Preparation is key when you're getting ready to enter your first horse show. That is why it's important to make a list of the items you will need for the show and then pack them up the night before.
Your Horse's Hooves
If your mount happens to pick up a stone while in the practice arena, it could enter your event limping due to the pain. Make sure to pack a hoof pick, like Pick Brush, to clean your horse's hooves out before you enter the show ring. The best hoof cleaners also have an attached brush so that you can scrub the dirt from the front of your horse's hooves. Once clean, make sure to apply a fresh coat of hoof black or clear coat to your horse's hooves. This will give your horse's feet a bright, clean look that will make your mount look a little more polished to the judge. And just to be safe, it is probably wise to bring two hoof picks with you to the show. As any rider knows, these little tools tend to get misplaced easily.
Hay Net and Bucket
While some show facilities will have a water trough, many others will not. So it's very important to bring a bucket that you can fill up for your horse. In addition, some competitors are leery of having their horse drink from a water trough that is being shared by many animals from different areas as there is always a chance of exposing their equines to diseases such as EHV-1, a potentially fatal form of herpesvirus-1.
And while you could just throw your horse's feed on the ground, it is probably more sanitary to have your hay suspended from a net from your trailer. It is also safer for your horse since it can then be tied up with a shorter length of rope.
Rags or Paper Towels
One of the smaller items that is easily forgotten are rags or paper towels. At a horse show, there are going to be numerous times when you will find the need for a rag, including to clean off your bit or to wipe the dust off your saddle.
Horse shows can be a lot of fun and are an excellent way to grow a deeper bond with your equine friend. The only problem? You might just get bitten by the horse show bug and want to attend one every weekend.