What do I need to bring ringside at shows?  Besides my brain?


It's very exciting to be working a show or riding in a show - local, national, or international.  It's busy, nutty, dirty, exhausting, and fun.  You will see a lot, and learn a lot.  One of your duties will be to stand ringside, just in case, and touch up your horse and rider before they go into the "big ring".  Your best friend in this case?  A bucket.  A backpack.  Or an apron with lots of pockets and space.  And maybe even flowery frills. 




What do you need ringside?  Here are a list of things that you may need, and chances are if you forget something, you definitely will need it.



Backpacks are easy to use - can lug lots of stuff and keep your helper's arms free. 


  • Hoof pick with brush.  If your rider may want you to pick the feet.  Lots of warm ups are not the quality of the show ring, and may contain stones.  Use the brush to get rid off the dirt and reapply polish if your rider wants that.
  • Hoof polish.  I like to use a paste hoof dressing, you can load up two brushes without drips.  One brush will easily do two tootsies.  Load up your brushes before the rider gets to you.
  • Damp towel.  For rider's boots, stirrups, and errant slobber globs.  



The "hurry up and wait" part of being a Groom!


  • Dry towel.  For rider's boots, stirrups, and errant slobber globs.  If you need damp, you will have dry.  If you need dry, you will have damp.  One of each should cover you.  Also, if you drop one, there is a backup.  
  • Fast hands to remove boots or polo wraps if the discipline requires naked legs.  AND room in your bucket or frilly apron to hold them.  
  • Video camera.  I like to get a short strap with hook and loop closures to hang off my belt.  If I must leave my bucket, at least I have the most expensive thing with me.  
  • Water bottle.  Maybe two.  
  • Watch.  Some riders concentrate so much that they don't hear announcements.  Know the ride times and stay on top of things.  
  • Sunglasses for you. 

  • Extra braiding bands or yarn.  Unless you are a wiz at emergency yarn repairs and then getting scissors to trim the ends, stick with braiding bands for that runaway plait.  It's a fast fix for all braid types. 
  • Sometimes you will also need to carry a cooler or scrim sheet.  Unless your bucket or apron is the size of a small suitcase, that cooler is going over your shoulder.  




OK- what did I forget??