HI Spy: What’s on your equestrian bucket list?


    What is on your equestrian bucket list?Have you ever stumbled upon a photo or video of horses and riders in some exotic location and thought, “I’m going to ride there one day”? When watching your equestrian idols, do you feel determined to find out first hand what it’s like to win at the big shows? Does watching someone like Stacy Westfall ride without tack inspire you to do the same with your own horse if it’s the last thing you ever do?

    Maybe you’ve simply always wanted to see the Chincoteague Ponies swim across the channel or find out what it’s like to ride a tölting Icelandic horse.

    There are so many things to do as an equestrian that you could fill up several lifetimes with different adventures. But which ones make the list of experiences you want to have before you kick the bucket?

    For some inspiration, check out A Rider’s Bucket List. Then click “Submit a Comment” below and tell us what makes the number one spot on your equestrian bucket list. Some responses may be selected for a future issue of Horse Illustrated!

    One selected response may be selected by the editors to win a monthly prize! If you would like to be eligible for the prize, please include your email address in the comment form (email addresses are not publicly displayed.)

    See all HI Spy questions >>



    2. My number one wish would to be a famous endurance rider. My other top ones would be…
      1. To ride on a beach (preferably in Greece…)
      2. Ride without tack or at least bridleless.
      3. Gallop in an empty field alone just me and my horse.
      4. Nurse a horse back to full health.

    3. I know many people would love to do tricks and others want a bond, I currently ride a deaf Freisian Sport Horse and he is teaching me confidence. I would love to one day be able to ride any horse walk, trot, canter and not to be afraid.

    4. I have many goals I strive to accomplish as an equestrian, from winning a jumping competition to becoming successful at my career as a professional horse trainer. But my one greatest desire that surpasses them all is to strengthen my relationship with my horse and build an everlasting, irreplacable bond with her that no word can describe. Life with that kind of relationship would be the ultimate adventure for me.

    5. I have many goals as a rider. The one I would most like to accomplish is the goal of becoming a horse trainer and have my own little ranch/barn. I also want to have that one special horse in my life that I care about more than anything in the world and have a great relationsip with.

    6. I would want to help children with special needs learn to ride and befriend horses. I hope this would help share my joy of horses and ponies. I would also want to volunteer at a stable with rescue horses because I could help the poor horses have a brighter future! For myself, I would really want to learn how to jump and perfect my equitation skills.

    7. I have already ridden a variety of horses, from reining horses to trail horses, from ponies to drafts, and even gaited horses, but I’m always on the lookout for new horses to ride. Even though I only want to excel in one discipline I would jump at the chance to ride any good horse; jumpers, barrel racers, dressage or cutting horses.I think that it’s fun to get to ride and experience as many horses as you can. You never know, you might find a new discipline that you really like.

    8. I have always wanted to train a horse that ends up on TV or in a book. or ever better in the Grand Prix! I would also love to just ride into the sunset. over the hills and into the wild!

    9. Ok, I am so Excited that they posted this question because i was actually writing my Equine bucket List!!!!
      *Ride with Clinton Anderson in his clinic
      *Go camping with my horse in the mountains
      *Go swimming in a lake with him
      I hope I can do everything on my list and more!!!!!

    10. I have always dreamed of riding in the kentucky derby, kinda far fetched i know but if your going to dream why not dream big.

    11. What I want to do before I ”kick the bucket” would be to make a 16.1 seconds in the shows next year.Me and my horse have worked so hard this year and I hope I will achieve it

    12. I would totally, absolutely love to go to all the events in the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and get some autograghs of the competitors in the events. I would also like to open up my “Dream Equestrian Center” in which I would have horses of all disciplines. I would participate in many many shows of all different catergories and I would rescue abused horses also. I am extremely hoping that would happen. I’m 14 and have a lot of time to plan everything for the Equestrian Center of my dreams!!! And a lot of saving up to do for the Alltech FEI WEG!! Ha ha : )

    13. One day i would like to ride my future Friesian across wide open land out west. The open land would be so big, that we wouldn’t even be able to cross it all in one day.

    14. My horsey bucket list is very long but at the top is riding my horse Lucky as fast as I can along a beach shore line.

    15. I have several but the top two are riding my horse, who is related to man’o war so he’s extremely fast, down coco beach. I would also love to meet, and have a lesson coached by Stacy Westfall

    16. I would love to show my Tennessee Walking Horse in the Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee as a naturally gaited, barefoot horse to protest the soring of Walking Horses and other gaited breeds.

    17. Two things are on my bucket list … I’d love to take a horse to the AQHA World Championships some year and I’d love to ride my QH/Standardbred, Joker, without tack. Having that kind of bond with him where we trust each other enough to do that is my ultimate goal.

    18. I would like to spend one quiet day with my horse and then just hop on and ride, no bridle or halter or saddle, just me and him. I would love to feel so connected with my horse!

    19. What isn’t on the list? Like every rider, I plan on mastering riding. Maybe even raising a foal is in mu future. But my all time goal is to train a zebra to jump. Of all the horse cousins, zebras are the coolest…and although they probably aren’t the easiest to train, I’d be up for the challenge.

    20. One day I will breed my dream horse. Train him/her myself and compete at a top level dressage or jumping. And be able to keep her/him for life. that would be truly amazing.

    21. One day I will open up a non-profit horse rescue and save hundreds of horses lives and put them into good homes.

    22. Too many to count! But one that I really hope to do is to ride bareback on the beach. The wind whipping through my hair and feeling the power of my horse underneath me. It just seems so magical!

    23. I have a lot I want to do! i would love to get first place in a Combined Driving Event with my mini, I want to own, compete, and breed a Chincoteauge Pony, go in the WEG with a four-in-hand, meet Chester Weber, and show off my rescue mini in Horse Illustrated.

    24. There are far too many dream accomplishments to list! I have one that stands out from the others: garner a blue ribbon from a hunter show with my greenie draft cross mare. Sure, it feels great to see it in the tack room, but it seems to stand out even more when I remember that we earned it together.

    25. I don’t have my own horse, I am around them a lot but don’t have my own. So what I really want is to have my own horse and keep it at my house.

    26. What I really want to do is gallop along the beach! I love the beach and of course horses, so to combine them together that would be amazing!

    27. I would love to be a counselor at a horse camp I’ve been going to for 6 years now. This year I’ll be a counselor in training and next year too hopefully. I’m hoping 3 years from now I get to be a counselor!

    28. It is really hard for me to decide but I have always dreamed of riding on the U.S. team in the Olympics (or even the World Equestrian Games).

    29. Number One on my Bucket List has GOT to be ride the Tevis Trail. I originally heard about the Tevis Ride in 1974 when I had a Quarter Horse mare that I just “knew” could complete the ride. Then I heard the horror stories and decided it wasn’t worth jeopardizing my best friend. Now almost 40 years later, I find myself owning and competing on Arabians in endurance/limited distance riding. I don’t know that we’re up for the awesome 100 miles in 24 hours, but even riding a portion of the trail during the Education Ride would be an awesome experience!

    30. Take my mare galloping on the beach, and just let her really go for it. I got her as a total greenie 3 1/2 years ago, the beach is only 30 minutes away but we don’t have any way of getting there.

    31. On my bucket list of many things the number one would by far would be to go swimming with my horse. All out swimming! I know a lot of people have done this, but there is just no place to do it around my house. I would also love to really get my horse bridleless riding. She already does it pretty well, but she is far from Stacey’s Roxie. I am also going to enter a show someday. Right now all I do is 4-h, and even though I may not have a “5 star” horse compared to theirs, she is worth a million bucks to me. =)

    32. The top thing on my equestrian bucket list is to do an overnight trail ride with my horse. I think it would be an exciting adventure, and also a great time to bond with my boy.

    33. I have so many things I want to accomplish, but the one I am most eager to accomplish is going professionally into riding. I love watching the FEI World Games and it gives me so much motivation. I love the reining, and I practice as hard as I can every day. I am only a youngster, but I know that with persistance, and I loving and caring bond with my horse I can accomplish any goal I put my mind to.

    34. well i have really whanted to go on a trail that lasted 4ever i love horses and trailrides my horse sharpay would love it 2 she is a barrel horse but still loves trails

    35. I would love to enter my miniature stallion in a show. He is just so pretty I am sure that he would win a prize! But there are no miniature shows where I live, but hopefully one day I will be able to. I have always dreamed about buying a Quarter Horse and then riding in barrel racing competitions. I don’t care if the competitions are at state fairs, or at the National Finals Rodeo. I would just love to compete in a barrel racing competition. I would love to go riding on the beach and in the waves.

    36. My horsey adventure on my bucket list would be able to ride on the beach into the sunset on a beautiful summer day.

    37. I’ve always wanted to go on an overnight trail ride in the beautiful Rocky Mountains on my Quarter Horse. I’ve done it on other horses, but It would be so much more amazing if I could do it on my horse!

    38. On my equestrian bucket list, my #1 is to rescue a horse that was once in pain. Seeing the trasformation is astonishing. The second thing I would love to do is buy a huge horse farm in Kentucky, where all the pastures are green and the sound of the horn before a race wakes me up every morning.

    39. What I want to accomplish more than anything on my equine bucket list is to rescue an off-the-track Throughbred and prove while he may have failed on the track, he can be a superb riding horse.

    40. On my equestrian bucket list, my #1 is to ride on the beach into the sunset #2 is to rescue a horse not to ride but keep as a companion if the horse is that badly injured #3 is to soar down a track on a thoroughbred #5 share a deep bond with my horse

    41. The number one thing on my equestrian bucket list would have to be placing first in the 2’6′ jumper round. The second thing is start a horse recuse center for horses that have been treated cruelly or there owners can’t take of them and bring them to the center. The third thing on my bucket list is find that one special horse that I have a very deep connection with.

    42. Something I’ve always wanted to do is ride a horse through an orchard. There’s something distinctly beautiful about the idea of cantering down the almost endless, straight, smooth path under the vibrantly emerald green of the trees. Every time I drive past a perfectly patterned grove of trees, I always imagine what my horse and I would look like while we moved through the trees.

    43. All I ever ask for in my horse life is to become the best rider and handler as I can. I would love to try out many disciplines and jobs in the equine business. I have a trainer who when ever I ask her about anything in the hore world, she has the experience to say “Been there, done that, and I can teach you that.” I would just love to be that experienced and truly become one with the horse.

    44. On my equestrian bucket list, my first is to ride on the beach into the sunset. Second is to rescue a horse not to ride but keep as a companion if the horse is that badly injured. Third is to fly down a track on a thoroughbred.Finally share a very strong bond with my horse stronger than words!

    45. I have so many things that I want to do with horses. Firstly, I want to be able to teach my horse to dance with me, canter on the beach bareback, ride tackless, gallop down the homestretch on a race horse, and just be the best horsewoman I can be.

    46. To win a first place ribbon with my OTTB mare Dayjur Gal. We have been to many shows together but just never came out on top.

    47. I have things that are on my equestrian bucket-list:
      1: Be able to ride all 4 gaits, tackless.
      2: Do a sliding stop.
      3: See Alberta all on horseback.
      4: BUY A HORSE!! <3

    48. Everything! Tame and train a BLM mustang, ride the airs above the ground, train a Dressage horse up through the levels, ride a musical freestyle and pas de deux, learn vaulting, manage a stable, ride tackless, the list goes on… oh, and have a horse of my own!

    49. Hm…. If I had to pick just one it would be to be an Olympic Gold Medalist someday. But that will probably never happen so I’ll say I’d like to be a APHA World Champion.

    50. My rider’s bucket list definitely contains seeing the Chincoteague Ponies swim across the channel, and competing bareback and bridle-less just as Stacy Westfall (my hero!) did at the American Quarter Horse Congress back in ’06 (still working that out with my mare). I’ve got some other things though… Riding on the beach is probably gonna be a popular one but I would love to try it. Something about riding through the slushy sand and salty sea that sounds amazing. I would also like tp take a tour around the flatlands of Nevada on my gelding Tomahawk and search for wild mustangs. That’s on the top of the list! For sure! Hmmm… It might be fun to ride down the Grand Canyon on a horse. Who knows what I WON’T do with my horses? The possibilities are endless!

    51. Well there is so much, I would like to ride bareback and bridless i would also love to go camping with my horse and my friends in the misty Mt’s, i would love to see a foal be born. so nothing big but things i would love to do.

    52. My #1 is to live on a ranch for a few weeks and actually go on a cattle drive and work on the ranch. I also really eant to exercise racehorses. Another would be to become a certified Parelli trainer. Last but not least I want to ride all over Ireland.

    53. I would love to be there as a horse is being born. It would be amazing and magical, but I think I’d be so nervous that I’d hold my breath the whole time!

    54. I just want to spend every waking minute with horses. The horses will be sure to make their own fun and make my life an adventure.

    55. I would love to go foxhunting in Ireland on a hardy Irish Draught, or go cross country schooling there on a Irish Sport horse. Being that most of my family is in Ireland, i would love to take in the countryside for the first time from the back of a horse, what better way to experience the land!

    56. i would love to go on a real cattle drive! it would be a great experience for my 3 year old quarter horse! i also would love to be a really good barrel racer and travel all over the country! maybe even go on a trail ride in the mountains and go swimming in a river!

    57. I would love to run barrels in the National Finals Rodeo. I think it would be absoloutley amazing to run infront of thousands people and also everyone watching it on television.

    58. I wish that someday I can compete in reining at the WEGs with some of the big guys, like Shawn Flarida and Tim McQuay. I wouldn’t expect to win; I just want to be there, to feel the wind on my face as I canter my horse around the arena, to sit down deep in the saddle as my horse does a sliding stop, to smile big and wide as I walk out, feeling as if nothing can bring me down.

    59. I would love to be featured in Horse Illustrated someday! I don’t care what it would be for, whether it is Q&A, or HI Spy. I just love the magazine so much!

    60. I would love to go on a cattle drive one day with friends and also an all month trail ride. i would also like to do barrels some day with a horse for fun. i also want to go to the west and ride in the open land and see the mountains on horseback.

    61. I want to compete in a reining freestyle because they look like so much fun to do! I’ve always wanted to ride in reining and learn some new tips from Stacy Westfall, Shawn Flarida, and Tim McQuay. When I listen to some of my favorite songs I picture myself riding in a reining freestyle.

    62. I really just want to enjoy every moment I can with my mare! Yes I could go to a lot of shows, but as long as we are both having fun, everyday is an adventure!

    63. I would love to ride on the beach or go horse camping! but just being with Ginger is a adventure! I love Ginger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    64. The top item on my equine bucket list is to purchase my own horse, rather than continue leasing someone else’s horse. My second item is to find a group of horse-loving people to go horse camping with!

    65. My life long goal is to be in the Olympics. I come from a small town and I have a great teacher and I feel like she is the only person who believes me and one day when im competeing in the Olympics I hope to see her on the bleachers cheering me on!I love you Mrs. Karen thank you for believing in me!

    66. There are many equine related things that I wish to do throughout my life, like camping with my ridding buddies or driving a racing standardbred and riding across country. But I think one of the most important thing to me would be to create that perfect bond with my horse, ya she nickers to me when I walk up to the fence but I want that respect that comes with the friendship between horse and human.

    67. I would love to show my miniature horses at a show. They are both so beautiful and I’m sure it would be a great experience for both of us. I would also like to take my Tennessee Walking Horse gelding on the beach in the early morning before anyone else gets up. Although I doubt that will ever happen, I’ll still dream.

    68. I have two things on my horsey bucket list.
      First, I want to know that I have made a wonderful life for my horse Jack. Seeing him happy and pain free each day is a reward in its own.
      I would like to know that I had done my part to protect innocent horses from slaughter. No horse deserves that!

    69. I want to just be able to give my horses the life they deserve and keep them happy. I also plan on riding until the day I die, and it wouldn’t be so bad to go out doing something horse related.

    70. I want to bring my horse to the beach!! it looks like so much fun! Just to run down the beach with horse. Just to imagine your flying! having the waves gently hit their legs. and of course swim too!!!! it would just be amazing to be a top your horse while she or her swims. Like you’re riding a sea horse through the water.

    71. I hope when I have kids, I can get them into riding too. I think it would be great to watch them grow and succeed, and it will be great for them to learn the responsibility that comes with owning a horse.

    72. To gallop bareback on a wide beach. I would feel free. Like I was one with the horse. Set free into a never ending universe. A picture perfect moment that would stay with me forever.

    73. To go on a Frontier ride all the way to Indiana.This includes camping and living like people used to in the past.It sounds crazy, but fun!

    74. It doesn’t matter what’s on my bucket list as long as my horse is right there beside me. My bucket list could be filled with all types of different adventures or the scariest things in riding history. But I wouldn’t care what it is because my horse would be there with me.

    75. I have always wanted to take my horse to a world class breed show and place even if it is honorable mension.

    76. There are many things on my equestrian bucket list…I want take a trek horse-back through the countryside of Ireland and explore the ancient castle ruins and gallop on the ocean shore, I want to ride across the outback(maybe race a kangaroo!), and I want to buy a zebra colt and train it for dressage!

    77. There are so many amazing adventures that horses can take you on, and a lot of the time they do it without leaving the stables. I want to have an unbreakable bond with any horse I own, ride, or care for.

    78. What I want to do with my horse is to take him to Hawaii, take a long trail ride through the island, and end up at the beach. Taking a long gallop and taking a dip in the ocean would be spectacular!

    79. On my equestrian bucket list is to keep reaching my goals. One goal leads to another, and I will always have something to reach for!

    80. I would love to take my horse on a long trail ride, one where we would swim bareback through a calm lake and trek through a mountain. I don’t know if that’ll ever happen, but if it doesn’t, I’m perfectly content with living my horse-crazy life.

    81. There are a couple of horsey related things that I would like to do. One of these things is to go on a horse back riding vacation across Europe. I would really like to go to Ireland especially, and do some cross country riding out there. Another thing that I would really like to do is train with some of the big name equestrians, especially Ian Millar. I really enjoy every opportunity to learn more about horses and riding them, and I think that learning from some of the best out there would be an amazing opportunity!

    82. I have always wanted to ride my horse bareback on the beach, but the thing that would top my equestrian bucket list would be to someday ride in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

    83. If I’m gonna dream, I’m gonna dream HUGE!! I would love an INDOOR arena with NO consequences!!! No dust, no humidity, no work cuz in my dream (so big) it comes with a tractor and a crew to maintain it!

    84. I have so many things I want to do! One thing would be to go to the olympics or the world equestrian games. Two other things would be to ride on the beach and try cross country. Better yet, do cross country on the beach!

    85. Tackless barrel racing!!! I love trying out death defying stunts on my ever-patient mustang. Inventing a special glue to hold me on her back while attempting these atrocities would have to come first…

    86. To bring my barn buddy to one of those mountain ranches where we can both relax, have lots of fun and go on beautiful trails each day.

    87. My dream vacation would be a month at this beautiful place we camp at in the Everglades. When we go, we love trail riding for hours at a time, even at night, with the moon glimmering brightly. My friends and I love pulling pranks on each other there and sharing funny ghost stories together. I also love climbing out of my tent at five in the morning and seeing the dying camp fire, the beautiful mist, the slight sun-rise, and, of course, beautiful Pogo standing at the gate, nickering for oats!

    88. i have always wanted to be the barrel racing champ. i have a TN walking horse, and i barrel race with her, but she isn’t that fast, I still like the rush of barrel racing, even if its not on a fast horse. i would also love to go to Chincoteague and adopt a pony. I think it would be great to go to Chincoteague. One other thing i would LOVE to do is the Extreme Mustang Makeover. what better chance do you have to train horses then this one?

    89. I would love to win the world on my 3-year-old Appaloosa-QH cross in polebending and western pleasure.I would also love to teach her tricks because she is so smart and patient.I would would love to teach her how to play dead but then she might play dead in the pasture and scare me.

    90. I would love to go on an adventure to a crystal clear lake with a wonderful waterfall and spend the day swimming with my best buddy!

    91. It would be awesome to ride a horse in Antarctica and see the penguins and snow all on the back of my horsey. It would be cold, but maybe they’ll invent a body suit for horses to keep him warm.

    92. It would be awesome for me to Have my own horse and to be able to experience what it is like to have one for my own and just so I can talk to someone when I am bored or am having problems with school that and they are great buddies for everything outdoorsy!. Also Horses can do two things …they can Heal your heart and Steal it away..

    93. My equestrian bucket list has a few items on it. I would like to ride on a beach, perferably bareback. I would also like to have an equestrian vacation in Europe. As well as compete in Freestyle Dressage at ANY of the future Olympics.

    94. My equestrain bucket list would be to ride in the Rocky Mountains with my mother, It’s been a dream we’ve both talk about for many years, and i think it’d be an amazing bonding experience.

    95. Foremost on my bucket list is to someday ride my Fjord Mare. She was gifted to us last year as a six-year old spoiled backyard pet who was not broke. We had her broke to drive, which the trainer said was a real challenge. I am 67 years old, severely arthritic with braces on both knees so I can walk and recovering from post concussion syndrome after being thrown from a runaway pony cart this summer, so I will have to find just the right trainer for her as I don’t have a lot of riding years left in me!! Her name is Sassy and boy does she ive up to it!

    96. One day, I would like to be able to leave a bag of carrots out without turning around to see my pony’s muzzle turned orange!

    97. I would love to train a horse by myself. I think it would be an amazing experience and I know that I would benifit so much from it.

    98. The most important thing on my equestrian is to make a difference in a horse’s life. Every year so many horses are abused and neglected. I would love to help them in any way I can, whether its adopting a horse in need of a home or starting up my own rescue!

    99. My dream is to work on a cattle ranch for a summer. Just to spend night and day on the back of a horse in the wide open country, living like the true western cowboys and cowgirls is a dream I hope will some day be fulfilled.

    100. I would love to spend a day in the mountains or hills, just relaxing and going on a nice trail ride for the day. I think the mountains are so beautiful and I’d love to see them, but to make the moment better, bring my horse!

    101. I have always dreamed of galloping my horse down a shoreline at sunset. We would outrun the seagulls and my horse’s mane and tail straming out behind her as she kicked up clods of sand. It would be more than beautiful it would be a mgaical time that would never end! It would be a dream

    102. I have always wanted to have that connection and relationship with my horse where I could ride her with not a single piece of tack on, and jump, barrel race, and go for a trail ride. To me that is the ultimate trust. The level of connection needed for that kind of thing, seems just out of reach for me.

    103. I would love to go on a week long horse camping trip. The old fashion way. Sleep out under the stars.. no campers.. like back packing threw the hills/mountians/forsest and grass lands with a bunch of friends

    104. I’ve always wanted to be a barrel racer. My dream may not be too far away. I recently got a horse that, even though he has never been trained for barrels, is small, quick, nimble, and sturdy as a rock. I’ve also always wanted to become a pro jumper. I know that my horse is more shaped up for barrels then jumping, but he has already jumped three feet on his own-with no weight on his back. But, he is also not fully grown, so he may be a good chance. Also, I have been greatly inspired to raise, show, and sell Friesians, and Gypsy horses, especially after HI’s article on Frisians.

    105. My equestrian bucket list is most importantly – to have a horse to call my own and very strong bond with him/her. I have always dreamed about going riding on a beach in the Carribean. I would love to tour all of Europe from the back of a horse (hopefully my future horse). Also, one of my biggest dreams and goals is to be in the Olympics and WEG. Also, I would love to miss a week of school and coming back and telling people I was competing at a big horse competion!

    106. Missy and I would love to visit and learn while having fun together at Ken McNabb’s Powderhorn Ranch in Wyoming.Not only would our time there surrounded by the magestic scenery take my breath away,I’d greatly improve my horsemanship skills and bond so much deeper with my best friend. The experience for both of us would be life changing.

    107. What I really want to do is ride alongside the ocean on my horse during a sunset. I’ve seen movies and pictures with that stuff and it looks like so much fun.

    108. The number one riding place on my bucket list is the beach on a summer day. I’d love to canter along the shoreline and afterwards take my horse for a swim!

    109. My equestrian bucket list is pretty big. I would love to ride on the beach of some tropical island, explore Europe on horseback, ride an Icelandic horse in Iceland, ride in the Olympics, own a horse, and most importantly, have a strong, unbreakable bond with my horse.

    110. I think the number one item on my bucket list is to buy a colt, break it myself and train it to such a high level that it would win a world championship, and be ridden bareback and bridleless.


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