With Badminton very much here, I wanted to share with you some of my top tips, to help you make the most of your time at Badminton Horse Trials. This is a truly AMAZING event and I can’t wait to go this year, but trust me on this, prior planning prevents poor performance. Sounds like a military operation, doesn’t it? It isn’t, but I have found my enjoyment for events has been increased 10 fold by following the advice below. It’s a bit like like advice your mum would give. But I’m doing it clad in Hiho Silver, my Mackenzie & George Fedora and my Fairfax & Favor Explorers. Horse Trials uniform if you will… so here goes…
How to make the most of your time at Badminton Horse Trials…
1. Organise. I know, I know, it’s such a boring tip, but it’s a big one. Get all your clothes organised the night before. Locate your purse/bag/car keys/ticket THE NIGHT BEFORE. Do everything the night before. Make a list of stuff you need and put as much of it in a heap by the door or even in the car. This might mean poo bags and leads if you’re taking a dog, waterproofs and umbrellas or sunscreen. Give yourself a little time to think and plan… it’ll save you running around in the morning and increasing stress levels before you get into the car.
2. Maps. Ah. Another piece of parental advice. If you have stands you HAVE to see, print off a map of the tradestands from the Badminton website and get them marked on with a pen. When you’re there, you’ll thank me. You’ll move around in a much more efficient manner, saving miles on your boots and also saving you lots of time.
** Make sure you add Hiho Silver on stand 188 – you can see the Official Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials Jewellery Collection there, Mackenzie & George in Rural Crafts, Super X Country and Eqclusive to your list of must visits!!**
3. Drinks. Drinks matter. And not the alcoholic kind. I’m notorious for the amount of water I drink (as in, nowhere near enough), but when you’re at an event and you’re running around, it’s really easy to get dehydrated. Add in some tea, coffee or alcohol and you’ll find you have a banging headache and a bad mood way too early in the day. My best bit of advice is bottled water. Get a bottle or two and pop them in your bag and drink them. I hate having headaches and find they make me feel really rubbish and definitely hinder my enjoyment of the day. This changes the game. Obviously get other drinks too when you’re there, but you know you have a supply!
4. Food. Food is a must. Make a plan to eat. There are amazing stands there but I tend to buy some food to take (almost a picnic!) and also buy something delicious there as a treat. The last few years I have found myself eating on the move, and having a sandwich and some crisps in my bag has been a big plus. It doesn’t mean I’m not visiting the amazing stands there, but it stops me having a low when I get super hungry and I’m in the middle of something.
5. Footwear. PLEASE PLEASE wear good footwear. I’m wearing my Fairfax & Favor Explorers but will also take my Rudds in case its really wet. Both of these boots are comfy, robust and durable. Please PLEASE don’t go for flip flops or heels if you’re planning to walk the XC course. Please. Come on. That’s crazy bananas.
6. Weather. Take everything you need for all the seasons. Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, wellies, waterproofs, coat, etc. You don’t want to get burnt or soaked.
7. Cars. Remember where you left your car. I now take a picture of where I’ve parked the damn thing with something obvious that I can find again in the background. You’re speaking to someone who lost their car for an hour at the NEC. Always take a pic or something else that will help you find it again.
8. Bags. Take a good bag. Backpacks are great, but I’m taking my Fairfax & Favor Windsor because it has plenty of space, it’s comfortable to carry and I love it. Take something with lots of room for your essentials.
What tips did I miss? What stands are on your must-see list? I’d love to know!