Brought to you by Horse Management Guru, Yvette Seger
Whether you are traveling to Kentucky for the Championships portion, Educational portion, or sticking it out for both, everyone has quite a bit of packing to do to keep their horses happy and comfortable while looking your best.
By now, you should all know who will be on your team and you should have worked out who is bringing what. If you’re as lucky as my friends here in the Capital Region (which is pretty teeny-tiny), you may have even been able to get together to assemble your kits as a team and work on your stall cards and feed charts. If not, well, you have SO many ways to communicate – email, Facebook, Skype, texting, and phone calls.
Since I was a small Pony Club, I frequently found myself on scramble teams at regional rallies. Also, since Tri-State covers a lot of territory, we were rarely able to get together to prepare for Championships in person. I know a lot of people panic when they realize they will be on a team with kids from 3 or 4 other regions, but let me tell ya, I’ve found that the scramble teams tend to do really well because they’ve taken nothing for granted – no one wants to be “that kid who forgot all the kits and ruined the championships experience for the whole team.” Or at least no one will openly admit to it.
Below are some of my thoughts for “Packing for Success!”
1) In addition to divvying up the Required Equipment and other items you will use to set up your tack room, you should clarify who will be arriving when and figure out how that will affect tack room and feed room set up. For example, you guys want to put down an ah-maaaa-zing carpet in your tackroom, but the person bringing it isn’t planning on arriving until 11:53 am on Tuesday…you can’t really set up until the carpet is in the tack room, so you might want to explore other options for floor coverings or send the carpet with someone else.
2) Pack your trailer in reverse order of use, meaning pack the stuff you won’t have to use right away FIRST, but make sure the stuff you need right away to make your horse comfortable upon arrival – water buckets, snaps, twine, etc. – are readily accessible.
3) Everyone should have a mini-utility kit. Mine is in a red and black tool box (naturally), and contains a hammer, screwdriver, baling twine, double-end snaps, duct tape (zebra, red, and Hello Kitty–the essentials!), masking tape, zip ties, scissors, and a few Sharpie markers (black and silver). This way, you have pretty much everything you need to get set up, even if you’re not responsible for bringing the whole Utility Kit for your team. But if you’re feeling weird, you can throw a couple extra Pony Club pins in there so you feel a bit more legit.
4) Make sure your stuff is labeled as you’re packing. If you have questions regarding what is expected in terms of labeling, check out HM Rule 12d (page 17 of the 2014 HM Rulebook). I’d also recommend labeling your hay bales with a duct tape label before you go, too. The less you have to label on site, the better.
5) Have you ever seen that person who seems to pack their stuff in like 50 gajillion plastic bags, or even better, just kind of piles everything into the trailer? Don’t be that person!!! Packing your stuff in storage boxes will really expedite unloading (and you will have a very limited time to unload upon arrival). Even better – label what is in each box on the outside. If you have too much stuff in the tack room, you can always take it back to your trailer later.
Check back tomorrow for Tips 6 through 10 on Packing for the Ultimate Road Trip! Go Pony Club!