The Ultimate Packing Checklist for Summer Horse Show Essentials

Photo by Lily Banse

Nothing can dull the excitement of a summer horse show like realizing you left something essential at home.

You just want to get your horses settled and start enjoying the event, but now you have to worry about replacing it!

Then there are the items that you didn’t even realize you should be bringing with you. If you’re new to the horse show scene, it’s hard to avoid—if you’re a veteran, you probably remember having this experience once or twice.

To save you this stress, Blue Ridge Trailers has put together a comprehensive packing list of summer horse show essentials. We’ve drawn on the insights of our staff members who have decades of experience in the horse industry and attending horse shows.

But first, a pro packing tip:

Pack at Least One Day Ahead

The last thing you want to do is scramble around the night (or morning!) before your event.

Start packing at least one day before you leave, so that you have time to locate any missing items, replace or repair anything that hasn’t lasted since last season, and safely load and hitch up the trailer.

Here’s our guide to ensuring an even weight distribution within your trailer, among other hauling safety tips.

If you feel comfortable, ride your horse(s) at home, clip, bathe, and band/braid them there (if necessary). These are all things you then won’t have to do when you get to the horse show—you can relax when you arrive!

Summer Horse Show Essentials Packing List


Keep a binder of these items in either your horse trailer or truck. Don’t forget to update it before every show.

  • Coggins: you must have a current Coggins to transport your horse anywhere. You can keep extra copies in your truck, car, horse trailer, and purse or backpack, just in case!
  • Registration papers: depending on the type of event you’re going to, you’ll likely have to show your registration papers before checking in and signing up.
  • Health papers: depending on which state you’re traveling in, you may have to provide health papers upon arrival. Check with the show organizers if you’re not sure.
  • Relevant association membership cards

Trailer Items

Some of the more specific items we’ll touch on below could certainly be kept in your trailer as well, but these are the basics that should always be in there.

Remember to secure these items in an easily accessible area of your trailer.

  • Leg wraps
  • Extra halter and lead rope
  • Water bucket: depending on the length of your trip and the space available in your trailer, consider bringing a bucket or tank of water from home. (If you won’t be able to, you’ll find tips for helping your horse acclimate to an unfamiliar water source in this article.)
  • Feed
  • Bedding: this could be provided by the show—make sure you find out ahead of time
  • Tail wrap: if your horse rubs his/her tail in the trailer, this is a handy tool
  • Spare tires
  • Toolbox: including flares and flashlights with new batteries
  • First aid kit: equine and human, each kept in plastic or otherwise waterproof material. Some suggestions for what to include in your kit are below—you can find our full first aid checklist for horses here.
    • Phenylbutazone (bute) / Banamine paste: these anti-inflammatories provide short-term pain relief for horses. You will need to get this from your vet.
    • Triple antibiotic: for both people and horses
    • Gauze
    • Bandaging tape
    • Scissors
    • Liniment
    • Vet wrap

For safety, avoid overloading your trailer. Bring the appropriate amount of feed, bedding, water, etc. for the length of time you’ll be away from home.

If you have questions regarding safely hitching, loading, or towing your trailer, Blue Ridge Trailers is always happy to offer our expertise. Contact us online or at (434) 985-4151.

Horse Care Items

  • Grooming tote
  • Fly spray
  • Fly sheets: if you use them
  • Sheet: weather permitting, you may want to cover your horse up at night just in case he/she wants to lie down. But if it’s too hot, you may want to skip this and be prepared to spot-wash in the morning.
  • Mane tamer
  • Mane and tail brush
  • Tail bag
  • Bands / yarn
  • Hoof pick
  • Curry comb
  • Dandy brush
  • Body brush
  • Grooming towels: you’ll thank yourself if you bring more than one!
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Sponges
  • Sweat scraper
  • Hose: you might need this depending on the facility, so again, check ahead of time
  • Small bucket for bathing supplies
  • Treats

Other Useful Tools

  • Hooks for buckets
  • Hay bag
  • Pitch fork
  • Small or folding wheelbarrow
  • Clippers with batteries and sharp blades


  • Lunge line
  • Splint boots
  • Saddle
  • Saddle rack
  • Saddle pad
  • Girth
  • Headstall
  • Reins
  • Bridle rack
  • Bit: bring an extra!
  • Chicago screws: this is mainly directed at the western riders
  • Screw driver

For You

  • Clothing: make sure you have an idea of what you’re going to wear for each class. Try on clothes ahead of time so you know you’ll be comfortable.
  • Hat / helmet
  • Gloves / pins: if necessary
  • Boots
  • Spurs / spur straps
  • Safety pins / yarn: for your back number
  • Hair net / bobby pins / ponytail holder / hair brush: if necessary
  • Mirror
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Folding chairs
  • Paper and pencils: this will come in handy when copying down patterns or other things you may need
  • Bottled water: lots of it!
  • Snacks: if you don’t want to be confined to the concession stand


This may seem like a long list, but don’t let it scare you! If you run through this checklist before you leave for your show, it’ll make your life a lot easier. Nothing is better than being able to relax and enjoy yourself at the show—that’s what you came there for, right?


The Ultimate Packing Checklist for Summer Horse Show Essentials — 3 Comments

  1. I’m so Grateful for the help you gave me to find the perfect wheel chair trailer to pull behind my Harley Trike!!
    I just stopped by to ask you if you knew where I could go to find a little trailer for my chair so I could go to Sturgis Motercycle Rally and other places! Donna just took charge of the Mission to find me one! I’m a Disabled Veteran with a Passion for riding, but not able to get off my trike to go anywhere without my chair
    ! You went far beyond anything I could have ever imagined to help me with my mobility problem!! I’m now the owner of the best Aluminum Custom wheelchair Trailer! And I can’t Thank you Enough for all the work and effort you put into making this Possible for me! Blue Ridge Trailers Represents the the Finest Quality of Above and beyond Service to the Country!! As this Disabled Combat Medic Veteran will Forever be in your Debt!

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