Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Equestrian's Bucket List

I stole the Equestrian's Bucket List from Training My Off Track Thoroughbred's blog. She found it on Fugly's blog. Who knows where it came from originally, but I'm borrowing it for mine!

Since I'm unsure how to cross through words without screwing it all up, I'm just going to bold the ones I've accomplished.

1. Gallop on the beach. Does galloping on along a sand bar in the Kansas River count?

2. Win a blue ribbon. I have a few. Very aged they are, but I have them! I even have a couple of purple ones a few multi-colored rosettes.

3.Enjoy an evening of equestrian theater. Have seen the Lipizzaners a couple of times and been to the Noble Horse Theatre in Chicago.

4. Try your hand at cattle work. Find out what it means when they say a horse is “cowy.” Popped up on a friend's cutting horse once. HOLY COW! What a ride! When they say sit down, hold on and enjoy, they mean it.

5. Jump! From crossrails to cross-country obstacles, experience the thrill of soaring over fences. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Fox hunting FTW!

6. Fall off and get right back on again. Conquering fear is empowering. You haven't truly ridden until you've fallen. I can't even count the number of times I've eaten dirt.

7. See the majestic white Lipizzan stallions at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. I've seen the traveling U.S. show, but would love to visit the Spanish Riding School, not only for the horses, but for all the history and architecture there.

8. Come to a sliding stop on a well-trained reining horse. Sit down and HANG ON! Got to ride one of those dizzying spins, too.

9. Take a lesson with your equestrian idol, _________ (you fill in the blank). I'd love to have a weekend of cross-country lessons with Pippa Funnell and a month of dressage lessons with Reiner Klimke and Charles de Kunffy.

10. Nurse a horse through a crisis and back to full health. Yes. More than once. Not always my own.

11. Experience the smooth ride of a gaited horse. Rode a gaited spotted mule. The Cadillac for old lady trail riders.

12. Watch the horses come through the Head of the Lake on cross-country day at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. One of these days I'll have the time and the funds to get back to Rolex. I went three years in a row, haven't been back for about four years.

13. Have the courage to do the right thing for your horse, even when it’s not easy. I think every decent horse owner does this frequently, whether it's skip a ride because your horse is off a bit or retire the old geezer when those aching joints just can't take any more riding. Thankfully I've never had to make the ultimate decision to put one to sleep. *knocks on wood, crosses fingers, prays hard*

14. Attend the Kentucky Derby dressed to the nines—including hat! A mint julep, beautiful horses and crazy hats sounds good to me.

15. Tackle a trail accessible only by horseback and enjoy the view. Often. I have friends who have commented that motorcycles are better rides. But they can't get where I can go on my horse.

16. Take your dream vacation on horseback. One of my long term goals. The plan is a weeklong (or more!) ride across Ireland. I'd LOVE to ride with an Irish hunt, too, particularly the one known for being a little on the nutty side: The Galway Blazers.

17. Master the sitting trot. Nope, not even close.

18. Ride a fine-tuned horse in your discipline of choice, be it dressage schoolmaster or barrel champ. I've ridden two dressage schoolmasters...Wally and Early Morning, both warmbloods. Those rides are the ones I aspire to emulating every time I get in the saddle.

19. Watch polo. Even better, try your hand at it! I've watched it, but I want to RIDE IT!

20. Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily. Every day. Rain. Shine. Snow. Mud. Ice. Cold. Hot, etc. etc. etc. It's not just a hobby, it's a way of life.

21. Wake up to a whinny every morning. Well, do soft nickers count? They don't whinny at me when I come out with the morning feed, they talk softly.

22. Fly down the track on a Thoroughbred. Cross-country, yes. Hell bent for leather! On a real track? No.

23. Meet one of your favorite famous horses in person. I met John Henry when he was still alive at the Kentucky Horse Park. Even as an old man he commanded respect.

24. Ride bareback, bridleless … or both! I spent most of my youth bareback, bridle-less and shoeless. I still ride bareback, and from time to time, bridle-less. (But not on Gabe! Not yet.)

25. Share a bond with your horse that’s deeper than words. Oh, bratty Blaze, dearest Sunny and wonderful Star, how I miss all of you. I'm working on that same kind of bond with good ole Gabe. Very, very close!


  1. I like this list. I could add a few more. Watch a foal enter this world. Drive a team. Swim on horseback. The list is endless. How abouts... we do Ireland together plus sister?

  2. You're right, the list IS endless. I've never witnessed a foal born...come close, but never seen in person the actual event. Driving a team would be awesome! I have ridden and camped in the mountains (thanks to you!)...which was on my own personal list.

    Ireland with you and the sis would be fabulous! Count me in.

  3. I get a whinny every morning from one of my yearlings - everyone else nickers, which sounds a bit ominous coming from five broodmares watching me with pricked ears and an intent gaze. That whinny always makes me feel pretty good.

    On my list, I'd add, seeing the Grand National and the Arc. And seeing a horse I've bred win a race. Maybe later this year!

  4. Great list. And you've got most of them done! I think I'd like to attend the Kentucky Derby more for the sake of wearing a fancy hat than to watch the race. I love wearing hats. Funny how there is always a rack of hats for sale in the department stores, but hardly anyone wears them.

    I may play along and do the list in a couple weeks. I'll link back to ya if I do.