Horse Show Essentials

img_0622Now that I have gone to a few more shows in recent months I am getting back into the swing of horse show set up. I still need to get more efficient but I think I am perfecting the art.  13413021_1034956266586968_327439513174792630_n

My biggest tips are to stay as organized as you possibly can. This is still a work in progress for me and I am open to any tips you all might have as the drawers I currently have stink.

13339443_1033705196712075_7781308360070426125_nIt is so much easier to set up if you know exactly where things are and they are packed in the order you like to unload. For me this means that my shavings, water buckets, outdoor metal fan, pitch fork, hose/nozzle, hay bale bag, and set up items are easiest to get to.

13346738_1030382583711003_6080574702063973032_nAfter I have my stall set up and my horse off the trailer then I can get to totally setting up everything. For me this includes the items below:(some tried and true others newer).

  • Stanley Trunk
  • Deco Pony stall guard
  • all of the zip ties
  • T1 Bridle Bag
  • T1 Shelf
  • Saddle rack
  • Folding basket – great place to drop your phone, hang spray bottles, rest helmet, etc
  • Wrap/Bandage holder
  • Cleaning hook
  • Folding chairs
  • Yeti cooler and lots of snacks

img_6465When I have help and I am moving fast I can be set up pretty quickly. Even on my worst day I don’t think it ever takes me more than an hour.

The next big step for me will be figuring out a good camping set up for shows. I really want to start camping to save money at shows but in the summer that means I also need to figure out a way not to melt or die… Ideally I would like to have a hammock in my trailer and some kind of portable AC unit… but I have to do a lot more research before I am ready to make any purchase. Do you all have any suggestions? Tips?


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  1. I’ve gotten my horse showing essentials down to the bare minimum ever since I switched to dressage. It’s so much easier to load and unload the trailer now haha. As for camping – there are some really nice ventilated tents you can get for like $200, if you want to sleep outside of the trailer on hot days.

  2. A generator would be an option, but not a cheap one. It also may take some time to find one quiet enough to have close by. You could plug in AC, lights, a fan, etc.

    Battery operated fans are also an option. I’ve camped with those, as well as a box fan when electricity is available.

    Truck bed tents are nice if you have available bed space and are not storing things in the bed of your truck all weekend.

    Another thing to consider is finding a place to shower. Absolutely essential in the summer. When I went to a horse show with my friend several summers ago and we camped in her trailer, we were able to shower at a friends’ hotel room.

    1. I’m generally assuming I’ll have electric at the camp sites I would be at. I would probably get a hotel if that wasn’t an option and the weather warranted it. Thanks for the tips!

  3. We did a complete overhaul of our tack room setup for shows this year, and so far I’m loving it. I really should blog about it ….

  4. I love that folding basket! That would be so convenient even at home!

    A take along AC would be amazing…but prob expensive. Maybe it’s time to trade in for a GN with LQ? Just sayin…lol 😛

  5. AC is tough because even portable units have to vent hot air.

    It actually gets pretty cold at night so if you get a good tent fan (or three) you usually don’t need AC unless it stays above 80 at night.

    One way to sleep and stay cool is to sleep in a hammock, since the air moves around all of you instead of just the top of you. Hammocks have available insulation bags, as well, that double it so you don’t get as cold. One thing I do with mine is take a soft gel physical therapist cold pack and put it between the layers so I’m lying on something cold. It helps when it is 400% humidit and you just want to fall asleep.

    If you need a camping mattress and decide not to go the hammock route, I really like the ExPed megamat. Its like the same as sleeping on my bed at home and worth the $$.

    Since I got a bigger truck I now take a guest bed cot, and a solar battery pack to charge my phone/laptop and plug in a fan at night and I just sweep the shavings to the side in my trailer and sleep in there. Goal Zero makes good ones or if you can get a site with power than just an extension cord and power strip will do ya.

    1. Thanks for all of the awesome suggestions! I’m definitely leaning towards the hammock route but need to figure out how to safely rig it in the trailer and learn the weight bearing spots.

      1. Mine is secured to the tie rings in the trailer which are usually secured to a crossmember or frame beam. I had to have one added to the rear of the trailer so my hammock could go basically diagonally across one of the stalls in my straight load.

        I have a hammock from ENO and I like it. I got the double one so I had some room to stretch out and make a pillow nest without being in a cocoon. You can also get a frame stand for one and set that up in your trailer if you can drop your chest and butt bars and then you don’t have to worry about the tie rings.

        now all I need is a portable hot tub so I can survive three days at a horse show…