Whether you’re familiar with the 2007 film starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson or not, we’re sure you’ve heard the phrase “bucket list”. If you haven’t, in quick summation, this is the list that you make of the things that you dream about doing – however outlandish or seemingly impossible – before you die.
I’ve had many conversations with horse friends over the years surrounding the “Equestrian Bucket List”. Its amazing how certain things seem to come up over and over again. These “dreams” find their way into our hearts and they stay with us; some people believe they are attainable and set out with a strict regimen to fill their Bucket List and others just hope for the best.
Here are the top ten things that I have heard from my own “horsey circle”:
- Ride a “Finished” horse in your chosen discipline – Whether that’s a Dressage Schoolmaster or a National Champion Reiner
- Take a Thoroughbred racehorse once around a track at full speed
- Going all out on a horse vacation – whether it’s to the “Ring of Kerry” in Ireland where you’ll be searching for mystical fairy meeting spots, or riding the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” in Ecuador, where you’ll learn about Ecuadorian cowboy life and ride some of the most challenging terrain in the world
- Have a private lesson with a world-renowned trainer – some popular names thrown about have been Tim McQuay, Gina Miles, Chris Cox, Buck Brannaman, etc.
- Gallop a horse in the ocean (which always seems a strange one to me, as we have an ocean in our backyard!)
- Have a moonlight ride with the person that you love
- Ride the Pacific Coast Trail in its entirety (all 2650 miles of it) – there have only been a handful of completed “thru rides”
- Spend a day helping at a horse sanctuary or with a therapeutic riding group
- Visit historical horse havens, like: The Corolla Wild Horses in the Outer Banks of North Carolina or the Spanish Riding School in Vienna
- Ride bareback and bridleless…and actually trust that you can control your horse!
The above list is a compilation of things that I have heard from my own friends, but in doing research, I have found that many of these things seem to come up over and over again with equestrians from all over the world. While some of the items on the list are more difficult to attain than others – logistically and monetarily – the majority of them are truly within your grasp.
There is a certain importance of having a Bucket List, when it comes to being an equestrian, and each one of us is going to have something a little bit different. Psychology shows that when people have dreams and goals, it gives them a certain psychological sense of importance, and subsequently confidence when these goals are met.
Take the Challenge
Nothing can be accomplished without action. We know that there are things that you have always dreamed of doing when it comes to your equestrian lifestyle, so why not get out a pen and paper, have a long, quiet “think” and write your own Bucket List? One friend of mine has done just that, and she raves about her accomplishments and how they have made her feel.
“I wrote my Horse Bucket List in 2013. It started with 10 items, and over the years, I have added more as I have checked off things that I’ve done. To date, I have 14 check marks next to my Bucket List items, and I keep the paper in a frame over my desk to remind me that I have something to strive for,” Linda Price of Paso Robles, explains.
So, if you accept the challenge, sit down right now and start your list; begin with ten things. Next, set a plan to start doing some of these things; you may find that some items are quite easily attainable if you set your mind to it. As you make those little check marks next to your list, the rush of confidence and accomplishment will be overwhelming.
If there are things on your list that you just can’t quite seem to do logistically, for instance, “riding a racehorse on a racetrack”, maybe you can find a friend who has a good horse that you can “breeze” around the edge of a cross country field. Get creative, be determined, and don’t give up!
We would love to hear about your “Equestrian Bucket List”. Once you’ve written down your “Top Ten”, send us a copy on Facebook or through our website…who knows, if one of the items on your list is to have an article published about you and your horse, you may be able to cross something off quicker than you think!