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Favorite DIY horse show meals?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by cutter99 View Post

    Yes, it has mayonnaise in it.

    You see they make these wonderful things called coolers. You put ice in the coolers, and keep food cold and safe. If you are REALLY paranoid about food safety, you can even put thermometers in your coolers. I happen to have coolers that will keep ice for 10 days in the heat of summer. Heck, you can even get electric coolers that will run off your car or truck battery if so inclined. We are no longer in the dark ages!

    I need to update my gear.

    Actually I have been using reusable freezer blocks in an my insulated lunch bag. They really fail fast.

    I have an actual plastic coleman cooler somewhere


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
      I picnic a lot when I trail ride. I find I don't really trust pre-made sandwiches (they get soggy) and certainly not meat, even with a cooler (except maybe pepperoni sticks). I end up with a lot of those individually wrapped cheeses (like Baby Bell) because they can survive OK in any temperature for a while. A hot thermos of soup or chili would be nice too, depending on the temperature. Yogurt can be surprisingly nice, if you have time to sit and use a spoon.

      I think it would be useful to get the show schedule of the rider, and plan around that. If she is up early and grooming, she will want easy finger food for breakfast. I like bottled juices especially better quality ones, they give you water, a sugar hit, and maybe a few vitamins. Maybe a drinkable yogurt? Yogurt with granola is a nice breakfast, if you can pacakge it in serving sizes and she has time for a spoon.

      A lot of showing is hurry up and wait. If she has all her classes over with by say 4 or 5 pm, after she settles the horses for the night, she might be ready to sit down and eat. Or even at noon, if her classes are all in the morning. So a big meal that could be either lunch or dinner, maybe a thermos of soup or chili, some really nice bread. I feel like I'd rather assemble a sandwhich out of a bun, some dip, and presliced cheese than deal with a sandwich that was 10 hours old.

      I've enjoyed all kinds of dips, humus, guacomole, etc., on picnics with a picnic table, but there are *very dangerous* to try to eat out of your lap wearing a white show shirt.

      Anyhow, my suggestions all revolve around taking prepackaged food on a picnic/camping trip, but you could also do this with better quality real or home made food. You could cut up cheese cubes and put them in sandwhich bags.

      You couldn't really send her off with 3 days worth of thermoses though. It could be interesting to try some cold soups.

      How will she be handling the cooler over the 3 days? Where will she be getting ice? is there ice on site, or will she need to go offsite and look for a gas station? Maybe plan on making the last day entirely dry goods, like cheese and bread and bananas, that don't require ice?

      I agree, nothing too spicy, because even if you like spicy food, you don't want that potentially upsetting your stomach.
      She is an eventer, so has her ride times, so that was an easy one to plan around. She also always has multiple coolers for ice in case the venue doesnt have them, but most I have been to around here do, and she is honestly a pro at making sure she has everything she needs for her horses (including ice for her ice boots). She is an extremely busy doctor during the week, so all of her free time gets dedicated to prepping her horses and what they need, vice herself, when her husband isn't in town. I will also lend her my cooler that plugs in, as she brings a generator with her so her horses always have a fan.

      The event is in TN, so I am quite positive she won't want hot soup, lol.


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by Redlei44 View Post
        I’d actually start with asking her (if you don’t already know) what kind of food or meals she prefers. This is mainly me projecting my complete nausea when I’m competing! I would love to eat actual meals but I don’t generally feel well enough. So I stick to crackers and string cheese, fruit cups, and protein smoothies.

        Trying to be more helpful - I’ll put in another vote for sandwiches, especially if you can include nice bread like ciabatta, flavorful condiments/sauces/toppings, and high-quality meats and cheeses. It’s such a treat to have a “fancy” sandwich when you might otherwise be eating kraft singles on wonder bread, for example! Also love chicken salad, egg salad, and tuna salad. I have been seeing more chickpea salads and sweet potato salads that I want to try as well.

        For breakfast, maybe fruit granola yogurt parfaits, or healthy-ish flavorful muffins?

        LOL. I asked her and her response was "I dont care, I love anything you make, even if I think I wouldnt"

        I was planning on a greek quinoa and chickpea salad as well, since I know she loves those flavors. I will likely do sandwiches or the spring rolls for Friday drive, so that they are easy to handle.

        My farm has been begging for muffins, so I am going to do a lemon zucchini bread batch of muffins, and will send her off with those for breakfasts.


        • #24
          Pack a second, smaller cooler with dry ice and fill with water bottles, V8, etc. Nothing carbonated. Nice to have ice-cold drinks after a long day.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks everyone for your suggestions! When my husband and I competed in H/J land, we were traveling to shows so brought our camper trailer. We fed everyone off our portable BBQ. Steals, burgers, chicken, french fries, salads, and always had freezies and adult bevvies as well. We have mostly been doing local shows here so easy to pick something small to do for ourselves and our coaches, but we can't wait to travel with our friends as well. Then I wont have to worry, we will just have things ready to go in the camper!


            • #26
              Originally posted by Scribbler View Post


              I need to update my gear.

              Actually I have been using reusable freezer blocks in an my insulated lunch bag. They really fail fast.

              I have an actual plastic coleman cooler somewhere
              Horse camper here. Horse camper without a refrigerator. Have one of these for when my husband goes with me.


              I take these when it it just me.



              If you prep and pack one of these coolers properly, you should be able to get 7-10 days out of ice. I have gotten 10 days.

              "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


              • #27
                I absolutely cannot eat "real" meals in the heat. Even just regular mealtime in the summer, not at a show, it's hard for me. I subsist on grapes (some frozen, some just cold in the cooler), melon, baby carrots, snap peas, cheese sticks, and recently discovered Prosciutto & Mozzarella rolls at the grocery store I could pack and take.

                The Gatorade or Cliff gummies are a lifesaver in the heat when I need a quick zap of sugar to not die. I love cold plain pasta, but I'm weird. The no cook energy bites - some combo of oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips and whatever else (I've used coconut, craisins, flax seed, just to name a few) are pretty good too.


                • #28
                  This: has been my bestest friend for the last 9 years.
                  I got it for a b-day gift, and she goes just about everywhere with me, Used her yesterday for a birthday bbq, actually and she'll go back into my truck for another bbq on Wednesday. I have used it 4 days straight in my lighter at events, and didn't drain the truck battery in the slightest.
                  Well worth the $ IMO
                  Buy Coleman Powerchill™ 40 Quart Thermoelectric Cooler from Walmart Canada. Shop for more Thermoelectric Coolers available online at
                  Can't learn anything with a closed mind! with thanks to mug


                  • #29
                    I really like a chickpea salad that consists of chickpeas and vegetables with diced cheese and/or salad dressing (Italian, ranch, Caesar - whatever you like).

                    I typically use some combination of tomatoes, onions, green (red, yellow, orange) sweet pepper, carrots, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower. If it's going to sit for longer, skip the tomatoes.

                    I use cheddar (med or old) or Havarti cheese. I've tried mozzarella but it's not a strong enough flavour.

                    It's something I can eat a bit for a snack or make it a meal, and it's great on hot summer days!


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by fanfayre View Post
                      This: has been my bestest friend for the last 9 years.
                      I got it for a b-day gift, and she goes just about everywhere with me, Used her yesterday for a birthday bbq, actually and she'll go back into my truck for another bbq on Wednesday. I have used it 4 days straight in my lighter at events, and didn't drain the truck battery in the slightest.
                      Well worth the $ IMO
                      That is really cool. You don't need to put ice into it, it is just basically a portable fridge? I think my truck needs one. You can leave in plugged in over night when the truck is off and it doesn't drain the battery?

                      Though I am not sure my lighter/battery outlet works when the truck is off. I know that you can't recharge a phone with the truck off.


                      • #31
                        Just like a fridge, no ice needed. It IS really cool!
                        Actually, I've kept packs for ice boots frozen for 2 days before I needed them in it, so it works more like an 'ice' box. And once things are chilled, if the lid is kept shut the things stay cool/chilled for a long time- like a day or two!
                        I think that if your outlet needs to have your truck/car running for the power to work you may need an alternative source. I have used a spare battery packed in with my show stuff to run the cooler on it also but it is one more thing to pack or lug around...
                        When I have to use a different source I plug it into the outlet when the vehicle is running and then change over to the spare battery when the truck isn't. Seems to do the trick!
                        Can't learn anything with a closed mind! with thanks to mug


                        • #32
                          I have an orzo salad that has become so popular for horse shows, I just call it "Dressage Queen Salad" at this point!

                          1lb orzo

                          ⅓ balsamic vinegar

                          6 oz feta cheese crumbled (1 container)

                          ¾ cup chopped fresh basil leaves

                          2 cup lightly packed fresh spinach leaves cut into strips

                          ½ red onion chopped

                          1 red pepper

                          1 tsp salt

                          1 tsp pepper

                          ⅓ cup olive oil

                          ¼ walnuts -toasted at 350 for about 6-10 min

                          Optional: grilled chicken, sliced pepperoni or salami


                          Cool orzo as directed. Drain well and place in large bowl. Add olive oil and stir well. Add balsamic vinegar and stir well. Add feta,

                          basil, spinach, onion, red bell pepper, salt, pepper and nuts. Toss well.

                          Refrigerate until serving.


                          • #33
                            I've always enjoyed straight forward turkey sammies - they tend to be light enough that I don't feel like they'll come back up on XC and are cold. I make mine with nice bakery bread, super thinly sliced turkey and swiss, a yummy aioli, tomatoes, and bean sprouts. I also make sure to cut them into 4 triangles so that I can just take a little as needed and not leave a half-eaten sandwich. My mom also makes banana walnut chocolate chip muffins - maybe not the healthiest, but enough to satisfy a sweet tooth and give a little filling. They also go in the cooler - when I event, I don't think I eat anything warm all weekend long. If you're packing her drinks, too, maybe include some kind of electrolyte drink - those nuun tablets have been lifesavers for me this summer. OH, and new addition this summer - pack along breakfast burritos - they travel super well. I rarely have any appetite before I ride and have been braiding more horses than usual this summer - it's just not feasible to start my day at 4am and not eat until mid-late afternoon - the breakfast burritos are just right to fill me up but not weigh me down. And, more importantly, be eaten with one hand!


                            • #34
                              You guys are super fancy. I grab a veggie tray and some meat tray from the grocery store and slap bags of ice on top of it in my cooler. And Planters trail mix... (and Reb Bull and my Keurig but I digress).

                              I need to up my game................
                              Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post
                                You guys are super fancy. I grab a veggie tray and some meat tray from the grocery store and slap bags of ice on top of it in my cooler. And Planters trail mix... (and Reb Bull and my Keurig but I digress).

                                I need to up my game................
                                Don't feel bad, at shows we used to buy cheap cold cut packages and Wonder bread type loafs, have condiments on hand and everyone would make their own sandwich as they came by to grab a bite.
                                We also had fruit, in season and bananas and such and store cookies.

                                If someone was nice enough to go get something else, or even better, make something for everyone, we were in culinary heaven.

                                I think the OP will do good, enough ideas now out there.


                                • #36
                                  I always take some sort of protein, carbs & something for my sweet tooth.
                                  For protein I like the packs of pre-cooked chicken breast. They come in different flavors & can be made into sandwiches, wraps or just eaten out of hand. String cheese is another option. I also like the 6-packs of cheese crackers with peanut butter. Individual yogurt cups & 100-calorie packs of cookies. All easy to grab & not messy to eat on the run.
                                  Add lots of bottled water, nonsweet iced-tea or the new sugarfree flavored carbonated waters.

                                  I always pack a cooler for Fair as the buyable options there make horseshow food seem positively nutritious.
                                  Can we say deep-fried everything?
                                  When I have time, I make some of the following:
                                  *whole wheat tortillas spread with herbed cheese or cream cheese & thin-sliced (Buddig) chicken, turkey or ham, rolled up & sliced into rounds
                                  *mini-Hawaiian rolls layered with ham & cheese or turkey & cheese & baked with a sauce of butter/brown sugar/mustard
                                  *turkey smoked sausage wrapped in crescent roll dough, sliced into rounds & baked
                                  *brownies (5-ingredient recipe)
                                  *oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (eggless recipe)
                                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                                  • #37
                                    ^^^^ I'm parking next to you!
                                    Finding Cures, Saving Children. Sept. 29, 2019 Saddle Up for St. Jude event. Donate here.


                                    • #38
                                      I have two friends that survived one Channel City horse show with a loaf of bread, peanut butter, and jelly.
                                      The Evil Chem Prof


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Some people like clothes, some people like to go to movies, some people like to go to a show every weekend. I like to cook, I refuse to eat pre packaged food if I can avoid it, and when I show, if I can eat, i want to eat well. I could not survive a weekend on a loaf of bread and deli meats or PB. I wish I could, life would be less expensive and way easier, but it's not who I am, or how I was raised, lol.

                                        Even for potlucks or breakfast meetings, i will cook multiple options for people. When i did my first morning physical training with the troops in my company, I made fresh bagels, muffins, breads, quiche.... even homemade yogurt.

                                        I am guessing my friend wants more then the basics, other wise, she wouldnt have asked me to do it. So, for this weekends show she is getting:

                                        Fresh spring rolls for her drive friday with fresh fruits and cheeses
                                        Homemade muffins and hardboiled eggs, yogurt, for breakfast
                                        Basil pesto pasta salad with grilled chicken thighs
                                        Greek quinoa salad with grilled chicken thighs
                                        A chicken, fresh veggie and hummus platter
                                        Turkey taco salad in a jar so it stays fresh

                                        also, oranges, some sweets and drinks, and some protein energy balls.

                                        She will have food for all three days, so hopefully she will stay fueled and healthy for her rides.


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by fanfayre View Post
                                          This: has been my bestest friend for the last 9 years.
                                          I got it for a b-day gift, and she goes just about everywhere with me, Used her yesterday for a birthday bbq, actually and she'll go back into my truck for another bbq on Wednesday. I have used it 4 days straight in my lighter at events, and didn't drain the truck battery in the slightest.
                                          Well worth the $ IMO
                                          They cool "up to" 40 degrees lower than surrounding air. So here in Florida, that means at the coolest, they will get down to only 50 degrees plus in the summer.
                                          As for me, a quality ICE cooler keeps my horse show meals cold.