Courtesy of Yvette Seger, Horse Management Guru
We are always fielding questions about how kits and personal equipment need to be labeled, as there is a lot of confusion, both with our competitors AND our officials. The idea behind the labeling rules is not to see how much crap you can cram onto a sticky label, but rather ensure that equipment is returned to its proper owner at the end of the rally. Therefore…
Team Kits: Should be labeled with Team/Region Name. If individuals contribute items to the kit, they should be marked with his or her name or initials. (you would be amazed by how little you care about getting your back items when you’re tired at the end of champs…until you’re home and NEED them…)
Individual Equipment: Should be labeled with rider’s name and number. Items in the grooming kit should be individually labeled (how many times have you found a random brush in the aisle?). Sharpie markers work great for most objects. Black rubber curry combs can be labeled with the silver Sharpies.
*Individual saddles and bridles and girths do not need to have label tags–just label the racks on which they are stored.*
A common thing that people forget to label is their horse’s halter. The halter should be labeled so that we can return the horse to the proper competitor/barn. This is particularly important for Champs, as there are horses all over the place. I recommend either a round metal tag (like a bridle tag) on which you can place a sticky label for each rally with the information OR you can make a tag out of duct tape. Try not to to apply the duct tape adhesive to the leather, as it will make your halter gunky forever–get creative making loops, etc.
All competitors should label their equipment such as saddle pads, horse boots, etc. well. This is really important for Eventing competitors, as you will be removing all equipment at the vet box after XC, and it will be returned in a heap in the stable area. You would be amazed how many people have the same hot pink Woof boots as you! Put your initials on the straps (use the Sharpie!), write your name on the underside of your saddle in the gullet…do whatever you need to do to ensure that you do not lose your equipment in the shuffle. Stable managers can also provide labeled garbage or cloth laundry bags to help keep team equipment together during the transport back to the stable area.