We Ask The Industry: What’s Your Favorite Horse Show Snack?
Snacks. They can get you through the day when you’re showing in multiple classes without a chance to even stop and eat a regular meal. We asked several competitors in the industry about their favorite snacks to have on hand in case they need a quick pick-me-up.
Copious amounts of Pringles, Cheez-Its, coffee and alcohol (several joked) appear to be staples in a horse show diet. While not the healthiest, some people use horse shows as a fun escape from the regular world, and they eat the fun treats they usually don’t on a typical day at home.
On the other hand, many exhibitors do still try to be healthy at shows and eat clean with protein shakes, tuna fish, chicken salad, fruit and vegetables to keep their energy up during a grueling show day.
What snacks do you like to bring to shows? Let us know. Here’s what some of your fellow equestrians had to say.
Sabrina Turner – My go-to snack for horse shows is homemade chicken salad. The key is to make sure you put apples and grapes into the chicken salad mix to give it a sweet taste. This combination is perfect for those long show days when I’m competing in the all-around classes and can’t go off the grounds to grab lunch because it’s both a light and filling snack choice.
Margaux Tucker – Summer sausage, cheese and crackers. As a kid at open shows, mom always brought it and had it ready to snack on any time, so it just stuck with me over the years. Easy to eat a little and feel filled up. I like different flavors of cheese and mixing it up with the crackers too.
Vanessa Froman – For myself, I have started making a new snack called “Snickers bites.” They are peanut butter filled with dates covered in dark chocolate. They give me a boost of protein and sweet taste, so it helps keep me out of Donna’s delicious Rice Krispie treats, which are a weakness for me. I also pack protein bars, shakes and these Power Up trail mix variety packs from Costco. They are individually sealed so we can all grab them on our way to the arenas or to lunge. We also try to have “Cuties” and a container of green grapes. Meals are not always possible with our schedule. So, I have to have fast food to grab that will help sustain my strength. Now, my snacks for making the drive home are way different. Those consist of Chex Mix, gum, Twizzlers Cherry Bites and Zevia energy drinks. I usually have to keep those snacks hidden from the kids, so I have them by the time we leave. The snacks I pack for our kiddos are way more carb-based. Pringles, Costco muffins, Oreos, fruit, Pirates Booty, Goldfish and Trader Joe’s pop tarts. Oh, to have a teenager’s metabolism again.
Jenna Tolson – Does champagne count? All joking aside, I could win an Olympics if they had an event in All-day Snacking. Whatever I take, I will eat. So, I have learned to take only healthy things generally. My go-to’s are Quest protein bars, dry roasted edamame and seasoned ground turkey for high protein options. Otherwise, I love raw veggies with some greek yogurt-based dip. All are healthy and relatively guilt-free, so I can drink my champagne and ranch waters (made with tequila) which are non-negotiable and part of my horse show fun.
Kristy Starnes – We keep lots of different things for everyone. We have started bringing a refrigerator as it was less expensive to buy a scratch and dent fridge than buy ice all year for coolers. We keep meat and cheese trays, veggie platters and fruit in the refrigerator. Favorites are always little bags of chips and pretzels and protein bars to grab and go. We try and keep a good variety of healthy options, so we are not eating junk all day.
Beth Case – Ha, well, I pretty much like all snacks, but my trunk usually has a box of granola bars, a box of Cheez-Its and a bag of dark chocolate Hershey kisses. I also try to keep P3s in the fridge…that makes me healthy. (laughs)
Emma Garcia – I like having easy snacks that I can eat quickly before showing or in between taking care of horses. I usually have cheese sticks, tuna packets, and prepackaged cheese, salami and crackers. They’re healthy and super easy to pack and store.
Jamie Radebaugh – Beef jerky and Pringles. The beef jerky for some protein when we miss meals, and I’m just addicted to Pringles. And then Cool Ranch Doritos because if I eat them on my way to a show, I feel they’re good luck. I save healthy food for home.
Ashley Hadlock – I always have some snacks packed. One thing always found in my bag are Simple Truth sea salted mixed nuts and sea salt cashews. It’s a go-to snack for me, even when I’m at home. This particular brand has the perfect taste of sea salt. Also, I pack tuna fish and protein powder/shaker to help have good sources of protein to eat throughout the day.
Beth Clemons – I always like to have quick, simple snacks at horse shows. A decent source of protein such as string cheese or protein bars. That helps keep my energy level up. I also always like to have something sweet. To me, red vines are perfect because you can grab one for yourself and one for your horse.
Julie Hoefling – While I’d like to say that I always pack healthy snacks like veggies and fruit, my go-to snack for horse shows is always Extra Toasty Cheez-Its. We are a Cheez-It-loving barn, and the extra toasty version is the best they make. I also typically splurge on peanut M&Ms. Horse shows are my time away from “real life,” and it is nice to let the rules go for a few days and eat some things you wouldn’t normally eat daily.
What’s your favorite snack that you bring to the horse show? Let us know in the comments.