After a long solitary summer, it's been great to see local shows and competitions starting up again.

Horse owners are stocking up on grooming and plaiting products to make sure they shine in the spotlight, while equine calmers provide a great helping hand for those horses who might benefit from a calming influence as they return to the show ring.

What are your must-haves, as you head back out to compete? We spoke to some of our favourite brands to see what they can’t live without when heading off to a show…

Horse and rider share a carrot at a competition

Keep calm and carry on

Equine America Marketing & Events Manager Sofie-May Harman likes to be prepared for unexpected nerves. “I always take Super So Kalm Paste as an essential support if I have a horse that needs the edge taking off depending on the environment or surroundings arriving at a showground!”

If you know your horse performs better when relaxed, Equilibrium Products has just the thing for you! The Equilibrium Therapy Massage Pad is a lightweight, portable addition to any competitors show kit, regardless of discipline. Candice Pottage, Senior Brand Manager, says the massage pad is “Clinically proven to promote relaxation and improve back flexibility” and suggests using it on the horsebox or trailer before or after classes (or both if you’re feeling generous!) to aid warm up and cool down respectively.   

Primped to perfection

The team at Global Herbs offer a practical checklist for making sure your horse is in good shape: “a good set of travel brushes, tail guard for travel, hoof pick, hoof oil, rag or towel to remove dust, chalk and plaiting bands!”

NutriScience’s Faith Morris echoes the importance of plaiting bands in her show kit: “you can never have enough, especially when your horse decides to rid himself of all his plaits on the journey to the show!” Sounds like Faith is speaking from experience!

Sofie counts Equine America Pro-Sheen Coat Gloss as another one of her essentials; “it’s something that would live in my groom’s bag as I use it for show preparations.”

Cooling off

Faith lists a variety of essentials for her show kit but says NutriScience Nutribalm is the one thing she couldn’t live without (aside from those plaiting bands)! “Nutribalm is a show essential as it's a cooling gel. It contains MSM and Arnica which naturally soothe and cool tired legs, which is especially important after competition. It is a vital part of our show kit!” 

Have we missed anything? What couldn't you, or your horse, live without? Head on over to our Facebook page and let us know!