Amanda at The $900 Facebook Pony has great timing; I don’t have much to write about, since most of my rides have been very boring, very methodical dressage work with both horses. (Gina and I are headed out hunting again on Saturday, though!) Amanda’s asking “What are your 5 essential horse show items?”
- Yeti Tundra cooler: This thing is legitimately amazing. It’s extremely sturdy- you can sit on it, stand on it, use it as a footstool. It holds plenty of show day essentials like bottles of water, snacks, and sandwiches. (It comes with a little basket I use to prevent sandwiches from getting squashed.) And it keeps things cold. We threw it in the back of the truck back in August when Moe and I went off to the unmowed wild lands of Feather Creek. It was easily 90 degrees outside and the cooler was in full sunlight, but its contents were as cool as they were when we put them in there the night before. It wasn’t full of ice, either- just a couple of cold packs.
- Lucky Braids whitener/dry wash spray: When I was younger, I wanted nothing more than to have a horse with flashy white socks. Now that I have one, I long for the plain chestnuts of my youth! Any time I trailer Gina, she ends up with poop splattered all over her lovely hind legs. It’s not the best look for shows. This spray is great for removing those ugly stains; I spray it on, let it sit for a few minutes while I comb out Her Highness’s luxurious tail, then wipe her legs off with a towel. Voilà! Pristine socks with minimal effort.
- The Herbal Horse Be Calm salve: This has rapidly become one of my favorite products for stressful situations! Crazy-ass Gina does crazy-ass stuff regularly (e.g. not tying, becoming upset at the placement of a water bucket, freaking out over a saddle pad, refusing to get in the trailer, spooking at irregular blades of grass). I don’t know if this sweet-smelling salve does anything for her, but it certainly works on me. Plus, Moe likes to lick it, which I’m sure is calming for him.
- Croakies: I cannot live without my sunglasses; I hate squinting down the road, I hate squinting during course walks, and I like looking cool. But the Croakies are lifesavers, y’all. I never lose my sunglasses. I never drop them. I don’t sit on them. The whereabouts of my sunglasses are not something I want to worry about on show day (or ever, really). These do a great job of helping me keep track.
- Nalgene bottles: Staying hydrated is important, especially at shows when water consumption isn’t always on the forefront of your mind. I have half a dozen Nalgene bottles that I fill with water or Gatorade and take to a show. They’re practically indestructible and I like the wide mouth design without a straw or weird mouthpiece.