Get Show Ready with Ariat Pro Riders

With the show season just around the corner it won’t be long before we’re spending hours grooming and prepping our horses the night before our first competition, hoping that they don’t cover themselves in stable stains or find a muddy patch to roll in before you need to load them on to the lorry at 5am.

Then of course there is the mental or physical ticking off of your check list to make sure you have packed everything you need and not forgotten a key piece of tack or your boots or show jacket.

So how do the pros keep themselves organised? We asked some of our Ariat Pro riders and their grooms for their horse show checklist and how they get themselves competition ready.

Eventer Mary King recommends getting prepared by cleaning out stud holes the day before any competition. Not only does this mean you can check the horse’s legs and shoes, but it means you shouldn’t run into any problems with stud holes on the day.

Another common theme is to pack spares! Eventer Charlotte Agnew says ‘we always have an extra head collar and lead rope, as well as spare reins and stirrup leathers in case of an emergency!’. Hickstead Derby winner Tina Fletcher says ‘we always pack the lorry the night before and always check that everything you could possibly need is in your ring pack, there is nothing worse than arriving at a ring to find out you’ve forgotten back boots and the stables are 20 minutes away!’.

If you are lucky enough to have the support of a groom, or friend you can also rope them into keeping you organised on a competition day. Mia Ketcher, Head Groom for 5* Eventer Vittoria Panizzon says ‘when competing at events I will always write a schedule the day before the competition and talk through the plan with Vittoria. I also make sure to take all the essentials ring side!’