Be organized. You will feel a lot less stress if you know you have everything and know where it is. We have lists that we check off as we pack the tack box and trailer. My daughters tack box is a big Rubbermaid container with a bunch of smaller (shoe box size) plastic containers stacked inside. Each box inside has a purpose/theme. We have a box that holds our smaller show outfit items (hair nets, clip, stock pin, magnetic number holders), we have a hair care box (bands, brush, hairspray), a lunge line box (gloves, lunge line), etc. Depending on what we are doing, I can grab the appropriate box and we have everything we need.
At the show, know how long it takes you to get your horse and yourself ready...than give yourself that much time + at least 20 minutes.
If possible, if your horse is new to showing, try to arrive early and hand walk your horse around. If there are banners, let him get a good look at them before he has to enter the ring to show.
Otherwise, breathe, relax and remember its not about how you place, it's about having fun and improving your skills. We compete not for ribbons, but to allow my daughter and her mare to test themselves, to become a better team, and to experience new adventures...because every show is an adventure ;).
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