Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rider's Bucket List

So a few months back Horse Illustrated, one of my favorite equestrian magazines, featured what they called the "Rider's Bucket List". Basically this is the equestrian version of the typical bucket list. A list of things every equestrian should do and experience before they kick the bucket.

The list Horse Illustrated published was as follows:

1 Gallop on the beach. (done, though I would like to do it on my mare)

2 Win a blue ribbon, even if it’s for the egg and spoon race! (done)

3 Enjoy an evening of equestrian theater, from major touring productions such as Cavalia to local performance troupes. (done though there are others I want to see)

4 Try your hand at cattle work. Find out what it means when they say a horse is “cowy.” (if team penning counts then I have done this too)

5 Jump! From crossrails to cross-country obstacles, experience the thrill of soaring over fences. (done, though I would eventually like to try bigger stuff)

6 Fall off and get right back on again. Conquering fear is empowering. (done many times)

7 See the majestic white Lipizzan stallions at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.
(would love to do)

8 Come to a sliding stop on a well-trained reining horse. (also would love to do since the old mare doesn't slide anymore)

9 Take a lesson with your equestrian idol, _________ (you fill in the blank.)
(definitely on my list and mine would be Stacy Westfall or Lynn Palm)

10 Nurse a horse through a crisis and back to full health. (haven't done yet, but I'm sure I will eventually)

11 Experience the smooth ride of a gaited horse. (done)

12 Watch the horses come through the Head of the Lake on cross-country day at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. (again would love to do)

13 Have the courage to do the right thing for your horse, even when it’s not easy. (have done and will continue to do)

14 Attend the Kentucky Derby dressed to the nines—including hat! (done but would love to do again)

15 Tackle a trail accessible only by horseback and enjoy the view. (love doing this)

16 Take your dream vacation on horseback. (also on my must do list)

17 Master the sitting trot. (done--> part of the job of a western pleasure rider)

18 Ride a fine-tuned horse in your discipline of choice, be it dressage schoolmaster or barrel champ. (well this goes back to ride a fine tuned reining horse for me but a master barrel horse is on the list too)

19 Watch polo. Even better, try your hand at it! (watched a demo once but would love to watch/try the real thing)

20 Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily. (lol done)

21 Wake up to a whinny every morning. (would love to some day)

22 Fly down the track on a Thoroughbred. (definitely something to experience)

23 Meet one of your favorite famous horses in person. (def on my list = Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and Stacy Westfall's mare Roxy)

24 Ride bareback, bridleless ... or both! (done! though definitely want to continue)

25 Share a bond with your horse that’s deeper than words.
(done :) )

So as you can see I have already accomplished many of the things on this list (which can be found at But I definitely think the things on here are things every equestrian should experience at least once in their lives. There are also a few things I have not yet done that I would like to add.

26. Watch the birth of a foal in person (maybe even get to assist)

27. Go to Montana and spend time on a real working cattle farm.

28. Learn to drive a horse in a Meadowbrook or some kind of cart.

29. Sit in the sulky and experience a real racing trot or pace.

30. Breed my mare (not Satin since she is beyond breeding years) and raise and train the foal myself.

31. Compete at a Quarter Horse show on Satin (hopefully this year)

32. Compete in a reining class (preferably on Sat & maybe at QH this year)

33. Take reining lessons

34. Ride a Grand Prix dressage horse and learn how to really make them work

35. Own a race horse

36. See Stacy Westfall perform bareback and bridleless in person

37. Go to the World Equestrian Games, Breeder's Cup, and Saratoga

38. Go back to Kentucky to go to the Kentucky Horse Park, Racing/Derby Hall of Fame, visit some of the big breeding farms like Claiborne, etc.

39. Compete in an endurance race or better yet one of Craig Cameron's Extreme Cowboy Races

40. Go swimming on my mare (done before on other horses)

41. Get up at dawn, jump on my horse, and hit the trails.

42. Attend the equestrian portion of the Olympics

43. Spend a week on the farm of a famous equestrian like Lynn Palm or Stacy Westfall.

44. Watch morning workouts at Churchill Downs or Belmont before one of the Triple Crown Races.

45. Attend Quarter Horse Congress

So these are some things that I as an equestrian would like to experience before I "kick the bucket" in addition to the things Horse Illustrated suggested. I better get to work! I would love to hear from fellow equestrians about what is on your Equestrian Bucket List.

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