntley Equestrian.