Horse Trailer Organization Strategies for Show Day 

Updated June 19, 2023
Horse trailer tack room with supplies ready to be packed.

Not having your horse trailer organized can lead to unwanted stress on an already-stressful show day. When trying to get ready and to the ring on time, organization can be your secret weapon. Knowing where to find the essentials, but also being able to lay your hands on your emergency medical kit or that extra battery can help you stay calmer and focused on competition.

Part of horse trailer organization is creating a packing list so you know what you need and have clearly labeled items. The best organization strategy starts at the beginning of the event season. 

Creating a Horse Show Packing List

two horses in the trailer

List all the equipment you want in your trailer for a one-day show.  Make sure to repair any broken items before you pack new things. These items should include basic grooming supplies, a medical kit, tack, and cleaning supplies. Here is a basic list to get you started:

  • Grooming Kit
  • Medical Kit
  • Spare Halter/Lead Rope
  • Cooler
  • Leg Wraps
  • Hay/Hay Net
  • Manure fork/Muck Bucket

Check out SmartPak’s Horse Trailer Checklist for a complete, printable list of things to do while preparing and packing your truck and trailer.

At the bottom, add a section for what would be needed for an overnight show:

  • Water buckets
  • Feed buckets
  • Hay/Grain
  • Supplements
  • Blanket (depending on the weather and season)

Creative Ways to Stay Organized

In addition to horse-related items, there are a few ways to keep things clean and organized in the trailer during show day. Be sure to pack these handy house-keeping items:

  • Trash bags.
  • Collapsible laundry bag for dirty towels, boots, and saddle pads.
  • Whiteboard attached to the trailer door. You can write down class times, reminders, and products that need to be replaced.
  • Coat hangers.
  • Wet wipes.

Make copies of these lists so you can file one away in your car or keep it handy in your phone. Over time you can add to them or remove items you realize are taking up space!

Using Trunks for Organization

SmartPak supplements organized in a cubby on the horse trailer.

Now, start grouping items for various trunks. These trunks should have a general theme, such as riding gear, bandages, etc. Clear plastic trunks are ideal for packing because you can quickly see everything they contain without opening them. When you pack each trunk, write a general description outside so you can read it at a glance. Remember, place the labels on the side, not the lid, for stacked trunks.

For trunks containing random equipment, make a list, put it in a clear plastic bag, and then stick it to the inside of the lid using clear tape to keep it intact. When you repack, you will know what should be in each trunk. For example:

  • Two sets of white polo wraps
  • 4 blue stable bandages
  • Four pillow wraps

For medical supplies, use smaller clear containers or ziplock bags. Having numerous clearly labeled trunks rather than one or two large trunks is helpful.

Packing Your Horse Trailer

Packing trunks in the horse trailer should be done systematically. Begin with a clean, empty horse trailer. Trunks containing spare boots or blankets should be kept at the back. The trunks you need at every show should be easily accessible. Hooks in the trailer are ideal for hanging bridles, hats, and coats. This also keeps items clean and off the floor. 

To learn more about what documentation you may need to bring, how to plan your route, and keeping your trailer in tip-top shape, read this article with tips on smart and safe trailering.

The information provided in the Horsemanship Library is based solely on our SmartPak authors' opinions. SmartPak strongly encourages you to consult your veterinarian or equine professionals regarding specific questions about your horse's health, care, or training. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or behavior and is purely educational.