Mayfest is fast approaching and we’ve had many questions about what to bring to the Training Three Day Clinic. So it seemed like a good idea to post something here to help people out.
The first thing to know is that your horse can just wear a halter during the Arrival or “In-Barn Exams”. But you must not have any bandages or boots on their legs. If you already have your bridle number, be sure to wear it.
The next thing is the First Horse Inspection on Wednesday afternoon. Plan on having your horse spotless, braided and in your best bridle. You can substitute a shank for the reins but they must have a bridle rather than a halter. And it is customary that the riders dress in neat, comfortable attire. While this is not a place to make a wild fashion statement, we do give an award for the Best Presented. Both horse and rider turnout is taken into consideration for this award. When choosing your “ensemble”, remember you want to be able to run, so probably no spike heels. Coats and ties are the norm for the guys. You want the panel to notice your horse and not you, so pick something that completes a good picture. And yes, you may carry a whip.
Dressage day isn’t much different from regular horse trials. But in the afternoons you’ll be walking courses and attending seminars, so bring a pen and notebook if you like.
Saturday is the big day. One thing that has been a topic of conversation in the past few years is spare shoes. First, you want a full set. Second, be sure they fit your horse! Ask your farrier to save your last pair and reshape them to fit the newly trimmed foot. Or if you rather, ask him/her to shape you up a complete new set to take with you. If you don’t use them, they can always be put on the next time you need new shoes at home. If you use studs, check to see that the stud holes on the spare shoes are drilled and tapped. When you get your vet box gear together, you can put an extra set of whichever studs you are using that day in your spare shoes and you’re ready to go. Oh, be sure to label the shoes clearly: Right front, left hind, etc. That way, if they are needed in the Vet Box, it won’t take up valuable time sorting them out.
Speaking of the Vet Box, bring 3-4 extra wash buckets, 3-4 extra large body sponges and scrapers and lots of medium sized towels. A spare girth or stirrup leather can be a lifesaver if yours breaks and you might want to think about a spare set of reins as well. Putting everything in trunk keeps it all together and remember to label everything. We’ll have a Vet Box session and you’ll have plenty of time to pick up what you might need before Saturday, but the more you can do ahead of time, the more time you’ll have for walking the courses and visiting with friends.
And bring a groom! You’ll be doing a lot of braiding and primping and you will need at least 1 other person on Saturday to meet you after Steeplechase and then meet you at the Vet Box to help cool off your horse. Often, 10-minute box crews get together and help more than one rider but don’t get caught without reliable help. All of the educational sessions are open to the grooms so it shouldn’t be too hard to find someone to help you!
Well, those are the major things we’ve been asked about or have noticed needed mentioning over the years we’ve been doing three days. If you have any questions, let us know. If you have any additions, add them in the comment section here for all to share. And don’t forget the duct tape!