The movie The Bucket List follows two terminally ill men (played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) who embark on a journey with a wish list of things to do before they “kick the bucket.” Here’s our equestrian version of a bucket list—25 ultimate things to experience in a lifetime as a horse lover. What’s on your list?
- Gallop on the beach.
- Win a blue ribbon, even if it’s for the egg and spoon race!
- Enjoy an evening of equestrian theater, from major touring productions such as Cavalia to local performance troupes.
- Try your hand at cattle work. Find out what it means when they say a horse is “cowy.”
- Jump! From crossrails to cross-country obstacles, experience the thrill of soaring over fences.
- Fall off and get right back on again. Conquering fear is empowering.
- See the majestic white Lipizzan stallions at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.
- Come to a sliding stop on a well-trained reining horse.
- Take a lesson with your equestrian idol, _________ (you fill in the blank.)
- Nurse a horse through a crisis and back to full health.
- Experience the smooth ride of a gaited horse.
- Watch the horses come through the Head of the Lake on cross-country day at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.
- Have the courage to do the right thing for your horse, even when it’s not easy.
- Attend the Kentucky Derby dressed to the nines—including hat!
- Tackle a trail accessible only by horseback and enjoy the view.
- Take your dream vacation on horseback.
- Master the sitting trot.
- Ride a fine-tuned horse in your discipline of choice, be it dressage schoolmaster or barrel champ.
- Watch polo. Even better, try your hand at it!
- Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily.
- Wake up to a whinny every morning.
- Fly down the track on a Thoroughbred.
- Meet one of your favorite famous horses in person.
- Ride bareback, bridleless … or both!
- Share a bond with your horse that’s deeper than words.
This article originally appeared in the January 2009 issue of Horse Illustrated. Click here to subscribe.