Packing for your first horse is an exciting task and is worthy of its own checklist! Lucky for you, we have already prepared your horse show packing list and we can’t wait to share it with you. Build your own packing list from the lists provided here or jump straight to the free download.
We’ve broken our horse show packing list into 4 categories of essential items.
Food to Pack for a Horse Show
It is particularly important, especially if you are going to an event that lasts more than one day, to include food on your horse show packing list.
When you pack your food supplies, make sure you plan your horse’s meals as well. Personally, I recommend that you pre-prepare your horse’s meals into separate, sealable buckets. This makes dinner time easy as and you don’t need to worry about mixing your horse’s grains on the road.
Pack food for you! This includes breakfasts, lunches, or dinners, and make sure you have enough to properly fuel your body during the competition. Whether that be packed food or bought from a vendor is up to you. But make sure you have a plan.
Don’t forget the horse snacks and human snacks on your horse show packing list! Everyone loves a good snack and that includes our horses. (I for one almost always pack snacks that both my horse and I can enjoy. My favorite snacks are carrot sticks, apple slices, and muesli bars! Though beware, it’s a bad idea to keep them in your back pocket, I learned this the hard way when I felt a tug, turned around, and saw my bar being greedily devoured by my so-called partner!)
Tack to Pack for a Horse Show
You can’t compete without your riding gear. Before you leave for the show, it is best to give your gear a thorough cleaning to make sure it looks its best. Make sure you pack your gear the night before you leave so that you don’t forget anything in the morning rush. Make a horse show packing list checklist (or download our free printable one!), pack early, and then double-check that you have actually packed everything listed on your horse show packing list.
Clothes to Pack for a Horse Show
The clothes you will need to include on your horse show packing list are typically specific to your event. If you are part of a club, you may be required to wear a uniform, if you are competing at a show as an individual, you will need to check the entry requirements about what to wear to a horse show for your specific show.
We suggest laying out your outfit a few days before to check you have everything you need and that it is clean! We also suggest packing a spare change of clothing in case something happens to your outfit while you are at the show.
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Extra Items to Pack for a Horse Show
You should also have a few extra kits that you always travel with. These include a first aid kit for both you and your horse, your spares kit, a grooming kit, and your tool kit.
First Aid Kit
When you set up your first aid kit, there are a few key items you should have. Keep in mind that if you or your horse need any special medical equipment or treatment you will need to add that to this list as well.
- Anti-septic. You will need two different anti-septics. A cream for you and a spray for your horse
- Band-Aids for you. If you cut yourself, you need to sanitize the cut with your anti-septic and then cover the wound to ensure no new bacteria infects the cut.
- Bandages. You can pack human and horse bandages if you want, but vet wrap works for both people and horses so feel free to simply pack 2-3 of these bandages.
- Non-stick gauze. This is needed for both you and your horse. If your horse has an open wound, gauze needs to be put on the injury before bandaging. The same applies to you, if the wound is too big for a Band-Aid and requires a bandage, make sure you put gauze on the wound.
- Tweezers. These are especially useful in the equine industry. Splinters are common and painful.
- Pain medication. If you are injured, you will want some form and pain management.
- Rubber/latex gloves should be on your horse show packing list. Whenever you are working on an open wound, make sure you are wearing gloves. You will want a clean pair every time you tend to a wound so make sure you have several pairs.
- Sunscreen. This comes in handy when you are spending all day outside with your horse.
- Fly/bug spray. You will want fly spray/cream to keep the bugs off of your horse’s face, but you will also want bug spray for you to keep the flies and mosquitos at bay.
Having extras, spares, and odds-and-ends on your horse show packing list is very important. It can be a serious problem if your equipment breaks during a show. To save you from disappointment and possible forfeit, make sure you have extra:
- Stirrups and leathers
- Lead Rope
- Helmet cover (If your competition requires you to have one)
- Hair ties and bobby pins.
- Girth. If your girth breaks, you have an unusable saddle. Always make sure you have a spare. If you jump and participate in dressage, make sure you have both types of girth spare.
- Saddle blanket
- Extra bits. If your horse uses different bits for different events, make sure you have all of the bits you need. These aren’t necessarily extra’s but they can be easily stored in this kit.
- A spare hoodie/jacket for you. I have forgotten a jacket many times and always regretted not leaving a spare in my gear bag!
Hint: reviewing the US Pony Club’s exhaustive list of essentials for barn management may help you stock your horse trailer’s tack room for a more successful show. Their list of everything a person needs to care for a horse can be an excellent reminder of less common items you might want to pack.
Even if you are away from the stable, you still need to give your horse its daily grooming. They may also need to be groomed (or just dusted with a rag or flick brush!) between events.
Your horse show packing list should include a grooming kit that contains a minimum of:
- Rubber brush/Curry comb
- Dandy/hard brush
- Body brush
- Hoof pick
- Main and tail comb
- Rubber bands for braiding your horses hair
- Sponges to wipe your horse’s face.
- Boot polish
- Boot pull and boot jack to get your boots on and off (if you need them)
- Wash bucket in case you need to clean your horse
- Scraper to dry your horse after a wash
- Leather soap, conditioner, and rags to polish your gear
- Pliers/wire cutters – You never know what can happen and if you need to cut a fence or piece of wire quickly, having a set of these on hand can quite literally save a life.
- Work knife with a serrated edge – In case you need to cut your horses lead rope to free a spooking horse
- Leather hole punch – this is non-essential but very useful, you never know when you will need a new hole in your leathers or even your belt!
- Tape measure
- Duct tape
- Screwdriver – both phillips head and flathead
If you know how to manage your horse’s shoes, also include in your packing list:
- Shoe puller
With these essentials on your horse show packing list, you should be prepared for anything. You can now attend your show without fear of broken or missing equipment and you can focus on what is important: Your horse, your events, doing your best, and having fun!