Preparing to compete – what to take with you
You’re waiting for thestart bell, nerves tickling at your stomach. Your horse snorts, white mistbillowing in front of his face. Both of you are ready; the jumps loom ahead andthen – you’re off!
Its competition seasonagain, an exciting and fulfilling time of the year for both horse and rider. Tomake the most of the season, it’s worth putting in the time beforehand to planproperly; after all, there is nothing more frustrating than getting to thevenue to find you’ve left your passport or your entry details behind.
We’ve put together ahandy guide to jog your memory and make sure nothing gets left behind, ensuringa streamlined and straightforward day (or weekend).
Makesure you have the address and clear directions, and a map if necessary. Planyour route, leaving plenty of time to arrive.
Youwill also need all your timings and entry details, as well as an up-to-datehorse passport and any other information specific to the event.
Ofcourse, you will need all your tack – the details of which will be determinedby the competition you are doing. The basics include saddle, bridle, girth,stirrups, martingale or breast plate and boots. Pack spares – including girth,stirrup leathers, and anything else that may break. Check everything for safetyand make sure there is no wear and tear.
It isalways a good idea to have an outdoor rug with you that you can throw over yourhorse’s back while waiting if the weather is bad, and an exercise sheet forwarming up. Other useful rugs include a thermatex or cooler, and a stable ortravel rug. If you are doing cross country stable bandages are also handy tohave with you for extra support for tired horses’ legs.
Haveplenty of hay for the return journey and the stable, if staying overnight, aswell as onboard water, water buckets and any feed you need. Check your groomingkit before packing it too – if you are anything like me you may ‘borrow’ itemsfrom the lorry grooming kit at times! Include basic tack cleaning equipment forthat last minute polish and some horse wipes to give your horse a final touch-uptoo. Don’t forget your AqueosDisinfectant if staying in temporary stables.
Don’tforget your travel gear – such as boots, tail bandage, tail guard and leatherheadcollar, although this should be already on your horse when you load him!
Check all your competition gear is onboard, as well as somethingcomfortable, warm and dry to change into. A spare hat is a must, as is anyprotective equipment you need such as body protectors, gloves etc. Have yourmedic card in the lorry ready as well.
Food and drink for you is also a necessary item, just in case the venuedoes not have catering. Pop some Aqueos hand sanitiser into your bag to make sure you don’t eat dirtalone with your sarnies.
Makesure your human first aid is well-stocked but more importantly check your horsefirst aid. Essential items to carry while travelling should includeantibacterial wipes, Aqueos blood stop, spray plaster and first aid spray, which ensure dealing withminor injuries is a breeze. Cooling gel to apply after the competition can really helpease tired muscles and legs quickly.
And that’s it - followour list and you’ll be more organised than ever before! Good luck with yourcompetitions.