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Talk to me about away shows.. even the stuff you'd think I'd already know!

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  • #21
    A hanging rack of hooks. You will always need a place to hang things. Always.

    A mirror you can hang (to make sure all is tidy prior to mounting up).

    Twine and extra double ended snaps (particularly in mind for hanging buckets).

    Garment bag, boot bag, a camp chair to park in front of your stall. I pack a bucket of essentials that lives in front of my stall (brushes, tack cleaning stuff, extra rags, treats) that fits on the rack of my saddle stand. I have everything I need there, but some people prefer a small portable trunk (a large rubbermaid container also works but things that wheel are easier).

    I always find myself in need of a permanent marker for one reason or another - always nice to have on hand.

    Likewise, a cooler - pack plenty of drinks for yourself and some small easily managed snacks (my snack of choice is the oats n honey granola bars because if I tap out midway through the horses always like them). HAVE A WATCH - or have a clock you can hang on your stall front. You will not want to keep taking your phone out to check time. Portable battery charger for your phone is also nice - I tend to show in a dead zone and for one reason or another it sucks the battery dry so quickly.

    The obvious stuff..clean nice halter, clean tidy lead-line (if horse can get A Bit Much, I tend to keep a tidy black rope halter, but some people prefer a chain + leadrope combo). A white saddle pad (and a spare if you have room). A tide pen or some other mode of "oh I have green slime on my white breeches, excellent" address. Plus tack. remember that even if you do boots in warmup someone needs to take them off before you go into the arena.

    A book or two, a MP3 player+headphones.. something for all your down-time.

    Many overnight shows have bedding involved in your stall fee (check your entry fee - I always have to mark how many bags I want). If it isn't, bring that from home. Likewise, ample hay + each grained meal in a clearly labeled bag.

    Bug repellant (for both horses and people) is wise. Depending on weather, consider packing a cooler too. I've been to some early-mid spring and early-mid fall shows that end up being shockingly cool and I was glad to have the fleece for the horses.


    • #22
      I do a lot of away-from-home events with my Driving mini.
      Shows & GTGs (like the National Drive next month).
      I do haul myself, but if my drive was more than 4h & it was in my budget, I would not hesitate to ship with a commercial hauler.

      First thing I do is unload the mini & put him in the assigned stall. Then hang his water bucket, put down bedding & feed hay.

      I prebag feed & make sure to take treats for us both. His: horse cookies. My cooler gets filled with protein snacks like string cheese & 100cal lunch meat packs or precooked & sliced chicken breast. And some sort of cookies for me.
      I am not a soda drinker, I prefer unsweet tea, but a Diet Coke treat can be refreshing.
      Add some fruit - apples we can share, oranges & yogurt cups.
      That way I can grab a quick snack without having to trek to a concession.

      I bring a folding chair and a 6-hook tack hanging rack that slips over the top board of the stall.
      I have attached zipties to his grooming box so that can hang on the rack too.
      I transport hay bale(s) & other "stuff" on a handcart.
      Small muckfork & tub for picking the stall.
      Double-ended snaps & dollar store dog leashes to hang stuff - like his water bucket.
      Grain is fed from a pan in the ground, but in a pinch can be dumped on top a flake of hay.
      A small plastic tote carries miscellany: duct tape, baling twine, scissors, 1st aid stuff, towels & tack cleaner.
      To avoid trips to the hydrant, I have a mini-muck bucket - holds 2gal - that I fill, cover with a towel & stash under a small folding table placed next to my chair. I can refill his bucket a couple times before I need to refill the larger from a hydrant.

      Lastly, I have a checklist for horse & me.
      This after going to a 3-day show & discovering I had not packed a change of (comfortable) shoes or shampoo for myself.
      And then the camping trip where I left my girth hanging on my fence at home...
      Friend had a spare.
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


      • #23
        You are so smart to ship to Lexington! Route 81 (I think) can be a nightmare on Sunday afternoon/evenings! The last thing you want to do is be driving your horse home after showing in your Championship (go you!), and get stuck in traffic. Your horse won't mind--he doesn't know the difference!

        The floors are dirt in those barns, and its red clay. Take 2 pair of white breeches (ask me how I know). Also, don't unbraid until you absolutely KNOW you don't have to go in for a ribbon ceremony (again...). They place a lot of horses, and you have to be mounted.

        Have fun!


        • #24
          Don't forget the white polos or boots for the awards ceremony!


          • #25
            One more thing: get the night watch service. Best $10.00 a night ever. They check on horses every 2 hours, refill water and will feed am feed and hay if you want them too.
            RIP Mydan Mydandy+
            RIP Barichello


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
              Use the night before he arrives to walk the entire show ground. It will help a lot with the anxiety if you have a robust mental map instead of asking for directions or feeling unsure walking to the ring. It also will be a huge help if you get a last minute "XX class has moved to ring 9" and you have a good sense of where Ring 9 is located. There should be at least one vet and farrier hanging around. They may be in the program or have signage. Figure out who is available and save their number into your phone if you pull a random shoe or need a vet ASAP. I'd also at least casually befriend the stalls around you. Let them know your big guy is a weaver but if they see him in distress or trying to climb a wall, you'd love a call and offer to do the same. At finals one year it was at least 9:30 at night and a GP stallion was trying to literally (and semi successfully) climb over a wall. The owner had absolutely no information posted. Thankfully, someone I was with recognized the horse and had the owner's number.

              For your horse, I'd definitely ulcerguard Thursday - Sunday, especially since he is a worrier. Does he live out 24/7? If so, I'd bring him in to eat or hang out for the hottest parts of the day this week. Kick him out before he gets upset but that way he isn't going 0 - 100. If he will eat soaked grain, that's a great way to not mess with his normal rations but to get in extra water. Is he a good drinker off property?
              Thankfully I'm stabling next to a friend that knows Music, she'll be there the entire show even before I come. He does live outside but he's been at a training barn since Sept 1st for us to prepare so she's going to start bringing him into a stall little by little to ease him into it. He will def. eat soaked grain so that's our plan.
     - Lets build your dream barn


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by atr View Post
                Don't forget the white polos or boots for the awards ceremony!
       - Lets build your dream barn


                • #28
                  Originally posted by Meredith Clark View Post

                  If you get a ribbon in a championship class that has mounted awards, it is customary (but not required) to put white boots or polos on the horse to receive the award. I believe black is legal as well - and tends to look better on some grey horses. It's totally legal to leave your horse's legs naked as if you were showing.


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post

                    If you get a ribbon in a championship class that has mounted awards, it is customary (but not required) to put white boots or polos on the horse to receive the award. I believe black is legal as well - and tends to look better on some grey horses. It's totally legal to leave your horse's legs naked as if you were showing.
                    I don't expect to get a ribbon but if I would do we have to do like a victory gallop or anything? He might buck me off not because he's bad, but because he's large and I get nervous in front of people with stuff like that. He'd celebrate and I'd go flying.

                    I do have nice white dressage sport boots!
           - Lets build your dream barn


                    • #30
                      Take a fan- the VA horse center stabling has crappy airflow and it's hot in there even when it's not hot. Take food with you if you don't want to wait forever in the evenings to eat dinner. If your classes are in the indoor, try to get him in there beforehand- it's dark and a lot of horses tend to be a little weirded out about going in initially. Pack a ringside bag for whatever you might need when you head warm-up or your classes- most everything is a good walk from the barns and you don't want to have to run back to get something
                      Wouldst thou like the taste of butter and pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Meredith Clark View Post

                        I don't expect to get a ribbon but if I would do we have to do like a victory gallop or anything? He might buck me off not because he's bad, but because he's large and I get nervous in front of people with stuff like that. He'd celebrate and I'd go flying.

                        I do have nice white dressage sport boots!
                        It is usually more of a victory canter and plenty of people do a big trot. There will likely be only a handful of people around and most will be fixated on watching/photographing/videoing the horse they personally know going around the ring. Just treat it like a warm up ring and cruise around a lap.


                        • #32
                          You didn't exactly ask this but some of the best advice I ever got from a vet is if you are using a communal hose to fill up your water buckets, don't let is hang on the bottom so the bucket fills around it- hold the hose over the top of the water- best way to prevent disease!

                          and zip ties, god bless zip ties. Enjoy your trip!


                          • #33
                            People mentioned having each of the horse's meals already measured out and in separate containers. We put each meal in a paper bag with the horse's name on it and either am or pm. When you leave for the hotel Saturday night, leave his Sunday am bag in front of his stall. This way, if his neighbors get fed earlier than you get to the show, whoever is feeding can feed yours too. Of course, talk to those stabling around you and make sure you trust them, but since your horse is a weaver, this may prevent him from getting upset in the morning.

                            Bring a phone charger to the show (not just left in your hotel room).

                            A carpet remnant, bath mat, small tarp or something like that to stand on when changing shoes (eg, show boots to paddock boots).

                            Have fun!


                            • #34
                              I'll be going to CBLMs too! I love the Virginia Horse Center! We camp for the duration. You can request outside facing stabling if you think that might help your horse feel less claustrophobic.

                              The red dirt floors are a pain if it's wet as that stuff stains everything! Take extra everything if it's supposed to stay white!

                              Also, CBLM rules differ than most shows. The division you enter depends on your highest level shown rather than Open or Amateur. I've shown through PSG so must show in division B with the pros.

                              Good luck and have fun!


                              • #35
                                And if you forget something don’t panic...there’s a Dover across the street! I bought some earplugs there for our first awards ceremony.


                                • #36
                                  Not a dressage person and have never gone to a show on my own... BUT, one thing I recently read here was to Scotchgard white breeches and pads. I think the tip came from a dressage person. I have never done that or thought of that, but it sounds genius... and I will be doing that myself for shows moving forward. Of course, search forums for actual advice on that.

                                  Also, in the H/J world, at least, food at shows is either expensive or terrible, or both. Agree with packing your own!


                                  • #37
                                    Pack more than what you think you'll need. I have 2 of everything, except a saddle. It's a hangover from eventing days where you never know what could happen. While it's a nuisance to pack, you won't be sorry and make quite a few friends when people need to borrow things too! I've had random things break and there is nothing more horrifying than realizing you have no replacement cheek strap because your horse decided to have a cheeky quick rub on something and snapped the cheekpiece.

                                    If you can take your own hay and feed, it can help a lot of horses feel a bit more settled. I've had the same hay from the same hay supplier for ages and last time I went away, I ordered hay from the local shop for ease of packing. My boy turned his nose up at it though he was really nice hay. Make sure you take molasses or something to help them drink. Water can taste funny away from home and some horses really don't like it.

                                    Take some creature comforts. I know it sounds silly, but I always pack my own pillow. It helps me sleep better. Always rememebr your lip balm and sunscreen!

                                    Have fun! I just got home from a multi day show which ran smoothly thanks to my paranoid packing. My mother in law groomed for me all weekend and even she said it was handy not having to rummage around in the grooming box for that one thing. She'll never laugh at me again for having 4 pairs of scissors.
                                    Not my circus, not my monkeys!