Morgan (left) and Rachel (right) from Tully Cross Farm who were my great helpers this year in the warm-up field

Morgan (left) and Rachel (right) from Tully Cross Farm who were my great helpers this year in the warm-up field – Rupert from Fair Hill took this photo.

I am a list maker. When volunteering each year at Fair Hill International Three-Day event, I not only help decorate the course but assist in warmup for cross country day. Over the years, I have developed a list of stuff I end up taking with me on Saturday. I’m sharing that list only with you, Horse Junkies.

1. A nice clean warm wool horse cooler. This is not for horses. This is to pad the folding camp chairs we sit on and to wrap around our legs in case the Canadian Artic Wind picks Saturday to blow on us.

2. Extra spurs, plain, with nylon straps so they fit any rider who can’t read the FEI rulebook. Since that includes most of the equestrian world, the spurs have made two trips so far around the Fair Hill cross country course, last year in the three star and this year in the two star. They bring good luck to anyone who forgets that a CCI doesn’t allow roweled spurs on cross-country.

3. Cupcakes. I baked devil’s food this year. We are awfully busy though and only a couple got eaten. (See Chocolate, below).

4. Colored electrical tape. We need tape for the jump standards to denote the heights allowed for warming up. We have to pick the old tape off the standards and re-apply new tape – every year.

5. Oh, let’s see. We need dry erase markers in at least two colors. And one of them always runs out of ink.

6. Duct tape and a permanent marker. At least one horse always comes to warmup without a number on it and we make nice gooey marks on the beautiful expensive leather breastplate with the duct tape and write the number on it. Hey, saves a trip back to stabling.

7. A raincoat. If you bring it, it will not rain. If you forget it, it will monsoon.

8. Rubber shoes. If you wear them, your feet will sweat and be soggy all day.  If you don’t wear them, your other shoes will leak and your feet will be soggy all day. You cannot win. Wear them anyhow.

9. Chapstick. Sunscreen. Bugspray. Chocolate. Those are sort of standard jump judge equipment anyway and are packed in my tool kit on a regular basis. For the extra stress of this competition and warmup, we bring chocolate as a necessity. Lots of chocolate.

10. A two-step mounting block. Three star and two star riders can actually mount with a two step mounting block. Haha. Those of us over 40 (ahem, cough, 50) are well into our second decade on the three-steppers so it’s sporting fun to watch young athletic types actually mounting from the two-stepper. It’s nice to take it home and park it back out in my arena and think I was stepping on the same block some Olympian parked their butt on in the warmup field for a few minutes at the 2013 Fair Hill International three-day event….

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