Equestrian Life-Hacks to Maintain a Show Ready Trailer
With the new year underway, many equestrians are looking ahead to the start of a new show season. Daydreams of perfect rides, time with friends and blue ribbons bubble up in our minds. We fuss over every preparatory detail for our horses: grooming, vetting, training. Sometimes that means we forget specific features that make our own show experience smoother.
If show equipment becomes disorganized, the whole experience can go from exciting and motivating to stressful and overwhelming…in an instant. Don’t let a mess in your tack room leave you running for the in-gate. Tap into the zen of an orderly horse show life with the help of some equestrian “life-hacks” that will keep your trailer as show ready as you are.
No matter how large your trailer’s tack room may be, it always seems to fill up quickly. Every tack room can be improved by making the most of storage space. A simple shelving unit takes advantage of vertical space to keep your horse show necessities organized. Lightweight, sturdy shelving is easy to find for reasonable prices online or at your local retail store. It makes an excellent home for hats, boots, saddle pads, and buckets. Many shelving units can also aid in tool storage by providing a spot to attach hangers or bungee cords.
Get Into Organizers
The key to organization is making sure every item has a proper home. Closet organizers provide homes for things that might otherwise tend to float freely around your trailer and create clutter. You can find a wide variety of organizer styles just about anywhere. A rotating unit maximizes storage space and accessibility while hanging perfectly on a clothing bar. Cubby organizers make room for towels, sheets, lycra hoods, and street clothes. Shoe organizers perfectly stow shampoo bottles, spray cans, polo wraps, clippers, and brushes.
Free up more storage place by keeping certain items on trailer walls with the help of adhesive-backed fasteners.
Velcro strips on your trailer door create a grab-and-go home for sport or bell boots. Simply press sport boots to the strips to hold them neatly in place. Likewise, attach bell boots by pressing the corresponding side of their velcro to the strip. This format is a breeze to keep tidy while offering the benefit of visibility: you’ll always know which boots have already been packed. Plus, boots stored in this way can easily air out after use.
A small whiteboard provides two significant benefits. First, it allows you to take notes and make lists, which can help with packing. Second, it is a magnetic surface, unlike the aluminum walls of most trailers. Magnetic clips are perfect for hanging showbills and patterns for easy viewing while remaining more mobile than if they were taped. Magnetic tins are ideal for keeping small items such as safety pins and hair bands neatly displayed within easy reach. They also provide a safe place for things like loose screws or other small parts.
File It Away
Horse showing requires you to keep track of several important documents. Hunting down misplaced paperwork can be a significant unnecessary hassle right before a show. Store registration papers, Coggins, entry forms, and showbills safely in a magazine organizer. Even better, keep a few essential office supplies alongside your paperwork. Use a binder pouch to contain pens, markers, highlighters, and hole punchers. The show office will appreciate it as much as you will.
Maintain a distinction between clean, ready-to-use horse blankets and those that need a wash before covering your horse’s immaculate coat. A collapsible laundry hamper provides a logical spot to place dirty sheets, wraps, hoods, and tail bags. It’s perfectly portable for when laundry time rolls around, and it will flatten out and stow away once the load is done.
Labeling maintains order and reduces searching time. Keychain labels work on all kinds of show equipment. Identify the contents of your garment bags at a glance, know which horse’s blanket you’re about to grab, or which color tail extension is zipped inside each bag. Your own creativity only limits these sturdy and affordable tags.
Keep It Together
Make grooming tools easy to transport without the bulk of a bag. Attach shower curtain rings to items like scissors, grooming rags, curry combs, mane and tail brushes and more. Clip them all together or grab just a few to hang on a belt loop, grooming cart, or stall hook. Take them anywhere while remaining hands-free.
These are just a few ways to get creative with your trailer space. Remember that all kinds of tools and storage containers can be repurposed to your liking. Peruse your local dollar store for unique containers; browse for inspiration on your favorite online shopping sites; make a gold-mine find among second-hand furniture. Have fun transforming your trailer to suit your needs, and then forget about it to enjoy the show season of your dreams.
About the Author: Natalie Linders is a senior in Animal Science and Agricultural Business Management at the University of Minnesota. She enjoys showing in all-around pleasure events and has a particular love for showmanship. Whenever possible, Natalie entertains herself by learning new things. Her ongoing goal is to compete successfully in as many different classes as possible with the same horse. She is thrilled that her new prospect shows promise towards this personal challenge, and she is eager to indulge her competitive streak in the show pen in 2019.