Four lifesaving tips to stay better organized at one-day events


Four lifesaving tips to stay better organized at one-day events

It is easy to have a love/hate relationship with one-day events. It’s great that you are in and out of the venue in a single day and free to spend the rest of your weekend how you please. But it can be a nightmare running three different phases in a single day. If you want your one-day events to go smoothly then you need to be super organized. From the moment you pull into the event, you have to have all of your ducks (horses) in a row. Getting and staying organized is not rocket science, but it does require some planning and technique. Use these straightforward tips to be a successful one-day eventer:

1) Write down a detailed schedule: Eventing is great because unlike most hunter/jumper shows you get start times. This takes the guesswork out of when you will be competing so you can plan exactly what time you need to get on for warm-up. Invest in a midsize whiteboard and write down your three start times as soon as you have them. Then decide how much warm-up time you need and add what time you need to be getting on your horse. Figure out how long it will take you tack up and jot down what time you need to be tacking up. Then hang the whiteboard on your trailer tack room door so you can reference it on show day. This way you and whatever entourage you have will know the game plan.

2) Organize tack and equipment by phase: Most event horses have different tack for each phase and as a rider, you have to wear different equipment for each. Make your life easier by grouping your stuff together in a logical fashion. You can do this once you arrive at the event but it is best to do it beforehand in case you experience any unexpected delays on your travels. Hang your dressage jacket with your dressage helmet and tuck your dressage gloves and hair net in the helmet. Put your dressage saddle pad on top of your dressage saddle with the right girth and hang your dressage bridle nearby. Organize your show jumping gear and cross-country gear the same way. This method of organization will also help ensure you do not forget anything because you will have to go through everything you will need to compete as you group tack together.



3) Pack grooming items that make cleaning your horse a speedy job: Magical grooming fairies are not going to keep your horse spotless on the trailer ride to the event, and it is amazing how filthy a horse can manage to make itself on even a short trip. The essentials you will need to have readily available in a grooming box are:

  • Baby powder: Great for when a stain won’t come of a socks or to make a grey horse’s tail whiter)
  • Quick stain removal spray: Many grooming product companies sell their own version of this and I find most work fabulous. You can just spray it on like fly spray and then wipe it with a towel and voila the unsightly stain is gone.
  • Jug of water: Save time running to the water truck by packing a jug of water. Even if it is not enough to bath a horse it could come in handy wiping off tack that never got cleaned properly or getting horse slobber off your show jacket.
  • Towels galore: You can never pack too many towels for an event.
  • Shine spray: It does not matter which brand you choose but some form of show sheen is a must have. If your horse gets dusty on the trailer ride spraying some of this miracle in a bottle solution on your horse and wiping it off with a towel will work wonders.

4) Make a list and check it three times: If you forget something, have fun running around the trailer parking lot and begging someone to borrow theirs. It is much wiser to write an actual checklist of everything you will need and make sure every single item is in your horse trailer before you leave. Here is a great already made list; you can use this one to create a list custom of what you and your horse require to event. Do not entrust the final list-checking job to anyone because as a rider it is your responsibility to make sure you have EVERYTHING. Maybe you pay a groom to do this but if you are at an event without a saddle, being angry at your employee will not make a saddle appear out of thin air. Spending a bit of time checking off a list is well worth the small effort it takes.

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