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New Year’s Edition: Top 10 Favorite Horse Show Hacks from 2023

As we all turn the page to 2024, let's revisit some of our favorites horse show hacks from 2023. We've compiled some great tips to make your show life easier this year.

Let’s face it…showing horses is an expensive, time-consuming hobby, so when a shortcut exists that saves money, time or effort, it’s worth sharing.

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite horse show hacks from 2023 from some real masters of horse show efficiency throughout the horse community.

Use a makeup brush for applying facial white
Whether baby powder, corn starch, or a whitening spray is the whitener of choice, applying white to brighten up stripes and blazes can be tedious: too large of an applicator and white is everywhere.

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However, keeping a makeup brush (think the size used for eyeshadow) in your toolbox is an easy remedy for this messy problem.

Keep a syringe in your grooming tote
Those handy totes with the essentials that horse show moms or horse show helpers bring along to the gate need an addition: a syringe.

No, not for last minute medication. The foamy, green mouth resulting from nibbling hay in the stall and then getting put back to work in the bridle will be a thing of the past when a syringe loaded with water rinses out any greens before bridling up.

Make office supplies work overtime
Lists are essential to organization and making sure everything is loaded in the trailer and done before heading to the show. Consider using a sheet protector or laminating sheets and dry erase markers to re-use the same lists again and again. Add lines or save space at the bottom to add items that don’t need to be packed for every single show. When the show’s complete, just wipe clean and store back in your truck or trailer.

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Use wax hair sticks for neat bands
Store those same wax hair sticks that work wonders for flyaways in your banding apron. Roll on to forelocks and mane sections as you place bands, and notice the neat and tidy difference a tiny bit of wax makes.

Go trigger happy with a tagging gun
Tagging guns typically used in retail for attaching price tags, eliminate the frustration of fighting with safety pins when attaching numbers to jackets or saddle blankets.

On the same note, attaching exhibitor numbers before the show and having a set for each outfit or saddle pad makes for smooth transitions between classes.

Try a leg whitening alternative
Chalk, baby powder, whitening spray and corn starch are commonly used to make those white legs really white, but a lesser known solution is to use generic athlete’s foot spray powder. It provides the same whitening effect, and users also say it protects your horses from scratches. It’s a win-win.

Concoct a home brew coat conditioner
Try mixing a large bottle of Listerine or a generic rubbing alcohol with two to three ounces of Laser Sheen coat concentrate. Users say it helps bring out a shiny coat, refreshes the skin, and relieves any itching. It can be particularly helpful at the top of the tail to alleviate itches. Play with ratios until finding a favorite; some home remedies call for a mixture of one third Listerine, one third baby oil and one third Laser Sheen.

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Grow a full mane and tail with fractionated coconut oil
Trying to achieve a full, long mane or tail? Coconut oil is a superior conditioner for its ability to penetrate the hair; it is known to strengthen hair and promote growth.

Fractionated coconut oil is a form that stays liquid at room temperature. For less waste, use it with a continuous mist sprayer – or wash out a Dawn Power Wash bottle to avoid buying something new.

Tidy up tack stalls
An organized tack stall helps keep everything running smoothly, and a variety of ideas can make organizing this important staging area easier.

First, load hay bags before the show so they’re ready to go. It’s a time saver on the day of the show, but also keeps tack spaces free of loose hay becoming strewn around.

Next, try a rolling toolbox system for grooming supplies so everything remains in one place and is easy to move. Plus, the vertical storage frees up floor space.

If keeping show clothes in this space, hang each outfit in its own labeled garment bag. Keep zip ties or strong magnets handy to hang mirrors, show bills, pattern packets, and anything else that requires a quick glance throughout the day. Try an outdoor area rug in tack stalls for an extra sense of tidiness.


About the Author: Megan Sacia Ulrich earned her Bachelor’s in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin. She currently teaches high school English and enjoys showing in all around events.
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