10 Essential Lorry Items by Alice Goring Eventing
Since I was given my Berry pony “Teddyberry” by Hannah’s mum Rachel, he has been a very important part of our eventing packing and I don’t think I have done a round since without him strapped to my back. Hannah was an amazing friend and I often think of her in the start box or if I’m feeling a bit worried as she was the bravest of the brave. I tell myself to man up and off I go!
2. Electric tape
You never know when you’re going to need it! From securing your cross country boots, to fixing a broken wing mirror after someone crashes into you whilst trying to overtake your lorry (this actually happened to us whilst driving to Bicton and luckily we were well equipped)!!!
3. Lunge line
A very useful piece of kit, we always have one on board. It has been used for a variety of jobs including lunging fresh horses and to put behind naughty horses when loading (luckily all of ours are great loaders but we have often had to lend our lunge line to others who are having a hard time loading and didn’t pack one). It is also commonly used for tying the dogs up; with three dogs (and Teddy) to ship around at events it is nice to give them a little bit more room, especially if we’re at a three day.
4. Spare clothes
The need for spare clothes became apparent more than ever a few weeks ago at Wellington, where we were soaked before I had even got on! Unfortunately England is renowned for the sort of rain which is so heavy, it makes you resemble a drowned rat. There is nothing worse than spending the day in wet clothes, so we will always have a spare pair of socks and breeches on board, as well as long coats and waterproof trousers to try and limit the soaking in the first place.
This is an essential piece of our packing and has been used on all of our horses (including Teddy)!!! It is so easy to pop it on before walking the course and the fact that it has a set programme and timer means that you can leave it on your horse without worry. I have definitely noticed the difference in my dressage marks when I use it, compared to before I started using it. It really helps the horses to relax and warms their muscles up perfectly.
6. Plastic steps
As an eventer with a string of pint sized horses, you may be wondering why steps are so high up in our packing priorities. In this case our steps are used mainly for studding! I have a bad back after an accident a few years ago and there is nothing worse than hurting yourself before you even get on the horse! So the horses are trained to rest their feed on the top step whilst I stud up and the studs/threading tool and spanner fits nicely on the steps too. It’s amazing how much easier this makes it especially if you are worried the horse is going to get your white breeches filthy too.
7. A spare set of shoes (for the horse).
For horses that have special shoes, like Finley who has natural balance shoes, you don’t always know the on site farrier will have the exact same kind. Especially if we are going away to a three day event, it is so important to keep everything the same, rather than risk your horse being foot sore by “making do” with shoes that the farrier has on board. I will always bring a spare pair of shoes with stud holes in to make sure that if he did lose a shoe, there is no unnecessary worry.
8. Deck chairs and picnic table
A very important part of the packing, to enable a celebratory (or commiseration) picnic after a day of eventing. Teamwork is so important in eventing and this is always a part of the day to look forward to no matter what the result is.
9. Teddy the Shetland
As a team we now don’t seem to go anywhere without our little instagram star, @teddytheshetland. Finley my top horse absolutely adores him (he seems to bring us luck when he comes with us!) and the baby horses really appreciate the company on their first few outings. It means that if we are taking two horses to compete, there will never be one horse left alone. Although he is only 3 himself, he is definitely an wise man in a young body. He is yet to escape and cause havoc at an event but he does sometimes lie down whilst tied to the lorry, which can be quite amusing.
10. Phone charger
I am absolutely rubbish at directions and using google maps to get to some of these events does completely drain your battery. Then by the time you’ve taken pictures of the course, double checked you know your dressage test and supporters have used your phone for videoing, often your battery is on 0 and you can’t even tell people how you did! Let alone call someone if you break down on the way home. I always make sure I pack a charging cable to plug into the cigarette lighter of the lorry as you never know.