Healthy Horse Show Snack Ideas for Equestrians
It’s important to keep yourself properly fueled and hydrated on show days so that you can perform your best, just like any athlete would. Here are some of our favorite easy and healthy snack ideas, perfect for horse shows or busy days at the barn.
Not sure what to pack for a horse show? Check out this post here to see what’s inside Karsen’s ringside bag, she’s even got some horse show food ideas as well!
The key to horse show snacks is to bring food that does not need to be kept refrigerated all day. If you can bring a small lunch box or cooler with an ice pack, you may be able to get away with bringing a yogurt, cheese stick, or hard boiled eggs. You might even have a fridge in your trailer or barn aisle that you can store these in as well!
Our biggest tip? Bring more food than you think you will need and always keep some shelf-stable items, like protein bars, in your car or tack trunk. You never know when you will get hungry! You don’t want to be caught feeling light headed or tired minutes before heading in the ring. Remember, calories equal fuel. The food options at horse shows are typically expensive and not always the healthiest. Depending on where your stalls or trailer is located, it might also be quite the trek. It’s much more convenient to have some healthy snacks on hand at all times.
If you have some barn friends that also want to try some healthy snacks (and even save some money), plan a group trip to Costco or Sam’s Club to stock up on items like nuts, protein bars, water, fresh fruit, and more to share with the whole barn! You’ll get a great discount shopping in bulk and you might even inspire some others to stay fueled for a day of riding. Want to see our Costco favorites for equestrian athletes? Leave us a comment below!
10 Best Horse Show Snacks For Equestrian Athletes
Nuts or trail mix
Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and protein. Pre-portioned packets of nuts or trail mix are super convenient for throwing in your ringside bag on show days. Stay away from trail mixes that contain too much added sugar. This can cause a spike in your blood sugar and then an energy crash later on.
It’s important to make sure you are getting enough carbohydrates to fuel your riding as well. Carbs are the main source of energy for our bodies and can be used quickly, as compared to energy from fat which will slowly sustain you throughout the day. Crackers can be a great snack if you have a sensitive stomach or get horse show nerves. Look for a cracker that contains whole grains or different types of seeds for extra nutrition!
Protein or Granola bars
This one is a no-brainer! There are so many brands out there, but some of our favorites are Lara Bars, RX bars, and Perfect Bars. Try to avoid bars that contain artificial sweeteners as these can cause stomach upset, something we definitely don’t want to deal with on show days.
Cheese is an excellent source of protein for show days! Cheese also contains fats, which will help keep you feeling full and satiated for longer. String cheese or other pre-portioned snack sizes are perfect for throwing in a cooler or lunch box for horse shows.
Hard boiled eggs
Again, if you have a way of keeping these cool, they can be a great way to get a quick dose of protein on busy show days. Hard boiled eggs are also a healthy breakfast for equestrians who don’t have time to cook before heading out in the morning. You can prep these the day or night before and throw them in a tupperware to take on the go.
Energy bites are similar to protein bars, but extremely easy to make at home! These do best when kept cool, but can stay outside of the fridge for about a day before spoiling. If you know you’re going to be out in the hot sun, try leaving out any chocolate or chocolate chips to avoid a mess!
Some fruits that travel and keep well are apples, carrots, and bananas. Most fruit with a peel or a pit inside will be great to throw in your ringside bag! You can also bring cut up fruit or berries if you have a way of keeping it cool.
Similar to hard boiled eggs, yogurt can be a great easy breakfast on the go. Look for Greek or Icelandic style yogurts with higher protein and less added sugar. You can also pair this with fruit and/or granola to make a well-rounded snack or small meal.
Don’t forget about hydration!
Drinking enough water and staying hydrated throughout the day can be extremely difficult for busy equestrians, especially at horse shows. If you are drinking caffeinated drinks to stay energized, make sure to drink extra water as caffeine is dehydrating.
We typically don’t recommend disposable plastic water bottles, because of their environmental impact. However, if you know you won’t have anywhere to fill up a reusable water bottle at a horse show you may want to bring some plastic water bottles. Sports drinks can also be helpful if you tend to sweat a lot, but they are not necessary for everyone.