One of my favorite things about live showing is that I have an excuse to be freakishly organized. I love organizing and lists and such, and live showing can include a lot of those.
Maybe the most important (and helpful) thing I do is make what I call an Entry Draft. Basically, I take the show class list and edit it so that each of my horses is listed under their respective class(es). As the show goes on, I cross of the entries and mark placings. That way I hopefully never miss a class.
For my halter horses, I also use the Entry Draft to remind myself to put out documentation. For example:
In the light breed division I have two horses, Rahija and Nightfox. Generally, an Arabian entry won’t need any documentation, so only the model herself needs to go on the table. That would usually be true for Morgans too, but since Nightfox is a Morgan Sport Horse, he gets shown with documention, as indicated by the asterisk*.
I also make notes for my performance entries. Performance showing can be really complicated, and I don’t want to forget a little important thing and facepalm later.
I mark not only the horse and event, but also notes that I might otherwise forget. I’m sure I’ll remember my jump for Hunter/Jumper, but will I remember that the horses have rectangular saddle pads with numbers? But for the next class, the numbered pad doesn’t make as much sense, so I’ll switch him to the shaped one. He switches again to a plain rectangular one for trail, and then into a rounded one for dressage. Thank goodness he wears the same bridle for all these events!
I’m usually nit-picking at my Entries Draft right up until the night before the show, so the most important thing is to set a reminder to print it! I would be lost without my precious lists.