I've also created this handy-dandy show packing list divided by classes. It's a guide at least. View it Here.
I have two mottos when it comes to show organization:
1. A place for everything and every thing in it's place.
2. You need the right tools for the job.
I don't show all that much. It's only been one or two a year. So why put this much cash and energy into keeping myself organized? Because when I do get to do that rare show I want to be able to ENJOY it. You have read the title of this blog, right? You know I can get frazzled WAY to easily. I try very hard to avoid that.
I also have a very important commitment to getting ready for a show as soon as the show is over. What I mean is, as soon as I get home from a show (and eat a huge fast-food meal and sleep 10 hours) everything gets restored to show-ready condition. Pads get washed, clothes get washed and pressed (yes, I said PRESSED), tack is cleaned, and everything is put back in the right bags, ready for the next show. This way I don't end up realizing I can't find some little thing or that my shirt isn't washed or that my breeches split a seam as I'm dressing for my first class. Also, with having to bum rides to shows it helps to be ready. I was offered a spot to go to a show... tomorrow, and in fact and I am totally ready to go, but I'm trying not to over-do it with my back and all. And my shirt isn't ironed which means I broke my rule so I guess I can't go. :(
All laid out, ready to pack up.
Hanging Bridle Bag: English Halter, Eng. Bridle, Western Bridle, Screwdriver, Double-Sided Velcro stripes to hold the tack on the hooks during transport.
2. Garment Bag: I actually hate the design of this bag. The zipper should be placed like #1. The center zipper makes it difficult to get items in/out, but it does have two huge pockets in front for accessories and I can separate the English stuff from the Western. All pants, shirts, jackets, belts, gloves, socks, lint roller. Dry cleaning bags help keep stuff dust free when hanging in a dirty tack stall. I also add a spare hanger to keep my show ribbons from ending up in a wrinkled ball in the bottom of a damp water bucket. ;)
3. English Boot Bag: Boots ALWAYS with plastic shaper inserts, Spurs, Boot Hooks, Boot Jack, Spare pairs of black nylon trouser socks (not as fun but cheaper that Zocks and not obnoxious if they peek out over the boot tops.)
4. Portable Blanket Bar. The chains make it possible to hang pretty much anywhere. I like it on the front of my stall door with my show pads on show day and my work pads during schooling days, with hooks at each end for halters, towels, etc. I use a hair binder to keep the chains in check during storage/transportation.
5. Tail Bag. The tail really should be in a nylon tube, it's on my sewing list. Also tucked in the bottom of the bag is black electrical tape and braid binders.
6. Ring-side Shoulder Tote. Baby wipes, finishing brush, Touch-up Spray, Rubber Gloves to wear while applying the Touch-up Spray, Hoof Polish Enhancer, A hoof pick, a hand towel, and Saddle Stick Spray - yes it does work.
7. Large Shoulder Tote: Grooming Tools, Braiding kit (if I actually braided my own horse), Spot Remover yeah, it works too, Hoof Polish, In Case of Emergency Contact #'s tag for my stall, large zip ties (I use one to create a place to hook our in-stall tie rope) vetrap, extra hanging hooks/snaps, tie rope, bucket straps, hand wipes, Hose nozzle, Ring-Side Shoulder Tote goes in here for transport, too.
8. Halter Bag: Like the garment bag, this zipper is not awesome. Supposedly fits "multiple bridles" but it really only fits one western show halter comfortably.
10. Western Hat Can. Hat, cleaning sponge, and fake hair bun - which I've not used yet.
11. Accessory Folder. Back numbers, number magnets, shoelaces, safety pins, Chicago screws, waterloop ends, bandaids, earrings, makeup, hair needs, sharpie, pen, etc. This has proved really helpful when asking show helpers/strangers to grab last minute things. Folds up flat and fits in the duffel.
A note about numbers. So far, every show I've been to allows you to choose your own number rather than having to take the ones they provide. They keep a master sheet with all numbers and you just claim your spot. June 15th is my birthday so my number is 615. I have two kinds of numbers. I have two sets of laminated numbers that are attached to my pads with a tagging gun - simple and secure. I also have a shaped number that is not laminated but backed with contact paper. This number has holes for tying around the waist. I also stitched magnets into the back of my western jacket that are spaced the same as the holes so all my helper has to do pick up the outer magnets, and put them back down with the number underneath. I should really get some sort of award for that one.
|There's empty space! It should be filled with something! But what?|
|Yeah, it's all in there.|
|Here it all is when it's just arrived at a show.|
Next on the list to add:
Show Blanket Case, Post show kit with seam ripper and comb for taking out braids.
Someday I want this: a PROFESSIONAL Tack Dolly from Schneiders. Doing only 1 or 2 shows a year does not justify the expense but someday I want to roll that out of my trailer and make ONE TRIP into the show barn... Sigh...
So what are your tried and true Show Organization tips?