Equestrian,  Food

The Horse Show Diet

Okay, this weekend I fell victim to “The Horse Show Diet”. You know a weekend of fast food, on top of junk food, with copious amount of coffee. For a couple of years I have worked hard to demystify eating healthy at horse shows and have it somewhat down to a science, which I will share with you. But first let’s talk about how I fell off the band wagon this weekend.

Let me paint you a picture real quick. A brunette girl flying down the highway in a blue Chevy Cruze. TI’s What You Know [Explicit] is blaring through the speakers. She’s got a McDonald’s hash brown in one hand (I know classy), a venti caramel macchiato in the other, and a car loaded awkwardly with hundreds of dollars of tack and horse equipment. If you haven’t guessed already, this is obviously me we are talking about. And as a side note, I’m not even joking about TI. That is my horse show jam and has been for years. Anyway the point of me painting this picture is because horse shows are crazy. There is so much preparation. So much driving, so much stress, so much to do, that it leaves little time to eat and sleep. As a result we are sometimes forced to eat at convenient places that are fast but usually not the healthiest. 

Last weekend we took our horses to a fall fest that celebrated various breeds and their versatility. So not quite a horse show but an event that meant packing, prepping, and traveling horses. Let me just give you a quick rundown of what I ate over the weekend.

It all started Thursday Night.
I went the barn expecting to pop on my mare let her bend and stretch each way. Boy was I wrong. What I planned on being a 20-30 minute ride, turned into 45 minutes of trying to appease her by any means necessary. This included building her a new bridle and switching it in the middle of the ride. In the end she got hot and I stayed at the barn until 9pm. I did manage to eat leftovers, which was baked chicken and brussel sprouts, but it was 10pm when I finally got around to eating it.

Friday I started the day right with a cup of coffee and 6 cookies. For lunch I had a grande iced maple pecan latte. And for dinner we ate out where I had some bomb tostadas.

For breakfast I went with a grande pumpkin spice latte and two cake pops. Lunch was broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl with, yep you guessed it, a side of bread. And for dinner I had 7 cookies.

Finally caved and got myself a real horse show breakfast. Bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit with a hash brown and a mocha. For Lunch 2 hot dogs. And for dinner I really can’t even remember. I might have skipped it.

Conclusion: my weekend was powered by pure anxiety, sugary coffee drinks, and carbs.

So now that I have openly shared all the crap I ate this weekend, lets talk about what I usually do keep meals nutritious and healthy while on the road. It’s really very simple.

  1. After my horse gets settled, worked, and unpacked, I make a trip to the grocery store.
  2. Make list of what meals you will be able to eat at the hotel and what you will eat at the show.
  3. Make a grocery list
  4. Shop
  5. Done

It’s really that simple. Here are some of the options that I consistently use when on the road.


  • Oatmeal cups- I really love the Kodiak Cakes Oatmeal Cups
  • Banana + Peanut butter
  • Yogurt + Granola- Siggi’s yogurt is my favorite
  • Fresh Fruit


  • Fruits: clementines, oranges, apples
  • Veggies: celery sticks + PB
  • Nuts
  • Rx Bars

Lunch + Dinner

  • Deli wraps or sandwich
  • Deli salad
  • Tuna Salad Kit
  • Avocado + cottage cheese (or just avocado because yum)

I usually will eat either lunch or dinner at the actual show grounds but there are still lots of easy options especially if you have a mini fridge in your room. Also if you have an instapot and are willing to bring it with you. You could make a home cooked meal easily. It’s really simple to eat healthy at shows but it does take some planning ahead and motivation to stay on track. After all, we are athletes and we need to fuel our bodies right!

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