Over the years of traveling to horse shows, the days of getting to the show and realizing that I forgot something at home are becoming few and far between (thank goodness!). When I was just starting out, it was not uncommon for me to forget to bring even the most obvious items, like my show bridle (oops!). However, there have been a few other items that may not be so obvious that I have now added to my packing list.
I have developed a list of “must haves” and I use this list before every show.
- Water: I always fill a clean water jug that I store in my trailer with water from my barn to take on the road. I find that my horse prefers to have the water he is familiar with while in the trailer instead of getting water at random rest stops along the way. Traveling during the night as much as possible during the summer has always been most ideal because of the heat, but sometimes daytime travel just can’t be avoided, so proper hydration is a key item I worry about. I also make sure I have a few tubes of electrolyte paste, like SmartLytes Paste, on hand to give throughout the travel and while at the show.
- First Aid Supplies: Evaluating and re-stocking my first aid kit that I have in the trailer for both horse and human has become a habit. For trips that require 12–15 hours of trailer time, it is better to be safe than sorry on the side of the highway in case an issue arises.
- Extras: Pack an extra of everything! I always pack extra hay nets, trailer ties, and shipping boots because I have been caught before without an extra when one of these items is torn in transit or chewed through by my lovely gelding because he is bored.
- Spare Tire: Another key component of my checklist is to ALWAYS be sure that my spare tire for the trailer is solid in case I have a blowout headed down the interstate. I have also made a point to attempt to learn and practice changing a trailer tire in case I ever need to do it on my own. Along the same line, I also am sure to always check my trailer lights before pulling out of the driveway. Since I mostly travel at night to shows, proper lighting is always important. I also have thrown a few spare bulbs in my trailer in case one burns out along the way.
- Show Gear: A huge portion of my checklist, of course, is tack and show supplies. This portion of the list includes everything from fly spray, to leather cleaner, to show attire, to shampoo, and of course SmartPaks!