Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Don't Leave Home Without It

The following is a basic checklist of assorted supplies you should take with you to every live show:

Pen or Pencil (preferably half a dozen): The amount of pens I have lost at model horse shows over the years is probably only rivaled by the amount of other people’s pens I’ve walked off with. I tend to forget whether that pen I picked up to write something with was mine to begin with or if it was borrowed.

Scissors (one of those little pairs): They are essential to performance showing, but I still bring a pair when I’m just showing in halter classes. Inevitably, you will need to cut something down to size.

Leg Tags: When model people say “leg tags,” they mean those little white price tags people use at garage sales. Most regions have some sort of a tagging system to identity a horse by name in results, which are published after the show. Some regions use different systems to ID horses for results, but in these regions leg tags are still used for the owner to write their name on. It is very common for multiple showers to have the same model in a class and mix-ups happen. Leg tags are the best way to assure that you get your bay Huck back and not someone else’s.

Index Cards: Index cards are the basis of the second most common ID system. Showers fill out a card for each horse with its breed and gender on the front and the horse’s and shower’s name on the back. Even if your region does not use this system, index cards are handy to scribble out a little last minute documentation. This happens a lot.

Touch-up/Repair Supplies: These can be as simple as a couple horse-colored sharpies or as complex as a full painting kit (which I travel with to all shows.) If you are inexperienced or uncomfortable repairing models, less is more. You don’t want, in a panic, to cause more damage to your model by attempting a drastic repair. However, tiny rubs on the tips of tails and ears are common damage going to and from a live show but easy to repair in a few seconds before a class. I know a lot of non-artistic showers who still carry small sets of horse colored touch-up paints for emergencies. Years and years ago, I used to carry make-up to a show for this purpose. The benefit was that is wasn’t permanent if my last minute cover-up wasn’t convincing.

Camera: You’ll kick yourself after your first big win if you forget to bring your camera to document the achievement. Statistically, your chances of winning will go up when you’ve forgotten a camera and doubly so at a “no-frills” show where you don’t get to keep the ribbon.

An iPhone is not a viable substitute for a good digital camera.

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