I love blog hops. I especially love how they give me an excuse to write a post with actual interesting content after months of hacks, unremarkable lessons, sickness, and two straight weeks of rain. As many of y’all will know by now, I don’t have a horse and I don’t show – but I do groom, and I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to make my life more comfortable back at the barns.
- Plastic shopping bags. Y’know, the kind you get from the grocery store, or Target, and that you hoard inside a larger plastic shopping bag because they make great tiny trash can liners. They also can be used to waterproof literally any shoe. I have yet to find a shoe that a) is waterproof, b) has good footbed and ankle support, and c) is tall enough to prevent shavings from getting stuck in between my socks and shoes. (If anyone here wants to buy me a Christmas present, I will definitely accept a nice pair of country boots fitted enough to wear UNDER my jeans!) Wet socks are the devil, but if I wrap two plastic bags around my socked feet before putting my shoes on, well, I can accidentally spray the hose down the side of my boot all I want. …Almost.
- Double if not triple the amount of socks I thought would be necessary. Because even my awesome hiking boots’ waterproofing will fail sometimes, if I stand in enough puddles. Especially important when I’m staying at a hotel, because I can’t just run home instead of getting lunch and grab a new pair. Y’all, I really, REALLY hate having wet socks.
- Coffee. The girl at my Starbucks always knows when it’s a horse show weekend because I’ll come in four days in a row at five in the morning. “Are you going to work or something?” she asked me, the first time this happened. Yes. Yes I am.
- Rain gear. Last year my parents took my siblings and me to Alaska. I considered this to be the perfect excuse to get my mother to buy me a bunch of outdoorsy clothes (such as the aforementioned awesome hiking boots) that I otherwise would never have bought myself. Most of it is also waterproof. Real talk: it did not rain all that much when I was in Alaska. However, it rains a lot in the South. And even when it doesn’t rain, washing horses 18 times a day gets you very, very wet. So I always bring my raincoat (still miraculously white!) and rain pants (not white) to horse shows, even if there’s a massive drought, just in case.
- Digital watch. Set timer for fifteen minutes; lunge horse without worrying about having to grab your phone out of your pocket. Always know you have the right time at a glance, as opposed to an analog watch, where glancing at it for half a second is no guarantee that you actually interpreted the hands correctly. Don’t worry about getting your fancy leather watch strap soaked in soapy water to the point it falls apart, which is the reason I even have a digital watch in the first place. Digital watch.
Y’all have no idea how difficult it was for me to narrow this down… but I feel like items like food, extra cell phone chargers, and alcohol were givens! 😉