Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Getting Ready for Next Year

My first planned ride of the 2016 season is the Foxcatcher 25 ride on April 9.  I'm hoping to do the No Frills 30 later in the month and then keep up a fairly rigorous schedule through November.  We've been playing around for the past couple of years, and it is really time to get serious this next year (weather and life and horse health permitting, of course).

One of the things that I kind of sucked at this past year was getting a crew bag together.  I really could have used something at Foxcatcher when we did the ride in April, even though the mid-ride vet check is in basecamp.  I did have water and mash for Nimo to drink and eat before vetting in, but I think maybe a little more effort would be nice this coming year:)  And No Frills will have an away check with no crew allowed, so I'd like to use Foxcatcher to get my crew bag together and then really test it at No Frills.

Lots of people have advice on what to put in a crew bag, but I found Karen Chaton's post to be helpful most recently.  I used a garbage bag to dump everything in at the OD in October and I was just lucky to have a friend who could take my unorganized crap to the vet check for me (thanks, Liz!), and I don't think that is going to be a good long-term solution.

So my plan is to start putting together the crew bag soon, so that by the time April rolls around, I'm totally prepared.  (That means about a week before Foxcatcher, I will panic when I realize I've done nothing and I will remember that I wrote this post, scramble to find it, and then frantically read Karen's post again, and hope I can get everything from Amazon.)

If anybody has a tip for something they can't live without in their crew bag, please let me know!  Or if there is a bag that you use that works really well to organize your stuff, I'd love a recommendation.  There don't seem to be many choices out there, so feedback on something that works well would be great:)


  1. My favorite crew bag is from SnugPax (http://snugpax.com/bear.htm) -- the Deluxe model, sadly she doesn't make the Super version anymore. I like that hers are available in so many colors. (Naturally, mine is neon orange.)

    I've also used the EasyCare Stowaway one (http://www.ridingwarehouse.com/EasyCare_Stowaway_Deluxe_Hay__Crew_Gear_Bag/descpage-ESHGB.html) but the smaller pockets mean you have to remember which pocket has what in it. My best friend that I've crewed Tevis for twice now actually uses a Sharpie to write on her bag as to what each pocket contains.

    My crew bag essentials: large garbage bag (can double as a tarp to dump tack, or in-a-pinch raingear); blanket for horse (usually just a cheap Ikea or Old Navy fleece blanket, and save the good fleece coolers for at the trailer); feed pan, horse feed; people food, any om-the-saddle refills for people snacks (and possibly water...I've been to rides that have run out of people water); spare hoof boot, spare parts for hoof boots and tools for changing, tack repair kit: carabiner clips, shoelaces, zip ties; brush/curry comb for getting big dirt chunks off horse, mini sizes of: baby powder, bodyglide, desitin; mini-stool (for the whole two minutes you may get the sit down).

    Good topic! I may have to visit this on my own blog when I go to pack my crew bag.

    1. Other thing I forgot to mention: A lot of crew bags end up looking alike (especially the EasyCare ones), so I attach a wild-patterned luggage tag to mine, and then some wild ribbons and duct tape strips, just for good measure.

    2. Those are all awesome suggestions, Ashley! Thanks!:)