20 tips for organizing yourself for show season

Organization makes for a better experience

If it isn’t the key to a successful horse show, it at least makes the experience a whole lot better – and more fun! And isn’t having fun the point? When things are chaotic and you feel overwhelmed, it’s hard to focus on what you’re doing, relax, or enjoy your time at the show.


Luckily, there are some things you can do to minimize the disorganization and go into things feeling well prepared and less stressed when organizing yourself for show season.


Follow these 20 tips:


  • Plan

  • Pre-register

  • Wash everything

  • Care for your clothes

  • Bring a bucket or bag

  • Label things if you’re in a group

  • Make a packing list

  • Everything In Its Right Place

  • Stock up

  • Leave early

  • It’s a team effort

  • Re-purpose bags

  • Keep your class list in hand

  • Clean your horse

  • Be matchy-matchy

  • Protect your horse

  • Feed your horse

  • Clean up

  • Keep calm

  • Have fun!




Plan, plan, plan

The more you can accomplish before you arrive, the better.



If you can do it ahead of time, why wouldn’t you? You don’t have to allot extra time, you already know your agenda, and you don’t have to worry about paying when you have other things you need to attend to … namely your horse!


Wash everything

Clean tack. Clean tails … just clean everything!


Care for your clothes

Check show clothes to ensure no piece is missing (We, at The Wire Horse, think this would be a tragedy!). Get bags to carry all of your show clothes in and to keep them clean and wrinkle-free.


Bring a bucket or bag

Use this for bathing items so it’s easy to carry around at the show.  Ring side bags for grooming supplies, Royal Wire rolling basket or groom cart to keep everything together.


Tip your horse will appreciate: Bring two different colored sponges: one for your horse's face, the other for the rear.


Label things if you’re in a group

You might mix up each others’ stuff.


Make a packing list

At least 2-3 days before the show you should start packing.


Make a packing list for you and your horse.


Include everything you need, even if it seems obvious. Those are the things you always forget when you’re stressed out!


List items can include things such as:


  • Saddle

  • Halter

  • Extra halters

  • Show clothes

  • Food

  • Fly spray

  • Work saddle

  • Show saddle

  • Liner pad  

  • Clean halter for after bath

  • Extra lead rope

  • Royal wire bucket hook

  • Grooming tote and Noble groom bag

  • Extra hoof pick

  • Food and water for your horse (feed, hay, supplements)

  • Food and water for you!

  • Paperwork (registration papers, coggins test, health papers)

  • And more!


Have everything packed the day before the show. After you pack, check off items to make sure you didn’t overlook anything.


Everything In Its Right Place

Place gear in the trailer logically so you’ll easily be able to find it. Have a place for everything and keep it in that place when not in use. Easier said than done, but aim for organization. Also make sure things are easily accessible so you can grab items in a hurry.


Stock up

Make sure not only that you have supplies, but that you’ll have enough supplies.




Leave early

You never know if there will be an accident or road construction. You also don’t know how long the line to sign in will be. Many trainers recommend this tip.


It’s a team effort

Things can get tricky when you’re trying to groom your horse and yourself at the same time! That’s why enlisting a friend helps. If you need help tacking up, for example, you have a buddy.


Re-purpose bags (TIP)

You know those bags that blankets and sheets come in? Don’t throw them out! Save them.


Re-purpose bags from blankets and sheets. They come in handy when you’re trying to keep things organized at a show. Every horse should have a bag on the front of their stall for sheets, brushes, and feed. Your saved bag works perfectly! It keeps items you need out of the tack stall and within reach when you need it. Saves time and $$$!


Keep your showbill and class list in-hand

Highlight your classes and events. Then you’ll know when it’s time to tack up. Check off completed classes and note which ring classes are held in. Writing it down is better than relying on memory, especially when you have enough to think about!




Clean your horse

Keep your horse as clean as you can the day before the show and bathe them before the show. Quarter your horse where they are less apt to get dirty; and use a nylon sheet to keep them clean.


Take cleaning items with you for last minute minor (or major!) clean ups.


Be matchy-matchy

Mane bands should match mane color.


Protect your horse

Put your horse in protective gear as a safety precaution when trailering.




Feed your horse

Make sure that your horse has enough hay and water, especially if it’s hot or a long ride. Also feed your horse 1.5 - 2 hours before a show so your horse can digest the food.


Clean up

Clean up your horse and yourself before class. You’ll be that much more ready.


Keep calm

Remain calm so your horse doesn’t become nervous. Animals can tell!


If something goes wrong, take a deep breath. Trust that you’ll figure it out.


Have fun!

Don’t forget to have fun. You’ve been waiting for this. Savor every moment!


My So-Called (equestrian) Life

We hope your experience is smooth sailing. Follow these tips while organizing yourself for show season and get ready for the unbridled enthusiasm of your next horse show. And don’t forget to visit The Wire Horse to get all the items you need for show season.










  • Aug 05, 2020
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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