Jennifer D'Onofrio's 34- year-old Paint loves Dairy Queen soft serve vanilla ice cream.

We Ask Competitors: What are Your Horse’s Favorite Things?

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things. The song, “My Favorite Things” sung by Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music, comes to mind when we asked competitors about their horse’s favorite things.

This song immediately puts people in their happy place, and that’s exactly what happened when we asked several competitors about their horse’s favorite things. There is no doubt that their owners adore their horses, and they want the absolute best for them, even if they might be slightly spoiled. Of course, they deserve every little snack and hug they receive. Find out what some of the famous horses in our industry love to eat and do with their owners.

Libby Rinder – Sonny (Hot Rockin Potential) loves peppermints, he’ll actually suck on them for a while like a person, before he crunches them. He also loves to rub his nose back and forth on the sleeve of my jackets and when we walk around he likes to rest his nose on my shoulder. I think it’s the perfect height for him. I’ve seen him try to do it to other people, like my trainers, when they walk him, but he quickly pulls his head away and will come to my shoulder if I’m walking next to them. He also loves kids, I’ve never seen him be so patient as he is when there’s a little kid brushing or riding him. He’s so careful and gentle with them, you can tell he knows he has to take extra care with them. He especially loves Leah, his lead line rider (pictured right).

Meredith Landy
– Sly (Certified Stride) loves to dunk his hay and won’t drink on the road if he can’t dunk. This was proven once when Karen Qualls (her trainer) fed him pellets. He got dehydrated until we figured out that he wasn’t going to drink unless we gave him some hay to dunk. He also loves a soft, ultra thick underpad that protects his withers and he will try to crib on your shoulder if you aren’t careful. He’s a very dedicated cribber as Karen says.

Lauren Crivelli – Rooster, also known as Extremely Good Stuff, isn’t shy when it comes to letting you know what he does and doesn’t like. Rooster craves candy, with Red Vines being his favorite at the moment. When he is watching his figure, he and I will split a Nature’s Valley Oats and Honey Bar. Rooster also loves a good challenge and enjoys learning and mastering whatever new skills you are trying to teach him. After he’s mastered something, he loves being rewarded with lots of pets and a sip of a cocktail.



Angela Fox – George Fox’s (The Company You Keep) favorite things…turn out. He loves acting silly in the turn out, which happens to be along side of the arena where we ride. That can also be a little problem for those riding two-year-olds. When I show up at the barn everyday, he whinnies like a crazy man every time he sees me walking up to his stall. Treats, but he only gets them in his bucket or when we show halter. He’s a showmanship horse after all. Anything he can chew off or pull down; fan cords, leg wraps, bell boots, light bulbs, and soft-sided stalls at horse shows. Anything that can be torn apart.



Julie Hoefling – My horse, Tuggers (Shady Impulse), is a simple guy and it doesn’t take too much to make him happy. His favorite thing is fresh water. He seems to love it. He has also learned to like peppermints. He never used to be a big fan, but they have grown on him after multiple attempts to get him to like them. He also really likes one particular plant at the barn. He tries to take a bite out of it every time he goes by it, probably because we are in Arizona and this is the closest thing we have to green grass.

Cathrin Gutmann – Blue Couture loves water, like dunking her whole head into it up to her ears, or swimming in it, pounding it. She has apparently passed that on to the yearling I have out of her by Hot Ones Only. I watched her in the pasture the other day, and she was acting like her mom. Jellybean (Alwaysafraid Inthedark, pictured left)) loves to eat while she’s laying down and having her neck and back scratched. Al Ways Right who lives at our place in Austria loves his paddock. That’s his favorite spot. He doesn’t like his bigger turnout and is okay with the stall, but there’s the paddock attached to his stall, and that is his favorite place on earth. He would stand there no matter the weather and just loves it.

Nicole Barnes – Much like the infamous song, “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things,” the list is endless. In order of importance: napping, peppermints, getting petted, getting turned out, carrots, apples, little children, and puppies. All joking aside, it’s essential for me to feel like my horses enjoy their job and like me, too. It matters to me that they are happy to see humans so as long as they do their job when we’re working them, they get away with a lot on the ground.






Brooke Ingstad – The Snooty Fox (my older retired horse) loves Frosted Mini Wheats, apples, rolling in the arena, and acting snooty. HP Ima Foxy Dreamer (Dozer, pictured left)) loves being scratched on his neck after his bands are taken out, dunking his hay in his water before he eats it, and pinning his ears in the halter. He is so dramatic about the halter, but he loves to nuzzle people with his nose and be sweet.


Shelby Ratliff
– Willy (Willy Got Potential) loves food, attention and Beth Case (her trainer). I talked to the pet physic once, and he informed us that Willy loves to be out and showing. He also loves attention and food.


Livvie Van Lanen
– Stevie loves peppermints, smelling my Starbucks lattes, kettle corn, and dogs. Honestly, he is pretty dog-like, so it only makes sense that he loves them. He also loves to play with zippers or strings. One time he grabbed on to the zipper of my jacket and was zipping it up and down completely amused.




Natalia Devencenty – Chex has quite a wide range of favorite things. He would do anything for a stud muffin or blue berries, but I just recently bought him one of those bear claw back scratchers, and I think that is his new favorite thing.






Ellexxah Maxwell – Annie (Zips Bossy Chip, pictured left) is a princess, so she loves to be given a bath so she’s sparkling clean. She also loves peppermints and carrots, nothing but the best for the queen. Freckles (Willy Good Investmnt) however, loves any and all types of food. Last week, my dad was feeding him ice out of his drink. He also loves to be dirty. I swear I give him a bath and within a second he’ll find a some dirt.

Ashton Krutulis – Wilton (Al I Want Is You) loves to take selfies. He smiles all the time, and if I have my phone out, he will pose for a picture with his ears always up. He also loves peppermints, and, well, every food he can get. He’s even eaten a pork sandwich. He acts just like a human. He loves cheese crackers, cupcakes, pizza. He also loves to give me kisses, and he only does it to me. But, he gets all the kisses in the world. He’s pretty spoiled.




Jessica Baird – My two horses are mother/daughter and are complete opposites in their favorite things. Beulah (Cool Movin Lady) absolutely loves peppermints. She’s crazy about them. It got to the point that when showing in the halter I had to stop giving them to her after the class because she literally would curl her neck around me as we were (attempting to) walk out of the class. All she has to hear is the crinkle of the wrapper and she’s in your pocket begging for more. Willow (Cool Lopin Lady, pictured left) doesn’t find excitement in any form of food treats. She isn’t into peppermints. I’ve tried multiple times to get her to eat one – it never works. Willows favorite thing is being scratched, especially on her neck.


Natasha Blanchard – Potential Advantage (Cindy) loves her treats. Ramblin Mann (Cody, pictured left) just loves his job, and his treats. Showin My Ace (Ace) loves everything…he’s so patient. Made N The Shade (Mikey) loves his job and is very patient, and he loves everything about his trainers.




Darcy Reeve – Kramer’s (pictured left) favorite thing ever is peppermints, but he will settle for apples or regular horse treats. He also loves eating and harassing everybody in the barn when they walk by if they don’t give him a treat. Vino also loves peppermints, but recently, I think his favorite thing is grazing and running in the pastures and of course the “spa days” that follow his turnouts. His other favorite thing was winning. I’ve never seen another horse that knows his name when it’s called or one that celebrates with you in the lineups.

Joanne Garnett – So Much Potential (Louis) knows how to work me to get what he wants. He likes to run and play in our indoor arena about once a week, and when you get him out of his stall, he will drag you to the arena. He loves his treats, and he will talk to you until he gets his treats. He also likes to go outside and eat grass but it has to be when it is cool and before the bugs are out or he will do what he can to get back in the barn.


Vanessa Froman
– Licorice! Hands down my mare, Chloe (Gentlemen Prefer Legs) loves licorice. She lights up when she sees Jenell’s husband, Ryan Pogue, because he shares her licorice that she gets in her stocking at Christmas. It is hilarious. My son’s horse, Ultaviolet, is addicted to Teddy Grahams. So, we have to have both treats packed in the motor home for every show.




Johnna Letchworth-Clark – Some of Clark’s (Krymsun Kryptonite) favorite things are water bottles, dogs squeaky toys and attention. He would knock down the door if he could to have you turn around and give him some love.






Sarah Rosciti – My three-year-old, Blaze (All About That Blaze), loves his face vacuumed, and any toy. We travel to shows with a Jolly ball and an Uncle Jimmy’s hanging treat (everyone calls it his birdseed).




Meg DePalma-Whelan – Harley (Hotroddin On a Harley) loves peppermints, as do most horses but he can smell them from miles it seems like. There have been times where I had them in my pockets from the halter, and he can still smell them in the late afternoon.

Beckie Peskin – Niko (Don’t Skip Will) loves food and treats of all kinds but especially stud muffins, peppermints, Ella’s hair, really Ella in general (Beckie’s daughter) and a good curry.






Jennifer D’Onofrio – Curly’s (Nearly Chocolate) new favorite is licorice. My daughter, Bella, and Curly like to share it Lady and the Tramp style. My 34- year-old Paint loves Dairy Queen soft serve vanilla ice cream.




Taylor Brown – My horse, Axle (Absolute Best Asset), loves eating oranges like it’s an apple. He also loves Mentos. Also, despite him being an all around horse, he loves cows.






Susan Juroe – Kenny (First N Line) loves organic gala apples and turnout.






Laska Anderson – Stretch (Immortalised) loves to be curried. He stretches his neck out and twitches his lips like a real ham. He also loves treats, animal crackers and Twizzlers are his favorites.



Rebekah Kazakevicius
– Horton loves his jolly ball. Beth Case (her trainer) hangs one in the stall for him, and most of her other English horses. He also likes the inflatable turnout ball. It’s hysterical, and she has the videos to prove it.





Nicole Dalton – Me! (laughs) Food? No, but seriously my stud (The Wow Factor) loves his grain bucket and will spin it in vertical and horizontal circles for hours when he finishes his grain. He also loves to roll in any soft footing.





Kathy Tobin – Peppermints, peppermints, and more peppermints…for all of them!






Alysia Nielson – BMQ The Jig Is Up loves sleeping, all kinds of treats, attention, and any kind of snack time.





Maegan Fleming – Some of Supermann’s favorite things are getting the Sweet Shop treats at the horse shows, neck rubs, and enjoying new tricks in the all-around events.







Mackenzie Preston – Tebow (Where Do I Sign, pictured left) loves cantaloupe, watermelon and Oreos and Denver (Brokers Lucky Kid) loves Cheetos.







Taylor Burgess – Bugsy (RL Talk About Sudden) has a sweet tooth. His favorites are cinnamon roll treats from The Sweet Shop and Skittles.






Cori Cansdale – Chucky loves to be free in turn outs, be ridden bareback, graze, and he loves carrots.






Linda Coakley – Charlie (Patsys Royal Secret) loves apple flavored Nutri-Grain bars and Wyatt (Rockstar N The House) loves his peppermints.






Klay McDowall – Bruce (Certainly A Blaze) loves carrots, cookies, nibbling on anything around him, splashing in his water buckets, and getting into as much trouble as possible.





Mackenzie Matthews
– Teddy Grahams and peppermints for sure for VP (Virtually Perfect). Tex loves neck scratches, and they both love my wolfhound, Keeva, because they think she’s a horse too.






Elizabeth Forney – Dodger (One Hot Big Leaguer) loves to rest his chin on the back of my neck or shoulder while we wait to longe. He also likes playing with zippers and ties on hoodies. He doesn’t exactly believe in personal space, but his most favorite thing is a heaping bucket of alfalfa cubes.




Susan Roberts – Only a Breeze (Abby, pictured left) likes her forehead rubbed, any treat, and being able to have her upper stall door open so she can see what’s going on. Jonnie On The Spot loves squeeze buns, being scratched over her back, and Sweet Shop treats.








What are some of your horse’s favorite things? Let us know.