What’s In My Bag: Horse Show Cooler Edition

Horse show season is finally upon us! Okay, fine, it’s finally upon me. A lot of people have already been competing for months.

I tend not to eat that much when I’m showing. Between heat, stress, and generally being busy, I sometimes forget to eat enough to keep my energy up. Then, when I do finally go to eat, I’m starving and want to shove the nearest food into my face, whether that’s cookies or chips or a quesadilla from the food truck.

Knowing all this, I try to bring healthy and fresh things that I can eat small amounts of throughout the day. I want them to be cold, travel well in a cooler, and have good nutrition.

Gotta keep that energy up from dressage through to the end

Caprese Pasta Salad

This is the easiest recipe known to mankind. It takes exactly one minute longer than it takes to cook one box of pasta. It keeps well in a cooler and is a big crowd pleaser. It has a nice summery feel and it’s nice and light.

1 box rotini, rotelle, penne – pick your favorite medium sized pasta
2 containers cherry tomatoes
16 ounces fresh mozzarella (I get mozzarella pearls so I don’t even have to chop this up)
Basil, fresh or dried
Oregano, dried
Some olive oil
Some balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Make the pasta according to the directions on the box. While that’s cooking, halve the cherry tomatoes and put them in a big bowl with the mozzarella pearls. When the pasta is done, add it to the bowl. Toss in some olive oil and a few glugs of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. Dump in a tablespoon or three of basil and sprinkle some oregano on top. Mix it all together. Taste it. Adjust your balsamic/salt/basil as needed. Done.

Hard Boiled Eggs

I make these by the dozen in my Instant Pot. I eat a lot of hard boiled eggs in general. They actually travel well and they are great for breakfast or a snack during the day. On early show mornings I typically am not hungry right away, so once I’ve fully woken up I can grab an egg and eat quickly.

Fresh Fruit

Fruit is great because it’s refreshing, healthy and contains a lot of water. #hydration
My top three choices for horse shows are grapes, cantaloupe and watermelon. They’re easy to share and pretty neat and tidy to eat in white breeches (especially grapes). The natural sugar also does wonders for giving me an energy boost in the middle of a hot afternoon.

Stay energized for the best part of the day!

Other stuff

Outside of those three main things, I sometimes bring some string cheese or some energy bites. If I have time, I like to make my own energy bites. I use peanut butter, oats, a little honey, shredded coconut, and mini chocolate chips. Those things are dense – a little bit goes a long way to filling me up and keeping me going throughout the day.

What do you eat during long horse show weekends?

6 thoughts on “What’s In My Bag: Horse Show Cooler Edition

  1. Stress makes it essentially impossible for me to eat during shows so my diet is usually saltines. If I’m going late enough, I can often get breakfast down and that might be a bagel or cereal if we’re at a hotel. But then it’ll be nothing but crackers until dinner.


  2. I have a hard time eating on horse show mornings but at the same time I’m always starving. To top it off I have celiac disease so I HAVE to bring and keep track of my own food at shows or risk getting sick, or an extra trip to the store I don’t have time for! I usually pack little peanut butter pouches to put on gluten free plain crackers or bread, for something filling but easy to digest. Also some protein bars and like you, some kind of fruit with a high water content! And um, hard cider and wine. To take the edge off 🙂


    1. YES hard cider/wine is a must! That must be tough to deal with celiac at horse shows but I love your idea of bringing peanut butter and crackers or bread. Isn’t it funny that having a hard time eating on horse show mornings seems to be a common thing?


  3. I’m pretty much a goldfish, salami, and string cheese girl at shows. Things that fill me up without making my tummy feel heavy. I’ll pack a little fruit but rarely eat it. Murray gets a lot of carrots that I sometimes snack on. I wash it down with lots of water and powdered electrolytes, and beer and wine of course!


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