Feeding the equine vs human athlete at a show

What to eat at a horse show with Sophie Warren

Feeding the equine vs human athlete at a show

Thompson & Redwood sponsored rider Sophie Warren reminds us that it’s not enough to only look after your horse’s nutritional needs, we need to focus on our own health too. Here’s her go-to guide on what food to pack for both horse and human for your next equestrian event.

It’s so easy to go to a show all packed with gear, rugs and great nutrition for your horse. And then head to the canteen and grab a pie or sausage roll, a soft drink and some chocolate to fuel yourself. The athlete. Athlete?

So, how do we pack so that we can fuel ourselves as athletes? We plan ahead and get super organised, and the rest is easy!

For the horse, we pack their usual home foods, plus a few yummy things to keep them eating well if they get a little anxious. So let’s mirror that with ourselves.


Equine athlete breakfast, lunch and dinner feed: Chaff and T&R Claytons Pellets and oaten hay.

Thompson and Redwood Claytons Pellets

Mmm, Claytons Pellets

We take haynets ready made up with oaten hay plus as many bales of each as we’ll need depending on how long we’re going to be at the show and how many horses we have with us.

We also take a big pre-mixed chaff and pellets feed so we can feed them a couple of scoops morning, noon and night as well as for snacks in between such as when we take one horse away to compete, the others will have a snack to distract them.

Human athlete breakfast, lunch and dinner: Muesli for breakfast plus home cooked meals ready to heat up or eat straight from the fridge.

We make our own muesli (it’s really not that hard or time consuming, you can do it while you eat the last of the batch before or while you’re making breakfast for the kids), so we always pack some of that along with either fresh or stewed fruit and yoghurt to go in top. And a banana. Always a banana on breakfast! If it’s cold we’ll heat up the stewed fruit so that breakfast is warm.

Lunch is usually something easy depending on the schedule for the event — if we have time for a proper lunch break we’ll have something bigger like a soup or a pre made vegan shepherds pie or lasagne or any sort of bake that can go in the oven. If you’ve got to stick to food that can go on a gas hob try soups and curries. If you try to claim you don’t even have a gas hob….get down to your local camping store and sort that out!

Good nutrition at a horse show will fuel both horse and rider all day

Good nutrition at a horse show will fuel both horse and rider all day

Horse snacks: Carrots, lucerne hay, T&R Claytons Pellets for treats.

Human snacks: Protein balls, pre-fried tofu, nuts, dried fruit, rice cakes with vegemite or peanut butter and baked slices of sweet potato that we can have with either peanut butter or mayo and greens on top.

Coconut balls are a great snack to take to horse shows

Coconut balls are a great snack to take to horse shows

Horse hydration: Plenty of water from home, Recharge and Bectyl paste if we need to get them drinking or the weather is warm.

Human hydration: Plenty of water from home, Aqualyte sachets in case the weather is warm or we work extra hard and some tonic for an evening g&t!

With just a little planning we can keep our diet stable and full of nutrition even when we’re at a show. Just like you do for your horse. Now to see if we can also plan and execute our own physical strength and conditioning program as well as we do our horses…but that is a story for another day!

Jade Salpietro
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