While I have been horrifically failing to do the #heelsdownchallenge each month, I couldn’t ignore this month’s topic—what is your competition ritual?
As I am packing and prepping for our first multi-day show in over a year, I found myself needing to brush up on how the heck to get ready and what the heck to pack.
I start my preparations by calling my parents and
begging convincing them to take the time out of their busy Friday to drive across the state to come pick Ax up and bring him to the show. Sure I am an adult, but that doesn’t mean I can or should be driving a horse trailer, so that I have to rely on them to drive us around like children.
This is when I body clip if I need to. Ax is a Sweaty Betty, especially at long shows where we are standing in the sun, so I like to keep his coat nice and short.
Two Weeks Before
Around this time, I panic about packing and make myself a list of everything that needs to be packed and everything that I need to do before Show Day. This usually includes making a million versions of the list since I always think of more things that I need to bring and do.
This is also when I try on my show clothes and realize that my shirt is missing a button, breeches are stained, or gloves are missing so I have to make a mad dash for the tack shop (or my computer) to purchase whatever is damaged.
Time to actually start packing things and crossing things off of my list.
Probably develop temporary insomnia due to fretting about things that could go wrong.
Two Days Before
Quadruple check that everything is packed and that I haven’t forgotten the essentials. I’ll do this a bajillion times before I feel like I have truly brought everything I need.
Do any last minute trimming of whiskers, fetlocks, and such.
Look at my tack and decide to do it tomorrow when I’ll be super stressed and have no time to do it.
Clean my tack that probably should have been pre-cleaned the week before.
Bathe my dirty horse and fight with him over cleaning his face until he inevitably gives in.
Braid my now-clean horse because I am too cheap to pay a professional to do it even though mine look like they were done on the dark (because they probably were).
Bubble wrap and cover every speck of my horse in an effort keep him clean for the night.