Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Surviving your first dressage test: Part 2

Here is Part 2 of my series "Surviving your first dressage test". You can read the other parts so far here:

Part 2: Packing

Try to pack a day or two before your first show. That will give you enough time to remember anything additional. And you'll be able to relax as you pack and feel prepared early. Next time you might be able to pack at the last minute, or keep a box of "show stuff" that you don't use often packed away and ready.

I think it's better to over prepare. I was over prepared for my first test, but I did not forget anything and was even able to supply paper towels and braid bands to friends.

First, find yourself a plastic storage box or footlocker that's easy to carry, roomy, and can fit in your trunk or trailer. I already had one with old sweaters in it. I just evicted the sweaters for a few days and bought a replacement later. You'll find my packing list at the end of this post. Here are a few tips to get organized:

* bring a notebook to the barn and make a list of things you use: while you prepare to ride, after you finish, when you feed
* use my list as a guide, and compare it to the list you made to come up with your packing list
* zip-lock sandwich bags are good for organizing small items
* use rubber bands to keep other things together
* clothes pins and paper clips can help with paper work
* If you'll be feeding your horse meals at the show, measure them out at home and pack them ready to eat.

Packing List

- Copies of the class schedule
- Copies of stall assignments
- Extra photocopies of your horse's Coggins Test
- Copies of each test you're riding

- All your brushes, curries, hoof pick
- Braiding bands
- Fly spray
- Shine spray
- Shampoo
- thinning shears
- regular scissors
- regular towel
- paper towels
- sponge
- hoof polish

- bridle
- saddle
- girth
- 2 saddle pads
- whip
- leadrope
- halter
- tack cleaner

Horse clothes
- cooler
- trailering gear (shipping boots, etc)

My gear
- helmet
- boots
- muck boots
- show breeches
- cover-up pants for over breeches
- schooling breeches
- show jacket
- show shirt
- tie
- stock pin
- gloves
- extra sweater
- waterproof jacket
- spurs
- hair brush
- hair net
- hair pins
- hair elastic

Stall and trailer
- 2 buckets
- shavings
- pitch fork
- wheelbarrow
- hay

- needle and thread
- safety pins
- tylenol
- black duct tape
- chairs
- cash
- box o tissues
- allergy stuff
- cellphone

- sandwiches
- bottled drinks
- fruit
- chips
- horse treats
- your horse's meals

Continue to part 3...

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