Spring is nearly here and those of us who don’t go South are beginning to go stir crazy. I find that this is the ideal time of year to get organized. By doing it now, you won’t find yourself scrambling before the first show of the season, only to discover that you are completely out of safety pins or that all of your show pads are stained.
If you are fortunate enough to have your own trailer, take the time to thoroughly clean it out. Take this opportunity to strip it and conduct a detailed safety check. If your trailer has a tack room, this is a great time to completely empty it, vacuum or sweep the floors, and check that everything there is in good working order. If possible, I would choose a warm day and power wash my trailer.
Sit down and make a checklist of everything you will need for a horse show. If you want to be super obsessive you can type up your list, print it out, and laminate it. Hang it in your trailer or inside your tack trunk, and use it as a final check before shipping out to a competition.
Next is the fun part (yes, I might be a slight organizational nerd)! Take the opportunity to empty all of your trunks, grooming boxes, bins, etc. I personally, like to use this time to make an inventory. If a piece of equipment is broken, decide whether to get it fixed or to replace it. If an article of tack or your brushes are dirty, wash them. If something is unlabeled, label it! Don’t forget about your show clothes. Make sure that your coat isn’t missing any buttons and that the zippers on your tall boots still work.
Deep clean and condition your tack. Good tack can last forever if you take care of it. One of my bridles is over 10 years old and is still in workmanlike condition. Take the time to apply a coat of metal polish to the buckles. And don’t forget any show halters or leather open fronts.
Check your documents. Is your truck and trailer insurance up to date? Has your horse’s coggins expired? Are you still a member of all the necessary organizations; USEF, USEA, etc.?
If you spend the time to get organized early, the week preceding your first competition should be much easier and significantly less stressful, helping you to put in your best possible performance! Good luck in the coming show season and remember to have fun!